Where Were You When Lehman Brothers Collapsed?

×
Lehman Brothers Building, Sept. 14, 2008History is often measured by "Where were you" moments, incredible events that shift the course of a era, define a generation, or radically and permanently change the national conversation. Some of these, like the Kennedy assassination, the Challenger shuttle explosion, or the events of Sept. 11, 2001, seem to make the entire world stop in its tracks. Others are felt more locally -- at least in the beginning -- but their ripples end up touching nearly everyone.


On Wall Street, the fall of Lehman Brothers was one of these moments. From the floor of the stock exchange to the cubicles and boardrooms of New York's biggest banks, it was clear that the rules had suddenly changed. While the term "too big to fail" would continue to be bandied about, smart investors and clever businesspeople realized that any company could crash and burn, particularly if its CEO -- like Lehman's Richard Fuld -- was unwilling to face hard facts.

Two years after Lehman's collapse, DailyFinance reporters Bruce Watson and Nikhil Hutheesing interviewed some of the front-row spectators who were there for one of the economy's darkest days. In the process, they discovered that, while the impact of Sept. 15, 2008 is still being felt, hints of its magnitude were clear from the very beginning.



Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores matter -- learn how to improve your score.

View Course »

How to Avoid Financial Scams

Avoid getting duped by financial scams.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

17 Comments

Filter by:
Camille

Why would I care where I was when Lehman collapsed?

September 15 2010 at 10:42 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
ralpsimmons6

I know where I was... I was paying Sales Tax Hotel Tax School Tax Liquor Tax Luxury Tax Excise Taxes Property Tax Cigarette Tax Medicare Tax Inventory Tax Car Rental Tax Real Estate Tax Well Permit Tax Fuel Permit Tax Inheritance Tax Road Usage Tax CDL license Tax Dog License Tax State Income Tax Food License Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Gross Receipts Tax Social Security Tax Service Charge Tax Fishing License Tax Federal Income Tax Building Permit Tax IRS Interest Charges Hunting License Tax Marriage License Tax Corporate Income Tax Personal Property Tax Accounts Receivable Tax Recreational Vehicle Tax Workers Compensation Tax Watercraft Registration Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone State and Local Tax IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service FeeTax Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon) Utility Taxes Vehicle License Registration Tax Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. We also were A Common Law Country! I have set up a place that the poor and middle class in the country can start to get some of this tax money back. It is our turn to have a piece of the action. Here is my way to get your loot back. Just google EASY STOCK CASH and click the first link. Once you get there, go right to the PENNY STOCK page to see what the rich don't want you to know.

September 15 2010 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ralpsimmons6's comment
jm2200a

I bet you can't wait to add the "Mother of All Taxes" - Health Care - taking our previously wonderful free and independent USA into heavy debt as a new 3rd world country dependent on the generosity of our World Bank globalist lenders: China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the EU.

September 16 2010 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
telebob52

i was sitting apon the crapper...while making my case the bros came apart...the bubbble burst i thought...my what a surprise...who saw that coming..always invest in toiletries..a common commodity

September 15 2010 at 8:40 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
desking9

Lehman tried to take advantage of a situation that a democrat controlled Congress provided many years ago. The Fed lowered interest rates in the 90s and 2002 which helped to market the situation. Low rates, everyone can buy a home, almost free money and a promise you will never lose. The Fed and Congress look ed at each other and said this will certainly get us out of the economic recession we are in. Free money for alot of people. Lehman saw what was happening and said we need to get a piece of this and make some money. Unfortunately, the music stopped and Lehman was on the wrong end of the political favors end. There were other financial companies who gave more to the politicians.

September 15 2010 at 7:42 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to desking9's comment
jm2200a

I think you are referring to the Bill Clinton pushed mortgage laws that required lenders of FREDDIE and FANNIE, to lower their standards and requirements, putting in jeopardy our whole system of mortgage lending.

September 16 2010 at 1:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
edwalters6

Now they should remember that people such as Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and yes Obama caused this collapse by forcing banks to lend money for homes that they couldn'y pay for in the form of sub prime mortgages.

September 15 2010 at 7:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
j8a3j9

I tried to open a CD at Lehman Brothers Bank in 2007. They told me they only take big money. I took my $50K and went to another bank. I knew they were no good

September 15 2010 at 7:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ofsanik

Why re-hash all of this. All I know is I lost $20K of my $25K bond. Not much I can do about it then-or now.

September 15 2010 at 5:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ofsanik's comment
jm2200a

You can continue thanking the current party in power - as they wrote the program that failed.

September 16 2010 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lawandmed

I can't remember where I was but I would have like to have been castrating these "leaders" with their last blunt, dull penny without any anesthesia and taking the all the rest of their assets past, present and future and distribute them to the ones they hurt the most, main street!!!

September 15 2010 at 5:48 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
chriswisco

Where was I? Only a few days away from refinancing my house to finally expand my business. Despite the fact I had great credit and low debt, the bank got cold feet and backed out of the deal. It's frustrating to work hard and take all the right steps for 20 years to make your dream come true, then it all gets ripped out from underneath you through no fault of your own. I have to do everything short of submit blood samples to make any financial progress, yet these financial institutions can run rampant and unchecked. I feel as if our leaders do nothing but take, take, take... and when it comes time to deliver they drop the ball and disappear.

September 15 2010 at 5:39 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
SEEER4078

How about asking where we were when Washington Mutal collapsed??

September 15 2010 at 4:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply