Wall Street's Worst Day

Richard Fuld
Ex-CEO, Lehman Brothers

On Sept. 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers--unable to find a buyer or to convince the federal government to save it--filed the biggest bankruptcy case in U.S. history. It was the first sign that the crisis might spin out of control, and no one was more shaken than the hyper-competitive Fuld, whose Street nickname was "the Gorilla." Fuld was criticized for waiting too long to seek a private buyer; a later investigation by a court-appointed examiner accused Lehman of using "accounting gimmicks" to hide its risky bets on mortgage bonds. Fuld took a job in May 2010 with Legend Securities, a small New York investment firm, but left after less than two years amid heavy regulatory scrutiny over how much business he was bringing in, according to the New York Post.

Photograph by Doug Mills/The New York Times via Redux

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