Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Importance of Lehman Brothers of Wall Street to American Life

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                   
Former Lehman Brothers New York City Headquarters,
an investment banking worldwide firm.
Now owned by Barclays

Bernie Sanders, Independent Party, Senator from Vermont though born in Brooklyn, New York City, NY, has been knocking Wall Street as if it is the worst place that has happened to the USA. "Wall Street is a 0.7-mile-long (1.1 km) street running eight blocks, roughly northwest to southeast, from Broadway to South Street on the East River in the Financial District of Lower ManhattanNew York City.  Donald Trump is from Manhattan.  On Wall Street one can also find "other major exchanges in the Wall Street area, including the New York Mercantile Exchange, the New York Board of Trade, and the former American Stock Exchange."
September 15, 2008, day of Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy
Chapter 11

ProductsFinancial Services
Investment Banking
Investment management
Number of employees
26,200 (2008)
SubsidiariesLehman Brothers Inc.,Neuberger Berman Inc., Aurora Loan Services, LLC, SIB Mortgage Corporation,Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB, Eagle Energy Partners, and the Crossroads Group
Socialist Bernie Sanders: Most of his big contributors were the Unions.

On his website is an article that says: "
Less than a year before the 2008 collapse of Lehman Bros. plunged the global economy into a terrifying free fall, the Wall Street firm awarded nearly $700 million to 50 of its highest-paid employees, according to internal documents reviewed by The Times."  Ahh yes, I remember when the stock market collapsed in 2007 and my Oppenheimer A account-made mostly of bonds and just a few stock, collapsed and I lost my savings I was just beginning to live on being I had recently retired from teaching.  I found out later that my bonds were worthless bonds showing loans to people for homes they could not afford.  That was not supposed to happen!  It's a wonder I didn't have a heart attack right then, but waited till 2009 for open heart surgery.  Meanwhile, the Lehman elite of 50 people were due to get $700 million.  Evenly divided, that would be $14 million per person. On September 15, 2008, they declared bankruptcy. 

 However, "
 documents, which were among the millions of pages submitted in Lehman's bankruptcy, show the list of top earners each were pledged $8 million to $51 million in cash, stock and other compensation. How much, if any, of the stock was cashed in before the bankruptcy wiped out its value couldn't be determined.

The Lehman documents provide a rare peek into Wall Street compensation practices, because federal regulations require salary disclosure of only the five highest-paid officers of a corporation. The documents reveal, to the dollar, the pay packages promised to individual traders and investment bankers at Lehman - a well-kept secret up to now.

 I think he's just jealous.  On September 11, 2001 (9/11), Lehman occupied 3 floors of the World Trade Center.  One employee was killed in the terrorist attacks of that day.  Its global headquarters was in Three World Financial Center which were severely damaged and rendered unusable by falling debris.  This displaced over 6,500 employees.  The bank recovered quickly and rebuilt its presence.

Trading operations moved across the Hudson River to its New Jersey facilities where an impromptu trading floor was built in a hotel and was brought online less than 48 hours AFTER the attacks.  When stock markets reopened on September 17, 2001, Lehman's sales and trading capabilities were restored.
Wall Street in Manhattan, New York City, NY
Lehman Brothers is an investment bank.  They did not move back to its former headquarters in lower Manhattan.  Only Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, of the major firms, remained in the downtown area.  Lehman, though committed to stay in New York City, decided that the new headquarters represented an ideal circumstance where the firm was desperate to buy and Morgan Stanley was desperate to sell, and that when the new building was purchased, the structural integrity of Three World Financial Center had not yet been given a clean bill of health, and that they would have had to wait until May 2002 for repairs to end.

After the attacks, the management placed more emphasis on business continuity planning.  Unlike its rivals, the company was unusually concentrated for a bulge-bracket investment bank.
Henry and Emanuel Lehman
Who was Lehman Brothers?  It was started  in 1844 by a 23 year old immigrant from Bavaria, which is part of what we call Germany today.  His name was Henry Lehman and he was the son of a Jewish cattle merchant.  He didn't stay in New York City where he must have landed but lived in Montgomery, Alabama where he opened a dry-goods store called H. Lehman.  By 1847, his brother, Emanuel Lehman,  had joined him and the firm became H. Lehman and Bro.  Then their youngest brother, Mayer Lehman, arrived in 1850 and the firm changed its name again and Lehman Brothers was founded.

The 3 brothers began to accept raw cotton from customers as payment for merchandise during the 1850s. They started a 2nd business trading in cotton.  This grew within a few years to become the most significant part of their operation.   Henry died from Yellow Fever in 1855, but the other 2 brothers continued to focus on their commodities-trading/brokerage operations.  By 1858, the center of cotton trading shifted from the South to New York City.  Factors and commission houses were based here.  Lehman opened their first branch office at 119 Liberty Street.  Emanuel, now 32 years old, moved here to run the office.

The Civil War started on April 12, 1861.  As a result, they ran into difficulties.  The firm teamed up with a cotton merchant named John Durr and formed Lehman, Durr & Co.  The war ended on June 2, 1865 and the company helped finance Alabama's reconstruction.  They finally moved their headquarters to New York City, where they helped to found the New York Cotton Exchange in 1870.    Emanuel sat on the Board of Governors until 1884.  The firm also dealt in emerging the  market for railroad bonds and entered the financial-advisory business.  Herbert H. Lehman, US Senator,  is descended from Emanuel's  brother, Mayer Lehman.   

Lehman became a member of the Coffee Exchange as earl as 1883 and then the New York Stock Exchange in 1887.  In 1899 it underwrote its 1st public offering, the preferred and common stock of the International Steam Pump Company. 

 Their real shift from being a commodities house to a house of issue began in 1906.  Under Emanuel's son, Philip Lehman, the firm partnered with Goldman, Sachs & Co to bring the General Cigar Co. to market.  They were followed by Sears, Roebuck and Co.  The next 20 years almost 100 new issues were underwrittenby Lehman, often in conjunction with Goldman, Sachs.  Among those were F.W. Woolworth Co, May Dept. Stores Co., Gimbel Brothers, Inc., RH Macy & Co, The Studebaker Corp, the BF Goodrich Co, and Endicott Johnson Corp.  These are all famous companies that have been able to put thousands of people to work.  Such enterprises are businesses that made America a great place to live. Without such enterprising brothers, perhaps more people would just be busy baling cotton today for a living. In business, one thing can lead to another.  One rule of thumb is, according to my father, that a business has to keep growing.  Lehman Brothers must have heard that rule, too.  Their father in Bavaria was a cattle merchant, and mine founded a wholesale meat Co.  with my father being the cattle buyer.  

I wonder if Behrend Lehmann was an ancestor of the Lehman Brothers.  Also known as Issachar Bermann (1661-1730), he was a German financier.  He supplied Frederick august I of Saxony with money needed to be elected as king of Poland in 1697.  This sounds like something Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump  disapproves of today, so it has a long long history.   Behrend was granted the title of Royal Commissioner and used his influence to improve the legal position of the Jews who were something like 2nd-3rd citizens.  In 1696, he was responsible for reprinting the Babylonian Talmud and distributed over 5,000 copies to students.  Later, he lost all his wealth.  

Another ancestor of the family could have been Rabbi Marcus "Meyer"  Lehmann (1831-1890) of Germany.  From 1854, he officiated at Mainz, a famous Rabbinical and Jewish learning center in the Rhineland.  In 1860, he founded Der Israelit which he published attacks against the Reform movement and Jewish historical romances with  a religious moral content.  The Lehman Brothers could have come from his family as Bavaria  was a southern German state and Jews lived there from the 10th century on.  This is the state where Nuremberg and Munich is.  It was in the first half of the 19th century where unfavorable conditions in Bavaria led to a particularly large Jewish emigration to the USA.  
Herbert Henry Lehman (1878-1963)Herbert H. Lehman was born to a Reform Jewish family in New York City, the son of Babetta (née Newgass) and German-born immigrant Mayer Lehman.  He served from 1933 until 1942 as the 45th governor of New York and represented New York State in the United States Senate from 1950 until 1957.

As for today's Lehman Brothers, they were in business employing many people for a long period of time.  One descendant was Herbert Henry Lehman  who was a US Statesman.  
1929 Stock Market Crash on Wall Street

He had been a partner in the banking and investment firm of Lehman Bros, and became the Democratic lieutenant-governor from 1928 to 1932, yes, throughout the Stock Market Crash of 1929.  Then he was the governor from 1932 to 1942 of New York State, and that wasn't the end to his service to this country.  He served as 1st director-general of the UN relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) from 1943 to 1946.  He was the US senator from New York from 1949 to 1957.  His political career was marked by backing the New Deal philosophy of Roosevelt.  

As governor of New York, he furthered social security, unemployment insurance, and public regulation.  He must have been well-liked as he was re-elected 3 times.  During his Senate days, he was noted for his efforts in civil rights and FREER IMMIGRATION.  He opposed political hysteria of the day.  In his later years, he worked in supporting Israel (born May 14, 1948).  

Another Lehman descendant was Irving Lehman (1876-1945) who was Herbert's brother.  He was a US jurist being justice of the New York Supreme Court from 1908 to 1923, and then of the State Court of Appeals (chief judge from 1939.  He was a judicial liberal who believed that the scope of the law must expand in keeping with the social necessities of the time.  He was active in Jewish affairs as well.  

I suppose that if the Socialists take over, there will be no one to help new businesses get started.  The days of birth and growth of business will be over in the USA.  No one will create another Wall Street again.  It looks dismal.  "Anchored by Wall Street, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world."  

Bernie, the Lehman Bros. is part and parcel of what made America great.  They erred at a very old age, having been born in 1844 and died in 2008.  That's  164 years of prosperity for a lot of people employed by them as well as themselves.  That's why people came here; for better prospects.  


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