Here’s one eulogy for Lehman that didn’t make the rounds a few weeks back when everyone was lamenting the death of the investment bank and its unique culture:
Here Is The City: ‘Let me start by saying that I’m not one of those guys who goes in for that idealistic nonsense. I remember reading an article penned by someone who lost their job when Bear Stearns failed, and it was all about how the firm was special, that the culture was unique and that they felt that they had lost ‘family’ when the jig was up. Frankly, I think that’s baloney. Lehman Brothers wasn’t my ‘family’, and, contrary to what CEO Dick Fuld and many other deluded souls will tell you, there was nothing special about our firm. It was simply the same as any other Wall Street outfit – filled with bright, energetic people who got their kicks making things happen (and making lots of money).
Although I worked at the firm for over 8 years, I knew that, if push came to shove, I was expendable. I was under no illusion that my firm was any different to any other – employees got paid out in the good times, and were in fear for their jobs when the going got tough. In truth, I enjoyed my time there, and it suited me to stay. If it got to the point where I felt that I should move on, I would have done so in a heartbeat. I’m now at Barclays Capital (for how long, who knows, as many of us fear that we will be chopped), but while I’m here, I’ll give it my best shot. Sure, I’ve lost a few work colleagues who I used to like dealing with, and my Lehman stock (which made up much of my net worth) is worthless. It hurt, but I’ll get over it. I have no choice.
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