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Lehman Bankruptcy: Boot And Rally

Lehman Bankruptcy: Boot And Rally by Jared Dillian, Mauldin Economics

There I was. In the financial crisis.

In my new office, that I had just rented, after starting my own newsletter business: The Daily Dirtnap.

You see, I had just walked away from a job at Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) Capital, which had bought the Lehman broker-dealer out of bankruptcy. They had offered me a seat trading ETFs, just like I’d been doing at Lehman. I turned it down. I loved working at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc Plan Trust (OTCMKTS:LEHMQ), but I could not see myself trading ETFs for even one more day.

I also turned down what likely would have been a sizable retention bonus. I walked away from a job—and a lot of money—right in the middle of the crisis.

Why?

I’m a Writer

I was an above-average trader. Not great. Just above average. I was working on being great, but stuff like that takes a while. I had talent for trading, but not as much as some of the people I worked with.

But I knew I could write. As early as 2003, I had entertained the idea of starting a financial newsletter. It was a good thing I didn’t do it then. I needed more seasoning.

So I formed an LLC and rented office space and got a website and a computer. You should have seen my office. Maybe 60 square feet, no windows. It was a bit claustrophobic at times.

Especially when I went to work every day and watched the market melt down 6% at a time, and I was staring down the barrel of no subscriptions and no revenue, after having turned down a massive opportunity at Barclays. It was starting to look like I’d made a huge mistake.

So every day I would go into work, and the first thing I would do was to puke in the trash can. I puked in the trash can every morning for a couple of months.

How could you not? Do you remember how bad it got?

GE was trading at 6.

Bank of America was trading at 3.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) was trading at 99 cents!

Everyone thought the world was coming to an end. I thought to myself, is...


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