Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain received the plaudits this week for moving quickly to save his firm by merging with Bank of America. Thain's actions contrasted with the indecisiveness displayed by Lehman boss Richard Fuld, which, in the end, caused the demise of the firm he had done so much to build.
There's been a lot of talk this week that the broker-dealer model will soon be history. The demise of Lehman Brothers leaves just two large stand-alone securities houses - Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Incredibly, the question now is how long can even these great franchises survive ?
Small comfort though it may be in the scheme of things, at least Lehman Brothers' London-based staff will get paid Friday - as long as they continue to rock up to work. Bloomberg reports that administrators for the firm have managed to negotiate a loan to enable them to pay Lehman's City staff their September salaries.
As US stocks fell again Wednesday (the falls in the S&P since October has now taken care of around 50% of the gains in stock seen in the bull market which lasted from October 2002 to October 2007), Bloomberg reports that former AIG CEO 'Hank' Greenberg has seen the value of the stake he controls in the company drop by around $2.4bn this week alone (taking the fall to $5.9bn this month!).
Here's a selection of some of the more lighter stuff that's making the news this gloomy week.
Here's a CNN newsclip from Monday. The crew were filming live outside Lehman's New York HQ.
Here's our Highly Placed Professional's view on the impact of the current market turmoil.
CNBC reports that TowerGroup reserch director Ralph Silva told its 'Squawk Box Europe' that 'there is insufficient margin in the banking industry to sustain the number of banks we have. We need to see at least one third of the banks around the world disappear'.
In what is being described as the biggest gamble of his career, Barclays President Bob Diamond has spent $1.75bn of his bank's money to acquire Lehman Brother's US broker-dealer unit.
Barclays announces agreement to acquire Lehman Brothers North American investment banking and capital markets businesses
'Looking considerably better than a year ago'.
Epic account of stock trading excess starring Leonardo DiCaprio under fire for mocking cerebral palsy.
Labour will on Wednesday demand that the government prevent bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland from paying out bonuses more than twice the size of its bankers' salaries and call for a repeat of the bonus tax.