Lehman Aftermath

A friend of mine worked for Lehman Brothers when they imploded this fall. He recently posted a look back at his experience and frustration with how things went down. It is a great perspective to remember all the people working hard inside Lehman and other firms and companies that are caught up in larger events.

One thing I found interesting was the similarities to Enron in the number of people who had a significant portion of their net worth invested in a single firm. It is easy to sit on the outside wonder how someone could bet their entire financial future on one firm, but as he pointed out it can be very difficult to stay diversified when so much of your compensation is tied to the firm's stock.
Some of the guys were hit very hard. A lot of the bonus is paid in Lehman Stock, part of the 401K is in Lehman, the firm also promoted personal investing in the stock. All in all, if you were with the firm for 20 years, you have a major percent of your worth tied with the company, and then it's gone.
Again, it is easy to second guess when you are sitting outside a firm, safely away from to Kool-Aid pitcher. It should serve as a second warning to others though. Diversify, diversify, diversify.

I'm glad my friend landed in another job quickly, but it sounds like he's still dealing with the reverberations of the meltdown. I wish him the best.

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