The Crash: Snapped by Their Own Suspenders Ouch!

Those yuppie brokers and bankers are bitten by the bear

O.K., so Michael Becker's woes won't bring tears to your eyes, but there's no need to snicker. Becker, 29 and single, works as a broker for Kidder Peabody on Wall Street. He earns a six-figure salary, likes his restaurants expensive and vacations in Africa, French Polynesia, Australia and London. This week he was scheduled to close on a loft apartment, but last week found him on the phone, pleading with his lawyer to extricate him from the contract. "I even told the shoeshine boy, 'I can't afford a shine today,' " he laments.

In the giddy rise of the stock market,...

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