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A Look at Wall Street Bigwigs 1 Year After Meltdown

Posted September. 15, 2009 07:40,   


The global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers a year ago has produced both losers and winners among Wall Street big shots.

While certain bigwigs suddenly fell from grace, the crisis proved to be an opportunity for others to rise as powerful CEOs.

Richard Fuld, who became CEO of Lehman Brothers in 1994, collapsed with the company after it filed for bankruptcy last year. After testifying at several hearings in the aftermath of the crisis, he became the poster boy for Wall Street greed.

In an article on what powerful Wall Street figures at the time of the crisis are doing now, the New York Times said Fuld has set up the financial consulting firm Matrix Advisers with three employees in March, two of whom worked for him at Lehman.

His friends said he spends time at his Idaho mansion playing golf or hiking between trials for damage suits.

Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain played a “bad guy” who sold his company on the brink of bankruptcy to Bank of America. He left the bank in January after news broke that he paid huge bonuses to Merrill Lynch’s employees immediately before the company’s sale.

His representative told the Times that discussion with several companies could save Thain from unemployment.

Another former Merrill Lynch CEO, Stanley O’Neil, who left the bank following heavy losses in the subprime mortgage meltdown at the end of 2007, is now a board director at several companies including Alcoa.

Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, who was Citigroup chairman when the crisis broke out, now heads the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. He left Citigroup in January amid criticism that he incurred huge losses with risky investments.

In contrast, there are those who rose to stardom on Wall Street thanks to the financial crisis.

One is JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. He has received high praise for his management skills after buying the fifth-largest U.S. investment bank Bear Stearns in March in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

He is also known as U.S. President Barack Obama’s most trusted man on Wall Street.