Lehman Employees Working, Drinking, Waiting to Get Bought

Despite their lack of access to street-vendor coffee, reporters on the scene at Lehman Bros’ headquarters soldiered on trying to grab employees on their way out of (or into) the bank.

What’d they find out? Not much. The sad truth is that no one seems to know what’s going to happen over there (including, we imagine, Dick Fuld):

CNNMoney.com: An older Lehman employee who declined to give his name or position, hurried away from the building, briefcase in hand. “The truth is, no one wants to talk about this right now,” he said. “It’s the same today as it’s been over the past three days.”

An employee who works in sales agreed. “We’re all just sitting around and waiting until we find out who buys us.”

She slung an oversized Lehman tote bag over her shoulder and shrugged. “We were hoping for something better, but now we’re just sitting back and watching the weekend news.”…

One investment-banking analyst spoke with confidence about his job security.

“In banking, we’re pretty sure we’re going to get bought – and if it’s by Bank of America, they’re going to value bankers highly,” he said. “They’ve got C level bankers, and Lehman has A bankers.”

Meanwhile, nearby bars and restaurants are benefitting from the somber mood at Lehman, particularly Bobby Van’s Steakhouse across the street.

“It’s been incredibly busy,” said Shannon Noecker, a bartender at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, which faces the Lehman building. According to Noecker, who said about 30% of her customers are Lehmanites, business booms when banks go down.

“After UBS and HSBC had mass layoffs, we were packed,” she said. “Now it’s going to get crazy because of Lehman – it’s been busy all week, and the traders I know have been drinking a lot. The hard stuff.”

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