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samedi 3 mars 2012

Silicon Valley Homeless Feel The Grip Of Recession's Long Reach

The first time Michele arrived at the Maple Street homeless shelter three years ago, she was still driving her BMW 325xi, the final remnant of her Silicon Valley affluence.

Her paper wealth of more than $2 million had evaporated a decade earlier, she says, via a stock options fiasco. She had used the options to buy stock in her high-flying software startup, netting a seven-figure profit by the government's reckoning, but then held the shares until they were nearly worthless. That left her with no cash and a $200,000 tax bill. She had sold nearly everything to cover it: her house, her remaining stocks, her art collection.

Periods of joblessness, punctuated by depression and bouts with alcoholism filled out the ensuing years, with cause and effect blurring into a cohesive whole -- one life, unraveling.

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