The Year After: The Biggest Winners and Losers in the Post-L

by Derek Loosvelt | September 15, 2009

A year ago today the Brothers went bankrupt. Since, some of the industry’s remaining participants have prospered, while others have withered.

Below are banking’s biggest winners and losers since September 15, 2008, along with brief summaries of what the crazy kids in blue and gray stripes have been up to in the wake of Lehman's collapse.

The Big Winners

Barclays Capital: Picks up Lehman’s North American pieces, makes high profile hires, makes low profile hires, wins awards, CEO Bobby D. says we’re gonna be bigger than The Beatles and invade the US market.

Goldman Sachs: Takes billions from Buffett, takes heat for big bonuses, becomes holding co., accept$ TARP, takes more heat for big bonuses, books first loss, repays TARP, ramps up risk, is called a vampire first by Rolling Stone then by numerous other media organizations, pockets billions, takes heat for big bonuses, still on top with prospect of not simply a good year but an off the charts great year.

JPMorgan Chase: Buys WaMu, integrates Bear, takes TARP funds, books loss, rises in league tables thanks to Citi crashing and Lehman (Dick) folding, books loss, increases risk like Goldman, makes great trades like Goldman, books billions, gains in prestige and riding high thanks to great first and second quarters and Lehman and Merrill being out of the picture and a soon to be Mack-less Morgan Stanley struggling to make a buck.

The Biggest Losers

Citigroup: Books deep loss, buys Wachovia, loses Wachovia deal (to Wells Fargo), sues Wachovia, rejects merger offer from Goldman, takes tons of TARP cash, sacks tens of thousands, tops league table charts, sells old fashioned money maker Smith Barney, books a profit, still trying to get rid of TARP and bad rep that’s followed it around for more than a year.

Bank of America: Acquires Merrill, lays of tens of thousands, sacks Merrill head Thain, runs into PR nightmare re: Merrill bonus fiasco before merger closing, CEO & Chairman Lewis takes the stand, loses many key employees, turns a quarterly profit, shareholders vote Lewis out as chairman, gets new brokerage head in high profile Sallie Krawcheck, settles with SEC over Merrill fiasco, judge revokes settlement in Merrill fiasco, still holding TARP, still holding bad, bad rep.

UBS: Hires handful of ex-Lehman Bros., takes tons of francs from Swiss version of TARP, entrenched in high profile tax evasion case in the US, books billions in losses, slashes bonuses, raises salaries, receives tons of bad press due to tax evasion case, reputation falters, sacks a few thousand bankers, boots head of investment banking, posts third loss in a row, settles tax evasion case but not before having to name names of thousands of clients it helped evade taxes.

Filed Under: Finance


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