Belmont Club

Reversal of Fortune

The web is littered with the ghostly presences of organizations which have undergone a such a drastic change in fortune that they seem to mock their former selves.  For example, one can still visit the Second Mile website, lately connected to Jerry Sandusky.  And it is still possible to peruse the career opportunities at MF Global.

At MF Global, we provide both the learning and career opportunities necessary to fulfill your professional goals. Our global management team fosters an environment where employees are encouraged to participate and offer their perspectives.We invest in our employees and take pride in their achievements, because at MF Global, we believe it is the caliber of our employees that differentiates us. …

For more information on job openings available at MF Global, please click here to browse through current openings.

Reading this just as the headlines shout that MF Global has fired more than 1,066 employees effective immediately makes for an eerie experience. Many of those fired received notice by email or just heard about it on the news.

“Fifteen years and no severance!” shouted one angry MF Global employee as he left the firm’s offices on 5th Avenue in Manhattan after hugging the receptionist and doorman. …

A middle-aged man who said he had worked for MF Global for 23 years but who declined to give his name left another of the firm’s New York offices wearing a black t-shirt over his collared shirt that was laced with profanity.

At the Chicago Board of Trade, one MF Global employee sat in silence after a Reuters reporter told her about the mass layoffs. “No, I hadn’t heard yet,” she said, after a moment.

Asked about colleagues who were let go earlier this week, she said some have put on a brave face about landing another job. “But I told them, this is totally different because people are finding it hard to find jobs for 12, 18 months.”

Not to worry. They’ll be paid through November 15.

That life-changing event can happen just like that. Snap. One moment you’re a trader and the next, you’re walking home to save on the subway token. It can happen even before the webmaster can change up the page. Or more probably since there’s no money to even hire the webmaster to alter the page, the career opportunity section at MF Global will stay up until the registration runs out or the hosting company pulls the plug, whichever comes first.

Despite the Happy Days Are Here Again stories in the press, a dark economic cloud hangs over most of the world. There is real uncertainty in the air. Most everybody knows that a big lifestyle change can be just an email away and wonder if … As one fictional character put it, “the world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air” But the same character added, “things will go as they will; and there is no need to hurry to meet them.”

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