Banker -- or Reptile?!

Dick Fuld Sea TurtleWhen Wall Street money men talk about their work, the metaphors fly. A successful banker or trader needs to be "cold-blooded," with "killer instincts," attuned to "animal spirits" and ready to "rip the face off" other traders. Or, as Solomon Brothers' John Gutfreund succinctly put it, a trader must start the day ready to "bite the ass off a bear."

Forget the seemingly civilized, paved streets of lower Manhattan: apparently, the financial world is -- like nature -- red in tooth and claw, a hard, harsh killing field where you're either predator or prey, victor or victim. Little wonder, then, that the men who thrive in the dark canyons of high finance sometimes seem to resemble the cold-blooded killers that they revere. Looking through the pages of The Wall Street Journal -- or even this week's recaps of 2008's Lehman collapse -- reveals a seemingly-endless parade of gimlet-eyed moguls with razor-blade smiles.

As a final capper to our week of Lehman coverage, we humbly offer a different look at the masters of the universe who played the game, ruled the street, and walked away with wheelbarrow loads of cash. In the gallery below, we've compiled shots of some of the coldest, hardest predators in the world... and a bunch of cuddly reptiles.

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