Former employees from the defunct Lehman Brothers investment bank, which played a key role in the 2008 global financial crisis, are planning a party on the 10th anniversary of its collapse – a move Unite has branded “disgusting”.
Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15 2008 with $619bn debts after investing in dodgy sub-prime mortgages, prompting a world-wide financial meltdown and years of austerity in the UK.
Unite said the London-based celebration, which was reported in the Financial News, was “disgraceful” and “disgusting”, while shadow chancellor John McDonnell labelled it “sickening”.
According to the Financial News, which said the event was being kept secret because of the controversy surrounding it, around 200 people have been invited to the party, which will include canapés and cocktails.
An email obtained by the trade publication reads, “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. What better way to celebrate the tenth anniversary than getting everyone from former MDs to former analysts back together again!”
Unite national officer for finance Dominic Hook said the event was “absolutely disgusting”.
He said, “Lehman Brothers, along with other greedy and irresponsible institutions of its ilk, bear much of the responsibility for the global financial crash. Not only did the crash itself damage countless people’s lives, but it was used as an excuse by the Tories to unleash years of painful austerity on our country.
“It’s absolutely disgusting that the Lehman Brothers collapse should be celebrated, especially when the public are still counting the cost from the bank bailouts and economic uncertainty the collapse precipitated. If the organisers have any decency at all they would cancel this disgraceful event and instead spend their time considering how the actions of their former employer caused untold misery for millions of people.”
Unite, along with other campaigning organisations, are planning a separate event on the same date to mark the investment bank’s collapse.
The demonstration will call for meaningful reform in the finance sector, sections of which continue to risk global and national economic stability with their behaviour.