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The Last Days of Lehman Brothers (2009)

The heads of Wall Street's biggest investment banks were summoned to an evening meeting by the US Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, to discuss the plight of another - Lehman Brothers. After... See full summary »

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Storyline

The heads of Wall Street's biggest investment banks were summoned to an evening meeting by the US Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, to discuss the plight of another - Lehman Brothers. After six months' turmoil in the world's financial markets, Lehman Brothers was on life support and the government was about to pull the plug. Lehman CEO, Dick Fuld, recently sidelined in a boardroom coup, spends the weekend desperately trying to resuscitate his beloved company through a merger with Bank of America or UK-based Barclays. But without the financial support of Paulson and Lehman's fiercest competitors, Fuld's empire - and with it, the stability of the world economy - teeters on the verge of extinction. Written by BBC press release

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9 September 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

La caída de Lehman Brothers  »

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Henry 'Hank' Paulson: There is no public money for a bailout of Lehman Brothers. If we can't figure out a way to keep them standing, thery're going to be bankrupt when trading opens in Japan on Monday.
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Wolves entering Wall Street
27 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a docu-drama about the 2008 US banking crisis made rather quickly by the BBC hence its a little rough around he edges. Although other films have subsequently been made, this one was first out of the blocs.

Lehman Brothers is bank that has been in business since before the American Civil War. However in September 2008 they were in meltdown. Over the weekend the US Treasury Secretary (James Cromwell) has assembled the best of Wall Street in Downtown Manhattan to save the bank going under its toxic assets and hence save the capitalists system from the Russian and Chinese.

Of course a lot of the other's assembled have their own toxic assets lurking behind them and we have drama, recriminations, plotting and even back stabbing as they get about to save Lehman Brothers and maybe even their own skins. James Cromwell as Hank Paulsen cajoles them and at one points begs them to get things together.

Given that this drama might look dense and complicated because of the labyrinth nature of the deals that caused the crisis, its raw human edged emotions that carry this drama through. At the end we are left with shallow but rich people who still ended up doing rather nicely for themselves out as all but Lehman got bailed out. After all Paulsen was the ultimate Wall Street insider.

The cast is a mixture of North American and British actors (playing Americans.) Cromwell given his size towers above the others, even though politically he admits he is at odds with Paulsen's views, he does convey the urgency of the situation very well.


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