Lehman Brothers

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The profile of the society p3 
2.Lehman Brothers throughout the years p4
2.1. Under the Lehman family (1850-1969) p4
2.2. Merger with American Express (1969-1994) p5
2.3. Divestment and independence (1994-2008) p6
2.4. Subprime mortgage crisis p6
3. Statement of Lehman Brother's CEO Richard S. Fuld Jr p8
4. How the Fed Reached Out to Lehman p15
5. Lehman Brothers CEO Defends nearly $500 Million Salary p17
6. Behavioral aspects p20


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1. The profile of the society
Lehman Brothers, which shook the US financial system with a statement declaring itself bankrupt, is the fourth-biggest New York investment bank with roots going back to 1850.
The bank, one of the most prestigious names in finance, employs about 27,000 people after staff cuts in response to asset writedowns totalling 13.8 billion dollars because of the subprime home-loan crisis.
OPERATIONS: Lehman is one of the banks at the heart of the US, and global, financial system, being a primary dealer in US Treasury securities - US debt instruments. It has operations in investment banking and asset management, mainly through its Neuberger Berman unit.
FINANCES: Lehman posted a loss of 3.9 billion dollars in its third fiscal quarter to the end of August, following a 2.8 billion-dollar loss in the second quarter. The firm has written off 13.8 billion dollars linked to the US subprime mortgage crisis, and has raised 10 billion dollars through share offerings this year.
SHARE PRICES/VALUE: Lehman shares have slid from a high point of 66 dollars in February to less than 10 dollars. The 85-percent drop places its market capitalization at about 5.5 billion dollars, close to the level of Bear Stearns when it was sold to JPMorgan Chase in a deal brokered by US authorities to help avert a financial system meltdown.
WORKFORCE: Lehman had 28,500 employees at the end of 2007, but has cut at least 1,500 jobs to cope with the economic and financial crisis
2. Lehman Brothers throughout the years
2.1. Under the Lehman family (1850-1969)
In 1844, 23-year-old Henry Lehman, the son of a cattle merchant, emigrated to the United States from Rimpar, Bavaria. He settled in Montgomery, Alabama, where he opened a dry-goods store, "H. Lehman". In 1847, following the arrival of Emanuel Lehman, the firm became "H. Lehman and Bro." With the arrival of their youngest brother, Mayer Lehman, in 1850, the firm changed its name again and "Lehman Brothers" was founded.
In the 1850s Southern United States, cotton was one of the most important crops. Capitalizing on cotton's high market value, the three brothers began to routinely accept raw cotton from customers as payment for merchandise, eventually beginning a second business trading in cotton. Within a few years this business grew to become the most significant part of their operation. Following Henry's death from yellow fever in 1855, the remaining brothers continued to focus on their commodities-trading/brokerage operations.
By 1858, the center of cotton trading had shifted from the South to New York City, where factors and commission houses were based. Lehman opened its first branch office in New York City's Manhattan borough at 119 Liberty Street, and 32-year-old Emanuel relocated there to run the office. In 1862, facing difficulties as a result of the Civil War, the firm teamed up with a cotton merchant named John Durr to form Lehman, Durr & Co. Following the war the company helped finance Alabama's reconstruction. The firm's headquarters were eventually moved to New York City, where it helped found the New York Cotton Exchange in 1870. Emanuel sat on the Board of Governors until 1884. The firm also dealt in the emerging market for railroad bonds and entered the financial-advisory business.
Lehman became a member of the Coffee Exchange as early as 1883 and finally the New York Stock Exchange in 1887. In 1899, it underwrote its first public offering, the preferred and common stock of the International Steam Pump Company.
Despite the offering of International Steam, the firm's real shift from being a commodities house to a house of issue did not begin until 1906. In that year, under Philip Lehman, the firm partnered with Goldman, Sachs & C0., to bring the General Cigar Co. to market, followed closely by Sears, Roebuck and Company. During the following two decades, almost one hundred new issues were underwritten by Lehman, many times in conjunction with Goldman, Sachs. Among these were F.W. Woolworth Company, May Department Stores Company, Gimbel Brothers, Inc., R.H. Macy & Company, The Studebaker Corporation, the B.F. Goodrich Co. and Endicott Johnson Corporation.


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