Jane Pedreira, the Lehman lady who felt she was robbed because her firm wasn’t bailed out, is quoted in the Wall Street Journal today too. And she still sounds like she’s suffering from an inflated sense of entitlement.
From the Journal:
To this day, she is upset about what happened to Lehman. “It could have been prevented,” she says. “That’s why I feel anger, not even because of me, but because government is supposed to be doing [its] job,” she says. “By letting Lehman fail, it caused a ripple effect around the world.”
This is banker arrogance is stark relief. What on earth made her think that the job of the government was to prevent Lehman from committing suicide? The ideology of socialism for the rich still lives in the minds of some former Wall Streeters, it seems.
But the crude reality is that Lehman Brothers is a classic Wall Street story. Inside and outside, it was a meritocracy. They wanted to one up on Goldman Sachs, generate as good a return on equity and earnings growth so they could win the meritocracy game and get paid in spades. How dare Bear Stearns’ CEO make more than ours! Let’s lever this sucker up with mortgage-backeds and create a trillion-dollar balance sheet. If not us, who? And by the way, very few people at Lehman really understood how upper management was playing this meritocracy game with the rest of Wall Street with the rank and files’ careers.
You see, the idea is that these people were making lots of money because they deserved to. And that sense of entitlement doesn’t vanish just because the market turns against the firm.