Happy Birthday Lehman Brothers
Anniversaries and celebrations of past historic events are part and parcel of our everyday lives. We celebrate to remember and to grow up, to change and to learn from what happened. But sometimes that just doesn’t mean very much apart from the fact that that we spend endless amounts of time reassessing the moments that have brought us to where we are today, sometimes with a cold thudding halt in our tracks. One of those dates is September 15th 2008, which will remain poignantly celebrated or mourned by most as the start of the public knowledge of the financial crash with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
There’s a second anniversary that is coming up too this month. It’s the date when the US government sees its deadline expire to be able to file charges against bankers accused of having a significant role in the financial crisis and the collapse of our economies. But where are the prosecutions and where are the people that played major parts in what made us all go under in the world? More importantly, why has the US administration not done anything to prosecute those people as the public have demanded? Are we to allow them to get off scot free and walk away?
There were 15 million documents that were analyzed by theSecurities and Exchange Commission in the US when considering whether or not to prosecute executives from Lehman Brothers. Over thirty witnesses were called in to give their versions of what happened. A federal prosecutor once stated that it was nothing like a murder case with a dead body splattered in blood on the sidewalk after being gunned down. That was supposed to infer that it was impossible to determine whether or not someone was actually guilty or not. Have the federal prosecutors not actually seen the zombies that are walking around now in society that have been resuscitated from the dead after the economies of our world collapsed due to the banker’s mistakes? There are plenty of walking dead as a result of those bankers’ turning off the risk-alarms in their brains that should have told them to stop while they were ahead.
- Today still after all these years (and probably to no surprise to any of us out in the real world) 42% of the US population believe that Wall Street is to be seen as a negative part of life.
- Only 14% of people actually believe that Wall Street has a positive image.
- Only 27% of the US believe that the economy will improve in 2014 and two thirds of the population consider that the state is doing everything wrong.
- 48% of the US believe that the economy will just stay the way it is and 24% think that it will worsen.
- 52% of people consider that President Obama in particular has not handled the economic crises adequately enough.
- 52% have been closely concerned by the financial crises and the economy still today and this is a major concern for them. Although that figure in itself is of great surprise since surely everybody should be closely concerned by what happens in the economy (and not just if you own shares).
Of course Wall Street has a negative image for the world. It’s simply because there is no power that has prosecuted the banksters that caused the financial crises. Richard Fuld Jr. (who was at the head of Lehman Brothers for nearly15 years) was allowed to carry doing whatever he wanted after the collapse of the world. He might have been the ‘most hated man in America’ in self-titled fashion, but it never stopped him after the biggest bankruptcy in the history of the United States from founding the 2009 consulting firm (mergers and acquisitions) called Matrix Advisors. Rather poignant that he chose the word ‘matrix’ as part of the company’s name. Matrix means ‘a situation or surrounding substance within which something else originates or develops’. The originating matter was the risky business that caused the financial crisis. He just started all over again doing the same thing.
He was titled the ‘villain’ of Wall Street by the Republican Representative John Mica of Florida. But villains are likeable characters, aren’t they? They’re not the gangster criminals that everybody hates. That was an understatement as to the role played out by Fuld in the crash and the ensuing financial crisis.
The majority of the executives went on working in the financial sector for Barclays Bank when it bought up Lehman Brothers. President Bart McDade of Lehman Brothers went on to found River Birch Capital an investment company.George Walker ran and continues to run the now independent Neuberger Berman (former) wealth management side of Lehman Brothers.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Prosecutors have never closed the case against the Lehman Brothers’ executives. It’s just hanging there in the air, suspended like a bad smell under all of our noses.
I thought we were meant to instill trust in the banking system once again. At least that’s what we were told was going to happen. But, bankers don’t think like normal people. They are fuelled by greed and narcissistic behavior that powers their heightened sense of competition along with dysfunctional reactions to the way that one should act. This is exacerbated by alpha-male behavior of harassment and demands that are unreasonable by those running the financial sectors and the executives at the top. Bankers don’t think like everyone else because they have been driven by the overpowering feeling of motivation that soon turns into irrationality and a world devoid of humanity and certainly one that is bound by no-limits. Power-hungry people see that rub off on each other in a big game of survival.
It’s no surprise that the banking system hasn’t changed. We have nothing to celebrate with the death of the Brothers. We should have buried them long ago; but we didn’t. They were allowed to go and work elsewhere, they were allowed to stay in the financial sector and they were allowed to carry on regardless doing the self-same thing.
The risk zone of their brains was rescinded to the back office of their brains for good and they have just continued feeding off their big boy’s game.
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