Lehman Brothers' First Share Sells for $33,000

Lehman Brothers' First Share Sells for 24,000 EurosWhile creditors continue to fight over the crumbs of Lehman Brothers, one tiny piece of the formerly giant investment bank just demonstrated close to a 66,000% return on investment -- as a collectors item: A 50-cent share in the bank was sold at auction in Germany on Saturday for 24,000 euros, the equivalent of a bit more than $33,000.

The stock certificate, numbered LB0001, was issued on May 31, 1994, when the bank went public. Measuring twelve inches by nine, the certificate hung in the office of CEO Richard Fuld as a souvenir of the firm's initial public offering.

After Lehman's collapse, the share wound up in a lot of mixed financial papers sold earlier this year, before landing at the HWPH Historisches Wertpapierhaus, an antique auctioneer specializing in historic investment memorabilia.

"In the run-up to the auction," The Local reports, HWPH chairman Matthias Schmitt "called the item 'the ultimate (stock) certificate of the financial crisis.'" The share's eventual selling price was nearly five times the minimum bid. "What happened here was just crazy," Schmitt said of the bidding.

The successful bidder -- much like the share's previous owner, these days -- prefers to remain anonymous. (In 2009, Portfolio magazine named Fuld the worst American CEO of all time. Other dubious honors for Fuld include ranking No. 9 on CNN's Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse.)

Lehman Brothers was founded in 1850 in Montgomery, Ala., by three German emigrants -- brothers Henry, Emanuel and Mayer Lehman -- born near the auction house in Würzberg. From humble cotton-trading origins, the firm rose to become the fourth largest investment bank in the United States. Lehman imploded in September 2008, collapsing under the weight of shady accounting practices and bad bets on subprime mortgages. Its fall led to the the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, and is credited with triggering the global financial crisis.

Agence France Presse notes that, more than three years later, creditors owed $370 billion will have to divvy up just $65 billion in recovered assets.

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Did you see the pic of the Wall Street protestor crapping on the American Flag? Lib heroes.

November 08 2011 at 1:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Terry and Mandy

How could Lehman Bros end up with only $65 million in assets. Their artwork collection was worth that. What happened to all the other assets the scoundrels treated themselves to?

November 08 2011 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The most talented authors before 2005 could not have written anything so incredible as what we are witnessing today, six years later.

November 08 2011 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And Ohio elects one of the criminals as its gov republican John Kasich...he loses Ohio's pension funds literally billions of dollars the then they elect him gov??? Go figure, but then again your talking about a state that elected boehner and portman just to name a few...makes no sense. It would seem the actually reward the very politicians that hurt the state/nation the most and do the least good for anyone except china, a multi-national corporation, or a millionaire/billionaire...

November 08 2011 at 10:14 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Wish I had money like that hanging around.....don't think I'd buy a piece of worthless paper though.

November 08 2011 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Funny, now their first share is worth more than the entire company.....That is an American success story.

November 08 2011 at 4:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Our Staff

Should go hang it in the White House since Obama has all those who put us in this global mess working for him. Seems fitting because they were never convicted of anything and they can all pass by it and smile as they all shake the President's hand.

November 08 2011 at 1:09 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Our Staff's comment

thats the furthest thing from the truth, want to see the face of lehman brothers just look to the Gov or poor excuse for one in Ohio John Kasich...tool

November 08 2011 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope that person doesn't work in any Financial Positions in any of the "Bailout Bunch" Corporations!

November 07 2011 at 9:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Glenn Kromminga

And we thought all the nuts were in the looney bin.

November 07 2011 at 8:02 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I could take the Graviton Matrix public (sell shares). It's worth 100 billion. (an ICBM using Graviton Matrix technology will get there in half the time). Naw, I'm gonna sit on it for awhile....Al-

November 07 2011 at 7:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply