2 STuPiD 2 SuRViVe (The Real Lessons of Lehman)

williambanzai7's picture




On this eventful third anniversary of the demise of Lehman Brothers, I googled "Lessons of Lehman" to see just what kinds of lessons are to be gleaned from this infamous but hardly unusual Wall Street debacle.

Here is my favorite lesson written by Jim Cramer in New York Magazine on or about the first anniversary:

"A few good banks is better than a lot of bad ones. In the wake of Lehman, we now find ourselves with just a handful of banks left standing that have huge deposit bases and lots of capital—JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.

Although it’s wise to be skeptical of concentration, the upside of this situation is that the banks that are left are reliably solid. Having passed the Fed’s stress tests and being subject to far tighter regulation and greater transparency than before, they should be able to handle even the most profound downturn that could await us. They should also see their net worth build up at a rapid pace. The bad loans they have had to write o? are peaking, the new loans they’re making are more reliable, and they have less competition.

The Lehman legacy, ironically, could be a better, stronger, humbler, more trustworthy banking system. While we certainly took a difficult, painful, and avoidable path to get there, it looks like there might be something positive to celebrate on this dubious anniversary after all." [Source Link]

There are many other similarly ludicrous lessons to be learned if you follow the ridiculous narrative of the obsequious morons comprising Wall Street's fourth media estate.

I will spare you the pain and suffering.

Instead I came up with my own short list, which I will call:



LESSON 1: Spare no expense when it comes to influence. 

Lloyd Blankfein still sits in his corner C Suite office while poor Dick the Gorilla has a banana stand in Palookaville.

LESSON 2: The too bigger the too better.

Dick thought he was Too Big to Fail. As to today's events confirm, the Central Bankers of the world are literally dying to bailout every sick dog in the junkyard. But...

LESSON 3: Just don't let your worst enemy become Treasury Secretary

Hank obviously didn't think so.

LESSON 4: On Wall Street, ignorance is your best excuse.

To this day Dick has successfully evaded criminal prosecution by sticking to his simple story: "I don't know nuttin." Don't know about the toxic shit that was in the basement, don't know nuttin about no about Repo 105 and didn't know the gravitas of Lehman's perilous financial condition.

So far so good. "How am I doin Angelo." 

LESSON 5: It's OK to lie though your teeth if you are trying to rescue a sinking ship.

Just like the management of AIG, Bear Stearns and the rest of Wall Street, Dick has been able to avoid being held to account for all the obfuscation and puffery concerning the true state of Lehman's finances leading up the the bankruptcy. No small feat given David Einhorn's determination to expose the truth.

LESSON 6: Transparency is for wimps.

See Lesson 5.

LESSON 7: Complicated accounting rules are complicated for a good reason, obfuscation.

See Lesson 6.

LESSON 8: Financial bimbonomics (no disrespect to Erin Callan's skills as a tax lawyer) are no match for a shrewd short.

David Einhorn has a keen nose for bullshit.

LESSON 9: It's good to be the undertaker.

Homework assignment: Google Lehman bankruptcy fees.

LESSON 10: Florida is a good place for spouses to hold real estate title, particularly if your spouse is Linda Green.

Corollary--If the Choo fits wear it.

Well I could continue with this, but i think you get my drift. There are plenty of lessons that we have all learned in the ensuing three years. Unfortunately they are not the lessons "they" want us to think about. And the lessons just keep on coming.

Today, courtesy of Kweku Adoboli and UBS, we have learned yet another important lesson which Matt Taibbi put quite succinctly:

"The only thing that differentiates a "rogue" trader like Barings villain Nick Leeson from a Lloyd Blankfein, Dick Fuld, John Thain, or someone like AIG’s Joe Cassano, is that those other guys are more senior and their lunatic, catastrophic decisions were authorized (and yes, I know that Cassano wasn’t an investment banker, technically – but he was in financial services).

In the financial press you're called a "rogue trader" if you're some overperspired 28 year-old newbie who bypasses internal audits and quality control to make a disastrous trade that could sink the company. But if you're a well-groomed 60 year-old CEO who uses his authority to ignore quality control and internal audits in order to make disastrous trades that could sink the company, you get a bailout, a bonus, and heroic treatment in an Andrew Ross Sorkin book."  [Matt Taibbi Link]

Oh, I almost forgot two of the most important lessons: "socialism and capitalism are hollow interchangeable words" and "On Wall Street crime pays handsomely."











. Ken's Lay's  Brain


Ken Lay's Brain 2






. 2BiG2FAIL?





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Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Gorilla Madness!!!!!!

Still waiting to see you in the Times, WB.

Pitchman's picture

“Competition is a sin.” – John D. Rockefeller

Straight up good stuff.  Except you let Cramer the Clown of the hook a little to easy.

For a story about insidious corruption within our government that reads like a Tom Clancy or Ken Follett novel see the "Dillon Reed and Company: And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits" link found here: The Looting of America:

See: Inflection Point

windcatcher's picture

Thanks for the laugh Bonzai although it was a nervous and indignant laugh.


The Fascist (joining of multinational corporations with government) is pure evil and is successful in overthrowing our Democracy, national sovereignty and smashing the American manufacturing economy.


Evil is in control of our nation and soon will be in control of the rest of the World! The UN, Wall Street and the central banks are their weapons of mass destruction. These people are crazy with greed and power (like all dangerous lunatics) and will kill anyone in their way; they are in full control of our economy and nation.


The Fascist are the behind the curtain terrorist, they finance and manufactured “terrorist” and sold it through the controlled media. There are no terrorist attacks against the Fascist who overthrew our country and most of the rest of the World; they walk around unafraid and free because they are the terrorist.

williambanzai7's picture

I just downloaded the Coming Third Reich which is an excellent read on how the Nazis fooled everyone..

windcatcher's picture

In reply to Bonzai:The Fascist game plan is modeled on the rule by elite Nazis. Here are a few quotes from the great fascist that I am sure you can relate to.


Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice.

Mankind has grown strong in eternal struggles and it will only perish through eternal peace.


Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live.


"The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan."


What good fortune for governments that the people do not think."


Great liars are also great magicians.


Hate is more lasting than dislike.


All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.


Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future.


Any alliance whose purpose is not the intention to wage war is senseless and useless.


All great movements are popular movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people.



Struggle is the father of all things. It is not by the principles of humanity that man lives or is able to preserve himself above the animal world, but solely by means of the most brutal struggle


Strength lies not in defense but in attack


Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future.





The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.


The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it.


The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.


Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.


The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. Strength lies not in defense but in attack Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.


If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed


The art of leadership... consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention.


The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.


As soon as by one's own propaganda even a glimpse of right on the other side is admitted, the cause for doubting one's own right is laid


The day of individual happiness has passed


"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country." --Adolf Hitler, dinner talk on April 11, 1942, quoted in Hitler's Table Talk 1941-44: His Private Conversations, Second Edition (1973), Pg. 425-426.


The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.


I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.


Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong.


Sooner will a camel pass through a needle's eye than a great man be "discovered" by an election?


Is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge


I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature. Today I stand here as a revolutionary, it is as a revolutionary against the Revolution.


I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.


Universal education is the most corroding and disintegrating poison that liberalism has ever invented for its own destruction.


He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.


Do these murderous sociopathic statements sound familiar? They should, Hitler is Obama’s, Bush’s, Bankster’s and the new world order’s Idol and their motivation for the future. Sad but true. Now do you understand how anyone could be so mean!







OutLookingIn's picture

Only one thing left to do...

Go to WAR... a really BIG war! 

CompassionateFascist's picture

Banzai needs to take it to another level. This is two daze inarow that MadHedgeFundTrader has raised the laugh ante. And he doesn't need pictures.

williambanzai7's picture

I'm thinking about writing a piece inviting everyone to a lunch briefing honoring my dog Spread Sheets who was a military intelligence officer serving under George Patton.

$5000 a head, cash bar, one free copy of his tell all book Sleeping With Hillary on the Orient Express, vomit bag included...

nmewn's picture

Repo 105...how soon everyone forgets ;-)

MrBinkeyWhat's picture

Holy $hit Bonzai7!  How secure is your bunker there in HK?... Or your "undisclosed location"?

DollarMenu's picture

Thanks, WB7 -

I found your lesson #4 to be really, really nasty.

Way to go!

Captn Morgan's picture

2 Stupid 2 survive could apply to most @ CNBC

New_Meat's picture

Skipper, ya beat me 2 it ;-)  Sunz over the Yardarm. - Ned

Jasper M's picture

"Doctor StrangeLoan"

That by itself was worth the read 

nah's picture

Never give up, neverrrrrr surrenderrrrr!



DaddyO's picture


 Boom!!! The next domino to fall?

Great visual, WB7!


Zero Govt's picture

and then "poof" they were all gone! ....suddenly Repo Man woke up and there was nothing left on Wall Street to Repo ...that's what the "smartest brains" in America have achieved ...first a bankrupt zero, then a bailed out, propped up, walking zombie zero, then finally an imploded dead as a rotting carcass zero.. takes alot of fuking brains that, takes a lot of zeros!

Answers on a Postcard to:

Zero to Zero, Zeros'R'Us Dept., Elite Educated Moron Street, Sheisters of Washington & Wall Street Inc Corp., Postcode: END-THIS-FKN-ERA

Haddock's picture

Strike me down, and I shall come back more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

Zero Govt's picture

the sheisters (parasites of society) will always try to make a come-back... the best way to avoid it is to remove their favourite institution, that shit hole of monopolism and the most corrupt/criminal institution in history by far, Government

take their toy away ...and then let's see how the Rothchilds, Blankfeins and Kennedys et al do in the free market with constant competition and not their prop and protection racket funded by taxpayers to protect them... my guess is these crooks empires/families will crumble

IQ 145's picture

Billions of blistering blue barnacles ! It's me old shipmate Captn' Haddock ! Good day to yer Captain.

Haddock's picture

Avast, landlubber, and a good day to ya.