Making ends meet isn't getting any easier. The misery index - the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates - is at a 15-year high, with no relief in sight. Throw in falling house prices, as the PNC household stress index does, and Americans are feeling as strapped as they have since the 1990 recession.
Top executives are generally well insulated from those problems by their multimillion-dollar paychecks, lavish perks and somnolent boards of directors. But don't think for a minute that 2008 has been easy for the CEO set. Ask Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide, Pat Russo of Alcatel-Lucent and Martin Sullivan of AIG, all of whom have been shoved aside as investors tired of their multibillion-dollar missteps.
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