Greed is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason. Money controls a great deal how we live our lives. Living paycheck to paycheck leaves us feeling stressed, while financial abundance allows us to live more freely. The news is always full of stories and specials on money. How to save it, invest it, and make more of it. It should come to no surprise that financial independence is one of the most desired goals for most Americans.
Here’s the truth that nobody wants to hear -- Almost everybody can achieve financial independence. It doesn’t come easily though. It starts with one step that most don’t want to do. It starts with living below your means.
Living below your means is where the concept of American greed really starts to take place. We don’t want to live just with what we need. We want more. We want bigger cars and houses. We want more possessions.
Corporate greed is an extension of personal greed. CEOs and executives are in a position to manipulate documents such as accounting records to “hide” extra money that ends up in their pockets. When corporate greed cases happen, it’s more than the offending person that’s affected. Thousands, even hundreds of thousands, people suffer in the form of lost pensions, life savings, and essentially every reason they’ve saved money.
You may be familiar with a few of the cases that were popularized the media: Enron, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Bernie Mac. They were just the tip of the iceberg. The top 10 worst cases of corporate greed combined, total to almost 900 billion dollars. Whether it was accounting fraud, Ponzi schemes, or securities fraud, these companies found took their greed to a new level with these astonishing crimes.