Not directed at the authorities this time who were probably right not to
bail out yet another bank with taxpayers money, but at Lehman Chief
Executive Dick Fuld who, it is being revealed, did not take the get out
they were offered like Merrill Lynch.
It is reported that he turned down “several bids” in order to try to
increase the sale price.
To those who do not shed many tears for the average trader, earning
large amounts of money for playing with other peoples cash, it is not
The vast majority of the 4,000 or so people who are now looking for
another job are just like all of us.
It is not just the so-called “masters of the universe” as author Tom
Wolfe dubbed them over 20 years ago in “The Bonfire Of The Vanities”
that have come a cropper. It is the ordinary traders, the finance teams,
the administrators and the secretaries, who worked hard for their
I had many clients at Lehman Brothers, good people with young families
and my thoughts are with them.
In fact my thoughts are with all those affected by the credit crunch.
Those who have had to leave jobs in banking, the property market and our
own mortgage industry. Those families who are being hit by rising
mortgage costs and those struggling to sell as prices have fallen.
Those of us lucky enough to still be in this industry have a duty to all
these people. Not just to help them where we can, to work with lenders
to assist people with issues, but to maybe also treat our jobs that we
often take for granted with a little more respect.
The other day I said to an industry luminary that the last few years was
like we had all been participants in a massive Roman Orgy, all of us in
banking, property, finance and the general public who have benefitted
from high employment and massive house price gains. Unfortunately it was
never going to last for ever, and now the orgy has ended many of us have
found that we have been left with a dose of the clap. Apologies for the
crudeness, but you get the point.
So spare a thought, rather than a penny, for all those people today. We
all need our pennies.
Perhaps when the next orgy comes around, as it inevitably will, we can
use those saved pennies to stock up with the necessary precautions