A Bonus To Remember: After reading Michael Lewis's outstanding article on the greed, avarice, stupidity and cunning manipulation by Wall Street that dropped the U.S. economy to its knees, what a relief it is to learn of one business family who understands and appreciates how it achieved success.
While many executives compensate themselves with millions of dollars for running their corporations into the ground and ruining the credit and life savings of millions of Americans, the Spungen family of Waukegan, Ill., shared its $6.6 million fortune with 230 employees. Now that's the spirit of American capitalism. What a terrific gesture in these trying times. It speaks proudly of U.S. small businesses which drive our economy and puts in perspective the shame cast upon those Wall Street bastards who destroyed it. The Spungen family, owners of Peer Bearing Co., manufactures ball bearings in the U.S. and England. It sold to a Swedish company in September for an undisclosed amount. Danny Spungen, whose grandfather founded the company in 1941, said it was a unanimous family decision to thank employees with the bonuses. Amounts varied and were based on years of service. "They treated us like extended family," said Maria Dima, who works at Peer Bearing along with her husband, Valentin, and received a somewhat smaller check than his $33,000. "We won the lottery." Danny Spungen and other family members signed, by hand, two thank-you cards to each employee, one in Spanish and one in English. Each card was printed with all the workers' names and the years they were hired. The text expressed gratitude for "the loyalty and hard work of our employees over the years."
Ironic, isn't it, that ball bearings are crucial to run the engines that makes the mechanical world go around. Compare that to the con game by Wall Street geeks fresh out of Ivy League schools who concocted a Ponzi scam so sinister no one but themselves could understand. Not the CEOs. Not the CFOs. Not the regulators, And certainly not Congress with $700 billion laughingly referred to as a rescue package. You think we're tough? Read Lewis's article "The End" on www.portfolio.com.