Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Goodbye Lehman and Merrill

I could not sleep last Sunday night, the night before the Gartner CEP conference was to start. I was transfixed to CNBC for the entire night. And, I was really depressed ....

Why? Merrill Lynch was disappearing as a firm. One of the most storied financial firms in the world, and a widely recognized brand name.

My father was a broker for Merrill Lynch for 25 years, first starting in a little branch office on Austin Street in Forest Hills, Queens. One of his friends at the office, a guy who used to come over our house and play Pinochle with my dad, was a guy named Dave Kamamsky. Big Dave eventually rose through the ranks at Merrill to become the CEO of Merrill during the go-go years of the 1990's.

My wife worked for Merrill Lynch for about 10 years, starting off as a CICS/Cobol developer and rising to run several of the Equity trading systems there.

Seeing Merrill being swallowed up by Bank of America is like losing an arm. In a year, we have lost three of the major financial institutions in New York. Who knows how long Morgan Stanley will be around ... as I write this, I am watching Charles Gasparino on CNBC saying that John Mack is weighing whether or not to keep Morgan Stanley independent.

These are life-changing times we are in ....

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved.
All opinions here are personal, and have no relation to my employer.

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