Money the Murderer

I see that the Acting Chief Financial Officer of Freddie Mac is thought to have committed suicide. Nice looking man with a pretty smile. Apparently hung himself. Probably loved by some or many.


The power of dead money. It can give life and it can kill. When money becomes the soul of a culture, we are in trouble. I think of the king in Bhopal who claims that his goal is for gross national happiness as, of course, distinguished from GNP (Gross National Product.)

Simple ideas.

Life, our magical gift.


45 responses to “Money the Murderer

  1. But, Senator Grassley is happy, he was pushing for sucide of AIG employees, called it doing the right thing, got a lot of P R in his goulish speech. He voted to create the conditons/ provisions that led to the AIG follies, as a no-good mad with power U S Senator. If only we could trade beeds, and whiskey,
    then get Red Cloud’s warriors really drunk, and then break a few treaties to the routes to the black Hills(the big Gold palace—solid currency with lasting value), would nirvana be in the realm(or not), and Fur trappers with the big Euro trading companies clashing with a culture that did not have money at its base and core; before the big Teton trophy homes for the World bankers( amazing all those trophy homes in the Teton Valley, isn’t it…!
    Isn’t mostly what a private lawyer does about gaming things for money, be it transactions, or some trial, or assorted.
    It is sad, the CFO of Freedie Mac, he got intertwined in it all, just like the CFO of Enron, he too had the same final solution( a lost soul in the mix of spreadsheets).
    When you say money and the soul of a culture, are we to presume you are deeply apart of that as well, it is not like you are living on Planet Venus..
    Which is it: money is the root of all evil, or
    the lack of money is the root of all evil ?
    Suppose that depends on a lot of contexts, and many other things, as situations—out there.
    So, in Ca, is it hard to live without money, too, the freeway society, the billions “to get the economy going”, maunfacturing money, so the world goes around.
    Lawyers equal the roesta stone of the culture of money, and some can make speeches about public defenders, but the context on which this is written is not about P D’s or D. A’s, but about civil practioners who make speeches about money, and culture, and bridging such matters in society.
    What does a civil lawyer brag about, to rain-make: Money, just see the cyber ads, he(IT) keeps score on that—money, as if that is the sum all.
    Ironic, indeed, some mention money and lawyers, it is amazing how some try and change the subject, through some clever lawyers twist of contexts, it never fails.
    I look at old prints, drawings of Red Cloud , Sitting Bull, and wonder if the Sun Dance needs to come back.
    Cowyboys and Indians, and clashing cultures, it is endless.
    Several hedge fund mangers made over a billion bucks/ yr, and do so several years in a row.
    What do they do–for society, as some may recall, the int’l banks that got bail outs(vast billions) were loaning money to hedge funds.
    Who got the most money from bankers, the hedge fund clique—what politican: Obama.
    Yes, the treaties broken at Ft Laramie, by all those slick lawyers, and the Chiefs never exactly had a team of lawyers—that were what you call “stand up”.

  2. I tabbed in and read the thing on Mississippi, and fraudsters, link with the current subject.(money & culture)
    A most curious comment(there linked),
    the places in which people(others) don’t ask: where their money came from.
    Can you just imagine if in Teton, with all the big trophy homes, there was some ID on where all their money came from( linked with trophy homes, often second ones)
    Fact is, Teton County Wyoming is the richest county per capita in America( as per census data).
    Madoff blended in- in NYC.
    Others blended in- in Miss.
    Others blended in -in Teton County, kinda
    Look, I don’t have a darn thing against very rich people.
    I don’t have a thing against people making lots of money.
    And, those people are not public servants, or in the
    trenches of workers.
    But, don’t for a second think that somehow the suicide rate is higher among the well endowed with money.
    What is the suicide rate of rich people…. it is not high like that of persons who are returning Vets from Iraq and Afgan–which is higher than the national average.
    Linking some guy in some financal pit with sucide is a non-sequitur.
    I challenge any to come up with the data on this…most major stories on sucide are on returning Vets from Iraq and Afgan.
    That is what I find so sad and troubling.

  3. Money is strange it can be a goal in life that blinds people who have its aquisitions as their only goal. At the same time it can repersent justice to someone who was wronged or cheated. It can be a lot of things. I was brought up in the 50’s and 60’s. I started working pretty young. I always figured you had to work for what you earned. It’s hard for me to imagine what drove this man to hang himself.

  4. Suicide is a difficult subject, to even get into, one often shunned in society.
    What do we see lately:
    young black kids, around 10-12 who have committed suicide, one hung, like the rich CFO of F-M. And, it is in Atlanta Georgia in mostly all black schools, where those young kids were bullied, unmercifully, as they were seen as not macho enough, and targeted, like a young lamb is picked out by a pack of predatory wolves.
    Suicide is not an easy subject to get into, in a deeper way.
    Just an observation, it is something that goes from rich to poor, young to old, all classes, all ethnic groups, all strata.
    I hope the schools in Georgia do something, it is shocking to see what has happened.
    Of course, it is harder for a person in pre-teens, to develop the defense mechanism to cope, as peer groups some times exert a stronger pressure, than parents, churches, etc.
    Also, sucide make no exceptions to even those who have acheived great things, it makes no exceptions as to rank, or privelge, it comes out of some dark places, tearing at ones being.
    Some of you may recall Admiral Borda, and his situation:

    Or google, Admiral Borda, and assorted.
    Even the ring–military– knockers, played with the man’s mind, his honor, his dignity, driving him over the edge, one of the top ranking Admirals, in the USA military.

    • I know all about suicide. My mother’s. It took me thirty years to get over it. But the pain of it became the stuff of my growth. Love to all who have suffered similarly.


  5. Money is not evil, only the way we use it may be our ticket to hell. Most people we love and remember are not rich in money but are loaded with things to share with the other. Our country at the moment could use lots of people who are willing to share.

    • Linnea Johansson

      Here is an “open letter” I wrote and have been looking for a place to post.
      Our situation is not unique in the big picture sense. What we face, and have faced, is a “tumble down” to essentially poverty level living. In the late 90s and early 2000s, for me, it was “paycheck to paycheck.” When we lost a couple of businesses, an opportunity to buy a house, my employment, along with retirement/seniority/benefits, the house I had bought as a first-time homebuyer in foreclosure, and then both subsequently filed bankruptcy, the situation went from bad to worse. Not to mention, both of us suffered the short end of the material division in divorce matters. We were blessed abundantly with “stuff” – most of which we had to sell or dispose of, and some of which we wished we still had to conduct our own business (jewelry design/fabrication, watch/clock repair, framing, photography and printing). Material losses and monetary losses were in the hundreds of thousands. Yet, in reality, what we value most is still intact: Our mutual love and respect for each other (which money cannot buy), our health, and enough material goods and equipment to conduct modest business and household operations. Many did not fare so well.

      However alone we’ve felt, we know we’re not alone. However defeated we’ve been, some have suffered far more, tumbled down from much higher up, and have lost their families and loved ones. So we can offer an insightful perspective, an experience level perhaps most in their 50s may not have. Many did not choose the path of risk, as we did. But sometimes choosing to “stay in the status quo” is more dangerous than taking the risk. Somehow we have to believe that when we move, the universe moves with us. If we stay stuck, then we fight change. I’ve often asked myself, “what if” – I’d had the fame and fortune, like the Beatles did, like Bill Gates did… what would I have done to make a difference in the lives of others? Would I have been the great philanthropist I now envision for myself to become (if only I had the money) – or would I have become a recluse, hiding my wealth and my face from others? I’ve come to the conclusion it really doesn’t matter what others think of me, only what I think of me counts. I don’t believe I’m a failure, although I’ve experienced failure; I don’t believe I’m unemployable, although I’ve been unemployed; I don’t believe I lack creativity, although a certain abundance of it now exists in my slightly altered consciousness since I’ve gotten off this drug called credit. So I can be cynical. It is more important that I spout wisdom.

      After all, I’m 56 years old. How much life can be lived in that period of time? If you live every day of it, without “taking a day off” – I mean by that, literally assuming the day doesn’t matter – then the number of my days so far is 20,546 and counting. I don’t think I’ve lost a single one! I want to keep growing, even if it’s older in this body, because I believe that growth, true spiritual growth, that is – makes us younger, and gets us ready for eternity. That’s a long time, and really is not time at all. The concept of time is unique to humans. So that musing takes me back to my original thoughts, of not being unique in our situation, of not being alone. I want to make better connections, to attract the cash we need to upgrade our circumstances, to find the people who will make things happen for us, and generally, to survive and prosper.

      Would you want the same, for yourself, for your family, friends, loved ones? Why not give a little, and see what happens? Why not try letting go of some of your abundance, be it money, be it time, be it material goods, be it love, even be it sadness, or pain, or guilt? Let go! Give it up! Spread it around! See if you can put your money where your mouth is, see if you can use wisdom to grow, in new and different ways. See if you will be blessed as a result. What’s in it for you? Satisfaction, guaranteed. Why? Because someone else will be healthier, happier, more prosperous? Maybe even do better with the capital than you could have? Maybe even turn around and bless you back?

  6. Hey Gerry,

    Picked up ‘Give me Liberty’ at a Salvation Army Store for like 3 dollars. Did not know who you were. My wife saw the picture on the front and said “Isn’t that guy who was on television and they were showing his house” on like America’s Great Homes or something. And then I remembered you.

    You wife said “I’ll build you a house you can live in.”

    That stuck with me, as I suppose it was intended to stick with you. I hope you are enjoying your newer home. I’ve enjoyed your book. Now I aim to pick up “How to argue and win every time”

    My grandfather used to say before he died that humans are not capable of handling financial prosperity. That it has a side effect of destroying everything decent and moral about a society. I think he may have been correct.

  7. David Beauvais

    I don’t know why this guy committed suicide but lately there seems to be an epidemic of men killing their families and then themselves. This speaks to money as the chosen value, a pathetic choice for sure, the loss of which brings unfathomable shame to those whose sense of self worth is tied to financial success. For those who do not go this route, the economic collapse is an opportunity to rethink the destructive values that dominate our culture and replace them with others that are better suited to our survival such as connecting with our neighbors, getting involved in the political system to stop the drift toward a police state, and embracing the outcasts including gangs, prisoners and the poor. This horrible era of rapacious greed has got to end. Greed is not good, Mr. Milken.

  8. Money a subject that seems to weave itself into much of what is written in this blog site. Mr Spence all I know is that I don’t know how to live without it. I do known now that there are things more important than money to me. Love, my word, my spirt, fun, health …
    I start a jury trial on Monday in Palm Springs.
    Its about —– yes money.
    Rich is being sued by a friend. Two investments have now gone bad. Greed has forced this family and friends apart. And a poor jury has to listen to what some experts say a friend should have to tell another friend before he takes his money and invests it. Even though he got his original 350k (and a profit) the investor wants more, he now thinks he should have gotten what Rich got even though Rich did all the work. And with no contract, Rich now at 70 has to defend his honor for the first time in court all for ‘dead money.’
    Thank you Mr Spence, I felt I needed to look you up today now I know why.

  9. The flip-side:
    happiness of unhappiness, life from death, light from dark, hot from cold.
    So, we see(via the wire reports) a man, a high CFO get swept up in some vortex( of red inked up debit columns) where he sees no out except to just–end it.
    Then, we are told about the King of Happy- Jacks.
    So, being a google addict( I wonder if I am addicted to computer-masters),
    I go to the Kingdom, via a few key strokes.,8599,1016266,00.html

    The place that has only a few more inhabitants than Wyoming.(the Mountains at least twice as high)

    So, what else is there about Bhutan:

    However, where is the happy quota, brought to light by a distraught CFO at Freddie Mac.

    This we are told on the new king taking over that :”King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14 December 2006); note – King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the throne on 14 December 2006 and his son immediately succeeded him; the nearly two-year delay between the former King’s abdication and his son’s coronation on 6 November 2008 was to ensure an astrologically auspicious coronation date and to give the new King-who had limited experience-deeper administrative expertise under the guidance of this father “.

    Bhutan has only 1 airport with a paved runway.

    Compare that to L A which is paved over with a lot of GDP laden big porky dollars/ CEMENT.
    Stimulus– get the pave- rollers going

    Sounds like an enchanting place for a visit.(not easy to get to–either).

    If only we could have booked a trip—to Bhutan– for the now gone CFO.

    Yes, each day is a gift, if in a downer state, change you frame of references, move, mix it up, get out of the box. Just my 2 cents.
    Oh, is it true, lawyers are the happest people on earth ? Just kidding. We all know they are ecstatic,
    a la the Kings of Tort
    According to one other tid-bit, there were no lawyers in Bhutan’s legal system until the 1980’s, and it has no constitution:

    I have some advice on matters: ” Don’t let the bast**ds get you down”.

  10. It’s a sad commentary on the state of the news that, when I hear someone killed himself and DIDN’T kill anyone else, I sigh with relief.

    I have a decently paying job right now after many years of scrambling to get by. (Meaning that I can make some repairs to my small house & help more homeless dogs.) Must say that, although I would like to think of myself as an empathetic person, I simply can’t put myself in the shoes of the FM CFO. Guess I am deeply grateful that money doesn’t mean as much to me as it did to him or others of his ilk. Seems like a lot of people now are learning to look at being creative about their needs and wants. Hope someday the gratitude I feel will be widespread.

  11. I was curious on suicide rates, and a data base shows on per capita per country.
    The top 3 countires for highest sucide rate are:
    Belarus 2nd highest
    Russia 3rd highest

    On the lowest,
    Jordan very lowest
    Honduras, next lowest
    Hati( 3rd lowest).

    Hati looks to me to be a hell hole, but is there any correlation between suicide and some happy factor…. per National Happy Index.
    The USA was kind of in the middle 17.7 per 100,000 people.
    The highest was 68.1 per 100,000 that being Lithuania. I saw no data on that for Bhutan.
    Of course, it is a indiviudal thing.
    It seems that the Countries around Russia, that block of the world area has the highest suicide rates.
    Also, the suicide rate for males is significanlty higher than for females in all countries.
    Ok, at least you peaked my interest in some exotic place to go to, Bhutan looks like it should be put on some list of must things to do.
    Ok, which professions have the highest sucide rate: white male veterinarians, follows by white male physicans.
    That data on lawyers seems to be rather sketchy in this area.
    Another survey used a religiousity index and a suicide index, and came to the conclusion that more religious countries have lower sucide rates:

    Chief Financial Officers(CFO’s) do not do themselves in more than Veterinarinans(animal DOCS), over all.
    So if you are a dish-washer in Hati, you make the top tier of the list(on the odds, in some studies).
    Gee, a very poor country, like Hati not a lot of money floating around, maybe there is something to that money thing.
    However, here is the result of one study, more data:
    There was a trend towards a negative correlation between per capita income and suicide rates in men. Men in countries with lower per capita income commit suicide more frequently than men in countries with higher per capita income.
    The State with the highest suicde rate on some studies is Nevada, which was double that of New York, and second highest was Wyoming.

    Conclusion in one major study:
    Socioeconomic improvements are needed to reduce suicide rates.”

    So, I suppose if you are a lawyer, who is flithy rich, you are in the zone to stay out of trouble, maybe—depending on… etc.

    The guy –CFO– committed suicide not because of too much money, but becasue of too little money, and too much debt that surrounded the entity he worked for.
    So, is that a lesson: always work for a place that is flithy rich, and that will make you flithy rich.
    The data overall seems to show, lack of money is more likely to do one in, and lack of money in some org one is associated with.
    I mean that is the data.
    Sorry Gerry, I know greed, money lust, avarice, etc, the bible on etc.
    I just ran some data searches, If any want to take issue with, by all means, have at it.
    This makes no judgements on any particular person.
    Don’t lawyers please their clients, & make them happy if they get them big mula ?
    I mean isn’t that almost a self evident thing.
    I have not run a data correlation on booze and sucide rates, but seeing Russia near the top, and assuming the vodka consumption, there must be some correlations—there.
    But, please any who take issue, please have at it, if you think the old saw about it is easier for a elephant to pass through am eye of a needle, than for a rich man to get into heaven, somehow applies to rich lawyers, who
    are extradorinarily happy –here on earth, etc. I know, some are rich in many ways(other than money), value of people is important, but just because a person has money does not make one guilty in all those guilt profiles —does it ?
    Why is Wyoming so high on the sucide rate ?
    It certainly isn’t because
    of all the rich lawyers there—that is for sure.

    • Well, Lee, thanks for your hard work on suicide rates. People kill themselves because they do not want to live. They kill themselves because they are in pain, emotional or physical or both. The human organism is not well adapted to pain. If we want to stop suicide, stop pain. Simplistic. Love is a great antidote to pain.
      I like the idea of Bophal’s kind. He strives to provide a higher GNH (Gross National Happiness) for his subjects.

  12. Suicide, like any loss of life is a tragedy no matter the reason and to whom it occurs. I feel nothing but sympathy and sadness towards the acting Chief Financial Officer of Freddie Mac and his family.

  13. Life is something that if one lives it there will be pain.
    Sadly, the CFO took it all on his sholders, but he was not Atlas.
    May his soul rest in peace.

  14. Suicide is permanent. Happiness is fleeting. Does money bring happiness? yes and A friend of mine is laying in a sickened condition for over 5 years now and heir to a large oil fortune. His life and funds are controlled by others. Does money bring happiness? un uh. There is no love available to my friend because he is guarded like Howard Hughes in his later years while the vultures circle the hearse as it’s being polished.
    One minor obstacle in all that money..It will not fit in a coffin,nor will real estate, automobiles or fine guitars, wine and women. Suicide sometimes relieves the suicider of pent up guilt which seemingly has no other option. Poverty with no hope in sight paves the way to slow suicide through many avenues.Drugs, alcohol,self abuse in general due to feelings of worthlessness. Can the unlovable, the unloving be “Loved” back to carrying for themselves? “Love” is a highly encompassing thing. Self-love is a balancing act where one can topple off into loving thyself above thy neighbor
    and trampling over them in the rush to love thyself without limit. Love is a complexity and manifests itself in actions or does not exist. Love acts like love, smells like love, smiles like love, and does not look in the mirror. Shame, disillusion,are the gang plank for the sea of suicide. What is happiness anyway? Happiness is personal. What makes me happy does not necessarily do it for you, or vice versa. I would be happy to be in a damned TeePee watching white buffalo against a backdrop of wide,orange skies with my children roasting jackrabbits on a spit of a campfire. I would listen to the night critters chirping and watch falling stars in darkness of crisp, smogless air,for one hour undisturbed by materialism and commercialism and greed and lust and judgemental know it alls. That would be destroyed of course, then I would become suicidal knowing all I loved got sand kicked on it.
    Why this man committed suicide or was “suicided”? I wonder if “Brownie” ever had those thoughts when Hurrican Katrina breezed into town.

  15. Money is deeply entrenched in the culture,
    Most civil lawsuits are about money, at the end of a suit, if one prevails, one(Mr Esq) hands over a check to client Party- Plaintiff.
    Every day many millions of transactions are recorded via credit cards, bank transfers, wire, etc.
    If money was not part of the culture, how is one to conduct commerce, and enage in so much in which money is the glue that ties relationships into a bond of ordered arrangements ?
    Of course, money is not the totality of culture, and relationships between people.
    If people were not paid money for their hard work, services, then do you want to head up a chapter on servitude, slavery, and that side of
    matters ?
    Money has many sides,
    a cost side on one end of a transaction, a profit side on one segement.
    What if a lawyer took a case, never advanced any costs, never took any depositions, just shuffled paper, and told his client,
    I could care less if you get a dime buster –to hell with this money stuff ?
    Money is not the sum total of all, but it is in our(USA) culture to stay, as long as people deal with one another in the many ways they do. Money brings some up, it brings others down, it is what fills the courts on civil fights, unless of course some start settling beefs/ scores with rockets, bombs, guns, and arms.
    Money produces power, and the nexis of big big money and power can produce great injustice.
    But, I doubt any want me to get into that, here, considering how long it would take to really address that.

  16. Some would trade good health for all the $$$ in the world. Lose good health, & that is the ultimate slippery slope.
    Howard Hughes seemed to lose his mind, but he sure seemed to traffic in big money, major power, and he was trapped in the end.
    life without good health, is one diminished.
    To good health. We wish.

  17. Isn’t the term “living will”, an oxymoron ? Kind of like Central Intelligence Agency..
    Only Jesus escaped this earth, alive, if the Bible is not a fiction, Buffalo Bill sure never rose from any grave.

  18. Money of one has an after life, why just look at all the legal fights on the heir of Lady Astor, the State of New York, the lawyers are salivating over the meter runs it has engendered, same with Howard Hughes, his estate produced major cash flows for over 10 years, to assorted law firms, fighting over how to split Howard’s

  19. People die, sooner or later, but their left over money( if uncle don’t grab it all) moves on to somebody.
    The State of New York want to put Ms Astor’s son in jail,(indicted him no less) because it asserts she left all the money to chairities in New York, and sonny boy, is a criminal for influencing her for a cent.
    Do people do things over money, which give rise to pundits exclaming the 7 deadly sins, why of course.
    All money is not the Hope dimaond, it takes real bread for some to get all those trophy homes, for
    display in all those artsy Magazines, now don’t it.

  20. So, this wondering if Browine ever had thoughs of committing suicide,(f/ Jer), and some transposing those musings on AIG employees, as a class(Senator corn Husky), knowing little about the individual persons, their particulr situation.
    Brownie(BUSH FEMA DIRECTOR) never caused all the dikes, levees, and mounds of water control structues, canals to fail.
    When a major city turns into a major lake, it reeks havoc—super havoc. Browine had nada to do with the defective pumps, the shoddy levees built on quick sand, and snakey canals, the massive fraud in La, in some of its porky public works projects.
    Yes, victory has many who claim it(when it comes), and handing out guilt has its own special provience.
    Brownie was made to be the devil, villified, and had scorn dumped on him(the Press going balastic),
    FEMA never built the shoddy quick sand mounts of dirt, that washed away like a sand castle on the back winds.
    Did any sue Browine—no, however, now a $ 100 billion suit is in the works, the federal judge cleared away the motions for it to proceed, as to the final damages.
    It is not against Brownie.
    Gone with the wind, a saga still unfolding. THE INDUSTRIAL CANAL… IT IS EXHIBIT No 1.

  21. Marcus Aurelius

    The Dalai Lama was in Boston today to speak to a conference on Meditation and Psychotherapy. All of the Harvard luminaries and arrogants seemed like ants in the presence of this man’s beaming compassion. It made all of our strivings and pettiness feel small and silly. As he walked out of the room, flanked by high security – the pall of Western grasping and climbing closed its grip on the room and we all went on staring at each other’s adequacies and inadequacies – for which money can feel like a grand inoculation – but of course which is driven by these underlying feelings. It is a novel perspective to see the reality of this man’s other way – something I’ve felt in Gerry’s presence – but anew with Mr. Gyatso – the Dalai Lama.

  22. Bhutan has a state sponsored religion a form of Buddhism.
    Does it make the residents of Bhutan happier, acheiving some high happy quota–in some index on the happy scale, per capita happy utopian scores ?
    Well, I have never met any who have lived in Bhutan, it seems like one of those the grass is greener over there things.
    I thought Gerry, and his followers of nirvana were kind of down on religion, now there is this notion that money is some killer.
    I have not seen any Buddihist monks come on here to distil their wisdom, but the Tetons must be the nearest enchanted Bhutan like area in the USA, so free of murder, worries of grubby money, killer influences, the utopian enclave off of the rat race tread mills that those others must have to face.
    Lots of lawyers per capita in Teton, they must really have lots of experience in the trenches for people, keeping the snow free of U-235, and the air fresh for the Hollywood jet set, and the steam of consciousness utterly pure.

  23. Marcus Aurelius

    Clayton –
    I think you’re very right to point out the essential aspects of money. And of course, Shakespeare did not say that money is the root of all evil, but rather the LOVE of money. I DO love it too though. .so that is my problem.

  24. Marcus:

    Shakespeare did address money and love in the
    Merchant of Venice.


    Most like what money can do, the freedom it provides. For example, at a basic level, buying food, putting a house over ones head.
    However, money can cause problems.
    And, those with the most money, can use it as a sword to dash justice, among those who have much less money.(Gerry knows more on that, than about all)
    The knock on earning money without hard labor has deep historial roots, as does the bars to earning interest on money.(see the nexis on that with religion in assorted cultures)
    Then—credit cards were invented.
    Most people love what money can do, particuarly those who never had much at some point in their life.
    However, there is a point on “money the murderer” in some instances, it can cause things to go awry, as one need only watch the news to see the many instances, reflecting that.
    Unfortunately, living wages for most people in the world is absent, and their is a vast misallocation of resources.
    I was merely pointing out the reality of money, commerce, and I will seek to restrain my lust for too much money, but is there ever, enough..?
    Unfortunately, I was not on the billions bail out list, some how my name was missing when that list was made up.
    I fear my name is on some other lists–by the powers that be.

  25. Hello, I am a voice of being alive for 20 years.

    Money is anything that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts.[1] The main uses of money are as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store of value.[2] Some authors explicitly require money to be a standard of deferred payment.[3] The dominant form of money is currency.

    You can call it money, currency, cash or “bling”. The term money has been used for a very long time. But I have not always seen money as the LOVE of money kills.

    We people have always decided what was valuable to us from the very early times. Anything that supports our self-interests is generally considered as something which is of value. We have our basic needs like food etc to stay alive. A person’s share on what he wants is divided by what we are able to give in return. Therefore a trading system was started. It is similar in the old used term “you get what you give”.

    But of course it has never always been the case. We often give more than what a tangible thing is worth. Rarely do we give less.

    Therefore a term called “money” came in where it is decided that it should be the standard for trading between people. How valuables you get depends on how much you have. That is often the case.

    What we see as valuables as I have said is what we see and perceive from influences from others or ourselves as something which we like and want. It is not the LOVE for money that kills. But rather the bottomless pit of GREED that we all have in different things that kills. Without greed there will be no wants, without wants there would be no need for money. I sometimes see money as something which is used to cover up our nature of being greedy.

    It is a given through many old stories and examples that our wants begets problems. If you want something, you earn it. To earn it, you work for it.

    I am unable to express any real and raw emotion as to what a suicide is all about. Not being a victim of such a case. I can only imagine how painful it is. How general of a term can I give to what suicide is. Based on stories? Newspaper articles? Television News? Only a person who have been a victim of such a case can give a clear and true understanding of what it is. I often tend to express things especially matters of reasons what causes a suicide rather generally based on what is available. Only to remind myself that it is still not the true understanding.

    Regardless, money has always been a common factor. Used for so long as a shelter to cover up our inner desires. At least, that is to my understanding.

  26. Wouldn’t it make sense that he could have been murdered? I dont know about this particular case but I know that one of the disadvantages of acquiring lots of money is that if you take advantage of enough people (who have money) in the process, it will come back to haunt you..

    Mr Spence, I read Your book “How to argue and win every time”, and it was amazing, I have huge respect for you, thanks for sharing Your knowledge with others.

  27. What(who) is the “murderer” ?
    Abuse of power has murdered many more than money- State sponsored activities.
    While there are blood killings, there are killings in the civil area, to strip one of the attributes of their full citizenship.
    Just as some say, Berney Madoff is a financial murderer, the Government under the guise of authority and power, can practically strip a person to a mere shell of a human(just short of out right killing).
    Why, even courts rubber stamped “human bondage”, as if people were chattel, and property, outright for long periods after the Bill of Rights . Killing the human spirit, the sense of freedom, is nothing new, it just manifests itself in different ways to adopt to changing times on new ways of exploitation. Why even the States taxed human chattel, as if it was sanctioning it.
    Murder of human rights is not ablolished because some have ads on T. V that broadcast some slick ads with sweet sounding slogans.
    Mr Spence knows: enslaving(attempts to) the human spirit is something that raw power( THE GOV) engages in, on an almost over time basis, using the hard earned wages it extracts from you to engage in the
    pursuits it burdens society with, under some banner of security, or safety, or PORK stimulants, or other.

  28. Scott Hancock

    I have read all the books you have written. They are fabulous! I have one question, Did you get into studying Philosophy and Sociology AFTER you lost your first cases out of law school? I’m 36 and have returned back to school after about 15 years! It was funny, the other day I was sitting in class and my Sociology teacher went over the Bee analogy you used in your book. A light bulb went off, I see where you are getting your “stuff” now. I have aspirations maybe of going on to law school after I get out of college. Your books are very inspiring. I also used the Jody Bonnie case for a book report in Organized Crime, showing the unscrupulous nature of pharmaceutical companies using thalidomide.I wish you had more books.

  29. Living is the best teacher.
    i have paid a lot of tutition in the school of hard knocks, from all the mistakes I have made.
    Professors in big institutions do not have most of the answers..
    Living well is more essential to ones own life.

  30. With precisely the wrong attitude I walked into the kitchen, pulled down and opened my box of Jerry Spence. There in the bottom of the box was the remnants of the morsel I had consumed 16 days ago mocking me like the ghost of triscuts past. ” Dissappointed consumer” I thought. Wrong attitude I realized.
    To rectify this, ( Churchill , in his nineties,
    once said ” looking back on it all, it seems that attitude is everything.”) I
    offer two positive Thoughts.
    The first is a Jerry Spence story. A little less than a year ago I watched almost all of the Fieger trial. At the end of the prosecutions case, they put on their star witness, the F.B.I. agent in charge of the case. On cross Mr. Spence established;
    1. That he had directed the 90 agent nightime simultaneous raid on the office, for records, and on the homes of employees and children of employees
    to ” serve subpoenas” and ask questions.
    2. You don’t need an F.B.I. agent to serve a subpoena.
    3. The F.B.I. had already secretly accessed
    everyones bank infomation so that any person making who made an innocent mistake about a transaction a year old could be challenged and threatened immediately.
    3. That employees were told that they and sometimes their children had committed crimes if they did not cooperate with the investigation.
    ( Have I lost you yet ?)
    Then Jerry Spence asked,
    ” Did you direct them to ask these people about one good or generous or decent thing they ever did in their lives ?
    Gratuitous ? Yes. Objectionable ? Yes.
    Answered ? No
    But it had the effect of changing everyones focus from the details of the case to the wide screen big picture of right and wrong and from that moment it was not guilty.
    The second thought is this, Mr. Spence. It is very rare for a person to transcend his aspirations .
    (For about a month after the trial I found myself punctuating trial stories with the statement ” The Dalai Llama for the defense , your honor.” – no
    one got it.) Even though your readers of this blog
    tend to gravitate toward legal topics please don’t feel limited to this. Most anything that crosses your mind will find an interested audiance. How different types of people respond to greetings, how different types of women resond to flowers, The sme sunrise after 75 years
    of it, all would be of interest.

  31. With precisely the wrong attitude I walked into the kitchen pulled down and opened my box of Jerry Spence. In the bottom of the box were the remnants of the morsel I had consumed 16
    days ago mocking me like the ghost of Triscuts past.
    “Disappointed consumer” I thought. Wrong attitude I realized.
    Instead, I’ll offer two positive thoughts.
    The first is a Jerry Spence story. You know it
    but others probably don’t.
    During the Feiger trial the
    prosecution put on it’s star witness, the F.B.I. agent in charge of the case. On cross Mr. Spence established;
    1. That he had directed the simultaneous nightime raid on the firms
    office, for records, and on each of the firms employees homes and the
    homes of their children.
    2. That you don’t need an
    F.B.I. agant to serve a subpoena.
    3. That the F.B.I. had already secretly obtained the banking records of the employees and their children.
    4. That if an employee, trying to remember a transaction which was more than a year old misspoke the agent would be in a perfect position to
    say that lying to an F.B.I. agent is itself a crime but the agancy would go easy on them if they cooperated.
    5. The agents told employees that by writing the checks they had committed crimes and suggested that things would go better for them if they cooperated.
    ( I hope I haven’t lost you.)
    Then Jerry Spence asked,
    “Were the agents instructed to ask about one good or generous or decent thing the person had ever done in his life.”
    Objectionable ? Yes. Relevant ? Legally, no. Answered ? No. But it had
    the most amazing cleansing effect on all who listened. By shifting the focus suddenly from the up close view of the sordid details to the vast horizon of the golden rule
    by which we all trust we will be judged it made everyone know which side
    was in the wrong.
    That was so long; I’ll try to keep this short. Mr.
    Spence it is very rare for a person to exceed his ambitions but you seem to have done. Please don’t feel constrained to only write when you have something to say about law or morality. I think any subject you have a interest in would find an
    audience. How different types of people respond to greetings, how flowers look after 75 years of seeing them, what art makes a difference over time.

  32. I’m not so sure I believe it Mr. Spence. I think that people, like continents,can be born with fault lines, fissures that can grow given the right set of circumstances-
    the right set of circumstances for them, unknown to anybody else.
    We all hear of people who
    kill themselves for the things of big cultural value; money or fear of living without it, love, respect, honor, shame. I am sure that there are people who have killed themselves because they thought that they were ugly or did not think people liked them or thought that people were laughing ar them. But none of all those things actually caused the suicide. It was the fault line which gave way. It’s only natural to feel for a life lost and feel just horrible for those left behind. But the act itself
    is so insane that were we not feeling the pain of the loved we would view is comic- like John Belushi’s
    Samurai dry cleaner who commits hari-kari over a complaint of a broken button.

  33. Brad Bradshaw

    But money can do a lot of good also, true? Like find a cure for polio, small pox, or educate trial lawyers – like at TLC. Am I on the wrong track when I question, Isn’t greed the real problem, that and the motive and mind set behind some of the people with money? It would seem one of the main issues for the CFO and his family was quite possibly the lack of available, or at least sought-out, mental health. I know of two people in the past 6 months who have committed suicide. One man in his 30s with a 11 year old son in my daughter’s class. I saw the man and his boy together on occasion and the child clearly adored his father. How much pain must the man have been in to put a gun to his chest and pull the trigger, to destroy his life and that of his son as well? I can’t help but think the stigma our society has placed on mental illness is part of the problem – a major problem. Why can’t it be okay/acceptable to see a therapist, and on a regular and ongoing basis if needed? It’s okay to take insulin for diabetes. And why can’t our society acknowledge that those without a conscious who will acquire money regardless of the cost to people and the environment – they have a different type of mental illness (even if, like the schizophrenic, they don’t realize it) and are also in need of help.

    P.S. Its been 12 years since TLC. I miss it.

  34. Are you inferring that people with a lot of money are like “schizophrenics”.
    Is that why you went to the TLC ? Or, some do, or is it to chalk it up — they have some higher purpose ? Some bigger moral plain, some superior station in it all ?
    Money buys things, some say.
    It is a stigma in the Army to get help from war blow backs, like all the stresses of battles. It might adversely impact promotion ops…
    Until, one day, a guy blows up a Federal Bldg in OKC, or etc.. All that rage seems to find an outlet, some in ways not at all socially acceptably–to say the least.
    Are there two kinds of people who if put under the pressure cooker react to:
    a) take out themselves(oneself)
    b) take out a federal Bldg like in OKC, the Tim McVeigh kind of Iraq returning Vet…some bigger message.
    Not a pretty picture of human nature. Sometimes human nature is not all that noble facade that so many make it out to be.
    But, enough of that, the limbric system in the brain is still tied to ancient impulses, despite the fancy costumes, and
    dress codes. In the end, it is man who murders, not money, not things, not
    trinkets. Man–mens rea,
    Money has no mens rea..
    All you at the TLC, try and discount mens rea, etc…Isn’t that what is part of TLC, so how can any say money, when mens rea is so ingrained in the CODES ?

  35. According to most recent studies, psychiatrists and female Doctors (MDs) are running at the highest suicide rates.

    Psychiatrists have always been at or near the top of the list, but the new addition of “female MDs” really gives us food for thought.

    (Risky being on the front lines; especially for “nurturers”.)

    Dale Carnegie: “Most people who are insane became that way because their dreams were crashed on the rocks of reality. If I had the power, I would not bring them back.”

  36. His teachings certainly were true in the case of Mother Theresa. With the writings released AFTER her death – she was depressed to suicide for the last 2/3 of her life.
    We know why.

  37. So in conclusion: being shallow gives one a definite edge at survival!

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