Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy

The business world seems to be getting really scary!!

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc; $639 billion

The Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, is without a doubt, the largest bankruptcy ever: the size is estimated between $613 billion and $639 billion!

What began life as a general store set up by three German immigrant brothers to the United States, over the years turned into one of US’s largest investment banks.

The amazing story of Lehman Brothers’ story started in 1844, when 23-year-old Henry Lehman, son of a cattle merchant, emigrated to the United States from Rimpar, Bavaria. He settled down in Montgomery, Alabama, and opened a dry-goods store — H Lehman.

Later, when his brothers, Emanuel and Mayer, joined him the company changed its name to Lehman Brothers.

The global financial-services firm, which did business in investment banking, equity and fixed-income sales, research and trading, investment management, private equity, and private banking declared itself bankrupt on September 15, 2008.

Why it collapsed?

The fourth-largest investment bank in the United States, and one of Wall Street’s biggest dealers in fixed-interest trading, was heavily invested in securities linked to the US sub-prime mortgage market.

As the crisis in financial markets gathered momentum, it saw its share price collapse from $82 to less than $4.

It was the exaggerated but misplaced confidence of Wall Street’s longest serving chief executive officer, Richard Fuld of Lehman, that finally led to Lehman’s demise. Over 14 years, Richard Fuld, 62, turned a money-losing bond trading shop into a full-service investment bank. An international squash player, Fuld could not master the final stroke as he failed to keep the 158-year-old banking major alive.

Fuld never changed. He remained the obstinate Lehman loyalist whose pride stood in the way of the firm. If he had sold out earlier, Lehman could have survived. Fuld earned a BA from the University of Colorado and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He started at Lehman in 1969.

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