Yesterday, thousands of Lehman Brothers employees woke up to news that their employer had gone bankrupt, meaning their jobs were likely history. But today, these same employees awoke to news that British banking giant Barclays had bought Lehman’s equity, fixed income and M&A advisory units, saving thousands of Lehman jobs in the process. (Although the announcement of the deal came at about 3:30 p.m., it's likely several Lehman employees slept in today after drowning their Chapter 11 sorrows at various watering holes.)
Indeed, this afternoon, employees had something positive to toast, as Lehman Brothers found a financial savior in the form of Barclays, which agreed to purchase parts of the struggling firm for $2 billion. Neither Lehman nor Barclays have yet to make a formal announcement, though Barclays President Bob Diamond said in a conference call that Barclays had “found a partner.”
Aside from thousands of Lehman insiders, many Merrill Lynch and Bank of America bankers have to be elated over the news, since the deal means there will be fewer resumes emblazoned with the words LEHMAN BROTHERS to compete with when the axe finally comes crashing down in the fallout of BofA's acquisition of Merrill.
What a difference a day makes.