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Has anything changed on Wall Street?
Made popular 2022 days ago in
The collapse of Lehman Brothers exactly one year ago Tuesday triggered a global financial panic that slashed thousands of points off the Dow, eliminated trillions of dollars in American wealth and ushered in the most massive government intervention into the economy since the New Deal.
You'd think a thing like that would get Wall Street's attention.
But as 2009 rolls on, it's almost as if nothing happened. Lavish bonuses are back, the financial industry is showing a renewed appetite for risk, and exotic new securities are being dreamed up by financial innovators - just like the ones that contributed to the collapse in the first place.
Even some at AIG - the company that became the emblem of excess for its massive bonuses - act like nothing has changed. New CEO Robert Benmosche recently showed off his palatial estate on the Adriatic Sea in Croatia - the one with 12 bathrooms, Italian tiles, an 18th century French tapestry, and a well-stocked wine cellar. ("Every bathroom is like a piece of art," he told Reuters. "Women go wild when they walk in here.")
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Who will benefit most from the Obama administration's proposed financial regulations?
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