I felt I just had to write about my reaction to the closing of Lehman Brothers, both because of my own emotions and out of solidarity for those people - my neighbours in Canary Wharf, London's finance district - who will not be going to work tomorrow. Lehman Brothers has an impressive building close to that of my law firm. It is hard to believe that behind the glittering entrance and the smart letterhead lay an organisation that was crumbling to the ground. Today as I reviewed a variety of bank mandates it was hard to belive that so many of the big names are now out of the game.
I grew up with these names, it was inconceivable to me that they could ever disappear. We have lost our innocence about certain things by the time we are adults. We know that not all marriages end in 'happily ever after', that people get ill, that Father Christmas does not exist etc. But what about our innocence about the stability of the world we live in, of the names we grew up with? The ones we dreamed of working for one day?
The great depression, huge organisations falling from one day to the next, people walking out of offices with boxes, widespead mistrust of the banking system - to me all that is the stuff of history books, not of the world I live in. I am shocked to the core by this news.
There are lessons to be learned - not only for banks and business leaders - but also for everyday people I think. The recent news shows me how vigilant one must be. How grateful we should be for our jobs, how important it is never to take anything for granted, even when you are a big player. It reminds me that hard times could be just around the corner. That sobering reality is so very easy to forget. Perhaps the news also signals opportunity for new entrants to the market at some point. For now though, my wish is that those people left jobless today will find something else very very soon.
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