Sep 15, 2008  •  In Finance, NYC, Personal

Another Gloomy Day in Manhattan

The beautiful weather today does little to quell the current situation in Wall Street.

My morning commute was a somber one. Thumbs flew across BlackBerries with more flurry than usual. Newspaper headlines flashed:

“Anxious Morning on Wall Street as Lehman Makes Chapter 11 Filing, Merrill Is Sold, AIG Seeks Cash” (Wall Street Journal)

“Stocks Slide as 2 Wall St. Banks Falter” (New York Times)

“Bank Shot: Wall Street Catastrophe for Lehman and Merrill” (New York Post)

“Wall of Fear: Markets brace for morning after massive bank shakeup” (New York Daily News)

The subways and streets were strangely devoid of financiers, as those who still have their jobs intact had already reported to work hours earlier.

It’s strange to think that New York, once a seemingly-indestructible giant in finance, now only boasts two securities firms (Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs).

J and I do not work in finance so the recent turn of events does not affect us directly. However, we have many friends and family who do – we’re sitting on pins and needles as we wait for our phone calls, emails, and messages to be returned.

Meanwhile, I can’t help but worry myself sick as stories like these flood my Google Reader:

Panic on Trading Floor: Lehman Files for Bankruptcy, Gothamist.

The Day Wall Street Died, Curbed.

Wall Street Debacle Will Have Ramifications for Manhattan Housing, True Gotham.

Lehman Files For Chapter 11, BoA Buys Merril Lynch, Consumerist.

“America’s financial system was shaken to its core on Sunday,” Boing Boing.

I even happened upon this eBay listing, from an ex-Lehmans employee who is selling his Lehmans swag after being laid off over the weekend:

Lehman Brothers Employee swag-Operating Principles Cube

Own a piece of Lehman Brothers history as its being made.

As of now an ex Lehman Employee (just a programmer… I didnt make the mess!), I don’t have much to show for my years there. One memorable item I did grab is a neat bit of office swag that we all found on our desks one morning in 2007 to help us all keep in mind the Operating Principles. It’s a cool cube made of smaller cubes that opens up in different ways and you can read all the different principles like… “Demonstrating smart risk management” (photo 2)

I had mine at my desk in good shape but a colleague broke it… so he gave me his UNOPENED and still shrink wrapped. I kept it that way. It comes with an enclosed note from managment talking about the success of the firm (See photo 3). And the box it came in. If only they could have seen ahead to now…

I am taking this opportunity to at least get something back from my years there. This is a real one-of-a-kind piece of corporate memorabilia in MINT condition. Its employee swag not even client swag so you won’t find these around. I wish management listened to the same things on this cube! Then my good friends…talented people wouldn’t be out of a job. Anyway how you like it and enjoy it…

I still can’t decide whether to laugh or cry over this listing…

Let’s all pray for the best.

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