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Lehman Brothers staff to hold ‘sickening’ toast 10 years after bank collapse sparked economic crisis

'What better way to celebrate than getting everyone back together?' asks invite - as a decade of austerity, brought on by giant's implosion, continues

Colin Drury
Monday 20 August 2018 16:31 BST
Staff carry boxes from Lehman Brothers' offices in London after the bank failed in 2008

Hundreds of former bankers at failed giant Lehman Brothers are to mark the 10th anniversary of its collapse with a swish cocktail and canape party in London.

The high end reunion will be held at a secret venue on 15 September – exactly a decade after the bank shut down, triggering a global financial crash that was partially responsible for plunging Britain into austerity.

The party plans – revealed by Financial News – have been called “disgraceful” by Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell.

He said: “This is 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.”

The email invitation for the reunion is reportedly addressed to “Lehman Brothers & Sisters”.

It said: “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!”

Reunions are also expected to take place in New York in September and Hong Kong in November.

The failure of the US banking giant became one of the most infamous and shocking moments of the crisis, spiralling the credit crunch into full-blown market chaos.

This autumn will also mark 10 years since the UK government threw a multibillion pound taxpayer lifeline to the banking sector, taking stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and HBOS.

The government still holds a 62 per cent stake in RBS.

Additional reporting by PA

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