Lehman Brothers: the story of the success and collapse of the famous bank

In American history, there have been many financial crises and crashes of large financial corporations that have influenced the economy of this country. - банка, который до этого считался одним из мировых лидеров инвестиционного бизнеса и занимал в этой сфере четвёртое место в США. One of the most recent and significant among them is the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers , a bank that was previously considered one of the world leaders of the investment business and held the fourth place in the US in this sphere. More details about the history of its success and bankruptcy will be discussed further.


In 1844, Henry Lehman emigrated from Germany to the United States. Here, in a small town in Alabama, he opened a store in which he traded products. His customers were mostly local cotton traders. Things were going very well, so in the near future the young businessman had accumulated enough money to help him move to his two younger brothers. They helped him in business, and their company was already called Lehman Brothers. Often it was profitable for customers to pay off their finished products with them. At the same time, getting cotton, the brothers underestimated its value, and later sold at market prices, earning the same product twice. In 1855, Henry Lehmann died, after which the company began to manage his brother Emanuel, who three years later opened a branch in New York. During the Civil War, the firm actively assisted the southern states. After its completion, the established business ties helped the brothers to organize the issue of bonds of the state of Alabama.

Commodity exchange

In 1870, the New York Cotton Exchange was established. The direct participation in its foundation was taken by Lehman Brothers. The history of an investment bank that earns fabulous profits began around this time. In the sphere of interests of the enterprise at that time included not only cotton, but also other products that bring profit, for example oil and coffee. The firm also invested in securities of companies that were just starting their business. It should be noted that many of them exist in our days.


In 1906, the company was headed by Philippe Lehman, in which not one issue was organized for the largest corporations, which traded in consumer goods. His son Robert in 1925 became the last representative of the dynasty at the head of the institution. The education received at Yale University, together with properly placed priorities, helped him not only save Lehman Brothers from the crisis during the Depression, but also make it one of the largest financial institutions in the country. As of the beginning of the twenties of the last century the bank invested in the aviation industry, radio, film industry and trade networks. Under the leadership of Robert Lehmann, the company reached the highest level of its development and became one of the most influential in the United States.

Prerequisites for the crisis

In 1969 Robert Lehman died. Since that moment, the power struggle in Lehman Brothers broke out . In 1975, the bank became the fourth investment financial institution in the country. Despite this, in the early eighties of the twentieth century, many bankers resigned. The fact is that they could not do anything with exchange players who increased their bonuses unilaterally. частью одной из своих дочерних организаций. In 1984, the situation within the bank took advantage of American Express, which made the bank Lehman Brothers part of one of its subsidiaries. Ten years later the company changed its policy and launched the process of publicly selling shares. Thus, the bank once again became independent, and its capitalization grew to bankruptcy.


In early 2007, rumors began circulating about the problems of the institution. His brokers began to issue arbitrary over-the-counter contracts, offering to redeem interest on future mortgage bonds to all comers. It was a very risky game. She fully justified herself while the mortgage market was on the rise. свои требования. However, as soon as the situation changed, the contract owners began to present their demands to Lehman Brothers . The bank had neither funds nor securities to fulfill its obligations. As a result, according to the results of the first half of 2008, the company announced its losses amounting to 2.8 billion dollars. Moreover, the creditors filed claims for compensation, the total amount of which amounted to 830 billion dollars. Proposals to settle the situation through nationalization did not find support in the government. Thus, officials showed that the state does not intend to pay for mistakes made by top managers.

On September 15, 2008, the bank's management sent a petition to the court to declare it bankrupt. The liquid assets of the financial institution in the US, Europe and the East were purchased by Barclays and Nomura Holdings.

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