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Lehman Brothers
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    Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
    Global financial services firm
    Founded by Henry, Emanuel, and Mayer Lehman
    Headquartered in New York City, New York (formerly Montgomery, Alabama)
    Fourth-largest investment bank in the US
    Merged with American Express (Shearson; 1984 - 1994)
    Specialized in investment banking, equity sales/trading, private banking, and investment management
    Filed for bankruptcy protection, sending global financial markets into chaos (Sept. 15, 2008)
    It was an addicted borrower of short-term money (or 'commercial paper).
    They were heavily invested in securities linked to the US subprime mortgage market.
    They purchased so many worthless mortgages to pad the pockets of its (last) Chairman, Dick Fuld, who made off with $150 million.
    After the holdings were deemed ‘high risk’, they attempted to scale down the value of its investments in residential mortgages/commercial property. They took billion dollar loss.
    When its assets were rendered almost worthless, it lost its capability to trade/generate a cash flow to keep up normal operations.
    Several of its executives were later revealed to have used cosmetic accounting gimmicks at the end of each quarter to fudge the reading of their financial reports (malfeasance).
    They seemed to take it for granted that they would be get a government bailout despite their recklessness, but the Federal Reserve denied them. They filed bankruptcy soon after.
    While the mortgage crisis had been brewing several days prior, their announcement set off a chain reaction that shook asset prices and froze credit markets in a matter of hours, sending the US the closest it had been to a Depression since 1929.
    Their Bankruptcy filing, as of 2016, remains the largest such filing in US history.
    They became so synonymous with economic malpractice that – two years later - they became a reference in the kids movie, ‘Despicable Me’ (Felonious Gru tries to get a loan for his schemes from ‘The Bank of Evil (Formerly Lehman Brothers)’).
    It originated as a first-generation Jewish immigrant family's dry-goods business.
    It gradually morphed into a commodities brokerage/trading service (at first only dealing in cotton).
    It ironically managed to survive the Great Depression by focusing on venture capitalist opportunities.
    It was ranked only after Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch, in sheer size and numbers.
    They bankrolled the initial public offering for the pioneer DuMont Television Company, in the early 30's. They also helped fund the Radio Corporation of America (RCA).
    It occupied three floors of the World Trade Center (remarkably, only one employee was killed on the September 11 attacks).
    As bad as they were, they weren't much worse than the subprime mortgage disasters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (and yet the Fed and the Treasury opted to bail them both out).
    There hasn't been an actual Lehman family member at the helm since 1969 (its a bit much to say they'd be rolling over in their graves, but...)

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 240 Votes: 62.50% Annoying
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