In Brief

Lehman Brothers’ 10-year reunion party ‘sickening’ says Labour

Staff to hold cocktail and canapé get-together a decade after bank collapse sparked economic crisis

Hundreds of former Lehman Brothers employees are planning to mark the 10-year anniversary of the bank’s collapse with a lavish party that has been labelled “sickening” by the shadow chancellor.

The Independent says the “high-end reunion” will consist of “swish cocktails and canapes” and 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.

As well as London, reunions are also planned for New York in September, and Hong Kong in November.

The parties, which were first leaked by Financial News, have been widely criticised with Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, calling them “disgraceful”.

Citing the decade of austerity that followed the bank’s collapse, McDonnell said: “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”.

The collapse of Lehman Brothers is widely seen as the apogee of the global financial crisis and remains the biggest insolvency in US corporate history.

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

It prompted a multi-billion pound taxpayer bailout of the banking sector and the part-nationalisation of RBS, Lloyds TSB and HBOS.

And given two-thirds of the British public still don’t trust the banking sector, a decade after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a reunion might seem a bit premature.

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