The Mother of All Mondays: An Insider’s Approach to Tackling the Lehman Brothers Crisis

The blogsphere has labeled today the mother of all Mondays. As I roll out of bed this morning still in a twilight zone from severe lack of sleep over the last 72 hours, a hopeful voice from somewhere inside of me still cries out maybe it was all just a terrible dream. Indeed. Maybe today will be like any other Monday where I can go to work with my morning french roast having dropped the kids off at school.

Alas, I am jerked into reality within moments by the sound of the phone. My husband is a Lehman Brothers employee…..while a Lehman Brothers still exists, that is. The weekend has been fraught with phone calls and emails from his fellow employees following the crisis step by step and speculating on their future at a company which just recently was known to be the fourth largest investment bank on Wall Street. ‘Condolence’ calls from friends and relatives expressing their concern, sympathy and support have left us amazed at the amount of people who are thinking about us.

The press having had a field day with the development of events over the weekend, now talks about their trickle down effect on the economy. On most days I cast my emotional net wide, but today as a Lehman wife, all I can think about is its trickle down effect on my family and on the 24,000 other families that depend on Lehman for their bread and butter. As somebody pointed out on a blog, Bank of America rejecting Lehman in favor of Merrill Lynch feels very much like a groom leaving his bride at the altar in order to run off with her cousin. An eery feeling of uneasiness hangs over our home like a portentous black cloud; the last time we felt like this was during 9/11.

Almost exactly six months ago when Bear Sterns was taken over by J.P.Morgan, my husband tells me that the word on Wall Street is will Lehman be next? And even though Lehman has a solid investment banking business and good liquidity, the truth of the matter is that like any emotionally charged individual, Wall Street is driven by fear and will consistently operate based upon fear tactics. Why does fear propel us into reacting rather than acting? It is the stalwart characteristic of the unstable mind leading to an unstable society.

Why do things like this happen to us, asks my ten year old who is just coming to grips with the fact that life is as much about having bad days as good days. I turn around from the kitchen sink and begin to explain to her that working in the financial markets has far reaching effects on other people, other companies and the economy at large. So if bad decisions are made by someone , somewhere they often impact those who made good decisions; it is a basic law of economics. You’re wasting water, mama, she says eyeing the running tap, don’t you think we should be even more careful about things like this now that Papa is out of a job? I smile and thank heavens that the green values education has paid off!

It is during moments like this that I truly understand what it means to be hybrid: to be someone whose emotional and physical energies are integrated into the psyche and well being of her kids, her partner and her own individual self. My husband will maintain calm because he does not want to upset me, but this is a time when I look to invest even more heavily in the emotional well being of my partner and kids so that we can ease the shock of this mother of all Mondays, and pull together as a family to build Tuesday into hopefully a better and more meaningful day.

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3 Responses to The Mother of All Mondays: An Insider’s Approach to Tackling the Lehman Brothers Crisis

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