As Lehman Brothers got ready to file for bankruptcy Sunday night, its employees cleared out their desks, preparing to look for new jobs, but still hopeful that their firm would be saved.
CNBC spoke to both new and veteran employees on their way out. One credit derivatives trader articulated the frustration of Lehman bankers who were hoping their firm would get bought, asking “Is it fair that Bear got 10, Merrill Lynch got 29 and we got zero?”
Meanwhile, a 23-year institutional equity sales vet, who had most of his earnings tied up in stock, said he didn’t know what he would do now. “I never thought it would come to this.”
But just because Lehman’s employees are anticipating that the end of their firm is near, their work isn’t done. Even if Lehman files for bankruptcy, its employees will still have to help the firm wind down. One was told by his boss that even if the stock was at $1 tomorrow, he was still expected to show up for work.
On a lighter note, CNBC reported that the close proximity of Lehman’s offices to Times Square created a bit of a crowd control problem as tourists gathered around the bank thinking the swarm of Lehman employees were just people waiting for a celebrity to show up.
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