As millions in the United States, Europe, and throughout the world continue to suffer from the devastating losses of wealth and crippling austerity sparked by the 2008 global financial crisis, former staffers at the failed Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers—which was at the center of the greed-fueled economic crash—are reportedly planning to hold lavish gatherings in London, Hong Kong, and New York to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the firm's collapse.
"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."
—John McDonnell, Labour Shadow Chancellor First reported by the London-based Financial News, the planned celebration—which will apparently feature plenty of "cocktails and canapés"—was immediately denounced by Labour Party Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell as an "absolutely sickening" display of shamelessness "after a decade of people suffering austerity."
"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. People will be absolutely disgusted about this unacceptable and highly inappropriate gathering."
Lehman bankers are planning expensive slap up party to celebrate 10th anniversary of financial crash they caused and we paid for. Are the teachers,firefighters, & police officers who lost their jobs after 10 years of austerity invited ? https://t.co/IHnEOc3lQy via @FinancialNews
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) August 20, 2018
While the anniversary party was supposed to be kept secret to prevent public backlash, Financial News obtained an email invite addressed to former Lehman employees which declared, "It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since the last of our Lehman days!"
"One of the best things about Lehman was the people," the email continues. "What better way to celebrate the tenth anniversary than getting everyone from former MDs to former analysts back together again!"
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According to Financial News, around "210 former employees at the bank, from those who were junior analysts at the time of the crash to senior managing directors, are expected to attend" the London gathering, which will reportedly be held some time in September at an undisclosed venue.
The failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008—which Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi argued was caused by the New York firm's widespread criminality—caused a "financial tsunami" that reached across the globe, spurring massive bank failures, a global market meltdown, and a foreclosure crisis that continues to this day.
A decade following the financial collapse, the largest Wall Street firms are bigger than ever and pocketing record profits thanks to U.S. President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cuts.
As Common Dreams reported, massive banks are also set to benefit from a recently passed bipartisan deregulation bill that analysts argued will significantly heighten the risk of yet another financial crisis.