Those profiting from misfortune: Vultures or savvy survivors?

vulture and cash & HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Recently the AJC profiled local residents who have found a profitable niche in this bad economy. They’ve found a way to make money by cleaning foreclosed homes and vacant office buildings, hosting gold parties for people to sell their jewelry and by advising companies going through bankruptcies or other financial troubles. And as the economy continues to sink, their profits are rising.

Do you feel these people are vultures preying upon desperate victims of the sagging economy or are they just savvy entrepreneurs with a will to survive? Would you feel comfortable making money off individuals and companies who have been hurt by the economy?

9 comments Add your comment


March 12th, 2009
11:00 am

you could say the same for the funeral home. It is called free enterprise. It will be the business sector who will reverse the financial direction, not the government.


March 12th, 2009
11:15 am

Just like the vulture, those who can capitalize in this economy fill a vital niche in society. How those companies’s that were mentioned in this blog negatively affect those who are struggling financially? They are simply recognizing a growing need and seizing that opportunity to better their own situation.


March 12th, 2009
11:44 am

They are savvy survivors. They are providing a needed service in this economy. Saying they are vultures would be like saying people who buy foreclosed homes are vultures. If the work or opportunity is available make it work to your advantage if you aren’t hurting anyone.

David S

March 12th, 2009
12:06 pm

Only a misguided socialist would ask such a question.

Saving is the engine of productivity, not spending. Yes, the government and the Federal Reserve are LYING to you. People who saved and did not engage in the destructive spending and borrowing behavior of the past couple of decades are now in a position to purchase the excess inventory that this bubble created. The prices for these items (housing, cars, etc.) were all too high, and quantity is also too high. The prices must drop, inventory must be cleared, businesses must fail, and those with the means must be allowed to make better use of the assets. That is how the correction flows from crisis to recovery.

Unfortunately the idiots in our government and the Federal Reserve (the cause of all the problems) only know how to reinflate the bubble so it will burst later on somebody else’s watch. It will burst. That is the law of economics, and it cannot be repealed by majority vote (even if you are electing the messiah). The sooner the prices fall and the assets sold, the sooner we will recover from this.

The govt. is doing exactly what the Hoover and FDR administrations did to prolong the 1929 crisis and turn it into the depression that lasted until 1945. FDR even went so far as to force farmers to plow under crops while people in this country starved to death. All this to keep prices too high. Now the same is being done with housing. The more things CHANGE, the more they stay the same.

I am certainly looking forward to spending some of my savings on deeply discounted items. That is the benefit I get from being frugal. Maybe the example these people set will rub off on the rest of society and savings will once again become an important aspect of everyone’s life.


March 12th, 2009
12:53 pm

I am going to get blasted for this, but I believe that making a living out of other people’s misfortunes is reprehensible. I believe in karma.

Go ahead, rip me apart.


March 12th, 2009
1:06 pm

To momtoAlex&Max: Give me your children – you are unfit to be a parent.


March 12th, 2009
1:27 pm

Who was that said that there’s more money to be had, and quicker, when an empire falls than ever there was in the building up of it.


March 12th, 2009
2:07 pm

I say to the “vultures”, good for them, finding a way to survive, even if it is by seizing the opportunities left by others misfortune. But what percent is misfortune ? Karma, what would you say you are wishing back on them? If they didnt do what they do, the abandoned home next door to you will be left to the rats. THere goes your home value even more. These enterprising people are keeping themselves in the game. And not adding another sad story to the long list. The bad economy has hit all of us in some way. Those that took out loans on homes they couldn’t afford with a traditional loan, selfishly took the chance with no interest loans or those arm and leg loans ! ( i wonder what the percentage of these homes being lost and businesses going under are due to greed and the need to have a bigger slice of pie than they could eat. ) Enjoy the indigestion !

Joy J.

March 12th, 2009
2:24 pm

Don’t be ridiculous! As far as I know, this is still America where free enterprise and “survival of the fittest” made this country strong. It’s not like those who some consider “vultures” are adding any further distress to individuals or to the economy. I say ‘good for them!’