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PLANS by former bankers at Lehman Brothers to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the investment bank’s catastrophic collapse were branded “sickening” by Labour today.
Former staff are reportedly organising a private gathering around September 15, the date a decade ago when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection — a key event in the global financial crisis — and are said to be “very nervous” about the prospect of public scrutiny.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell called the idea “unacceptable and highly inappropriate,” given the number of people “who lost their jobs and homes to pay for bailing out these bankers who caused the financial crash.”
Financial News reported that an event was originally intended to be held at exclusive Mayfair members club The Conduit on September 15, but that it had been merged with another reunion and moved to an undisclosed venue on a different date.
The website added that around 200 of Lehman Brothers’ 5,000 or so staff in Britain were expected to attend the party.
An email invite addressed to “Lehman Brothers & Sisters” seen by Financial News reads: “It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the last of our Lehman days!
“One of the best things about Lehman was the people. What better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary than getting everyone from former MDs to former analysts back together again!”
Mr McDonnell said the idea was “absolutely sickening after a decade of people suffering austerity.
“It’s particularly disgraceful in the context of all the people who lost their jobs and homes to pay for bailing out these bankers who caused the financial crash, as well as against a backdrop of firefighters, police officers and other public servants facing years of brutal Tory pay restraint.
“People will be absolutely disgusted about this unacceptable and highly inappropriate gathering.”
Dennis Grainger, chairman of the Northern Rock Action Group at the UK Shareholders Association, said he was “surprised” that such an event was being held, given how “devastating” the collapse of the bank had been.
It “seems in very bad taste,” he added.
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