Sunday, 9 February 2014


Bay At The Moon

In March 2012, Reuters, among others, reported that Lehman Brothers had exited bankruptcy and that the former mighty banking institution was still operating in Manhattan, albeit with a much reduced staffing compliment of 350.

What is left is a little spark of flame chasing, what they see as, the bank's debtors to try and recoup money for those creditors who were left high and dry by the bank's collapse.  Lehman Brothers, in case you didn't know, still has access to billions of dollars worth of assets, which it is trying to sell to make good it's debts.

Of course, the question still on everyone's lips and whispered around dark rooms where brandy is poured over wealthy throats - should Lehman Brothers haves been saved?

Lehman Brothers has long been considered the catalyst for our global financial winter.  As it toppled over it took with it many household names in the US before the contagion spread to other shores.  American Insurance Group, Merrill Lynch, the near collapse of Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, and then the Royal Bank of Scotland fiasco, the bailout of HBOS and Lloyds.

PHENOMENAL sums of money were plucked from the pockets of unsuspecting taxpayers to shore up the crumbling edifice of one bank or financial institution after another. As LEhman Brothers was left in the desert without water ( costing 25,000jobs), $186 billion (£117 billion) was found to save. AIG, yet some have suggested that had Lehman Brothers been saved, the American taxpayer would have been saved a great deal of financial grief.

Larry McDonald, former Lehman employee and author of New York Times bestseller 'A Colossal Failure of Common Sense' - a book I would highly recommend - told me that Lehman Brothers could, and should, have been saved with $30 billion.  This is comparable to the $31 billion (£20 billion) the British government found to save Royal Bank of Scotland.

There is a whole book that could be written on Lehman Brothers and many more stories from what Larry McDonald told me, or in his excellent book if you read it.

And yet, there are more stories around those who worked for Lehman Brothers, what happened to them and those associated with the banking collapse - many of them still doing very well thanks very much - and that is maybe another story...

 (Written on a train, well mostly, from Glasgow to Edinburgh- sorry to disappoint ,Robin.)

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