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Ten Players From The Financial Crisis – Five Years Later

Five
years after the collapse of Lehman Bros. and the beginning of the worst U.S.
financial crisis since the Great Depression, we look at 10 of the key players
and where they are now.

Richard Fuld

Fuld’s nickname was the “Gorilla” on Wall Street because of
his competitiveness, joining Lehman Brothers in 1969 and rising through the
ranks to become CEO and chairman. Fuld became CEO in 1994 until the firm filed
for bankruptcy in 2008, at which point he was hauled in front of Congress to
explain his role in the financial meltdown of the economy. Fuld has since kept
a low profile, opening an advisory firm Matrix Advisory in Midtown Manhattan
and has been consulting quietly, according to news reports and SEC filings.
Erin Callan
Callan was considered one of the most powerful women on Wall
Street when she was appointed CFO of Lehman in September 2007 after rising up
the ranks. She was stripped of the CFO title just six months later after the
firm reported massive second-quarter losses the following year and had to raise
more $6 billion in capital. Three months later the firm filed bankruptcy.
Callan briefly joined Credit Suisse as a managing director but left by the end
of December 2009.
James “Jimmy” Cayne
The former chairman and chief executive officer of Bear
Stearns Cos. blamed market forces and loss of confidence in his firm for its
collapse in early 2008. The failure of Bear Stearns proved to be an early
warning of the instability in financial markets that played out later in the
year. Cayne has continued to pursue his passion for bridge, and remains a
nationally ranked player.
Anton Valukas
The bankruptcy examiner of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
wrote a 2,200 page report on the bankruptcy of Lehman which helped inform the
debate over financial reforms in Congress. He remains chairman of Jenner &
Block, a Chicago law firm.
John Thain
Thain was CEO of Merrill Lynch and oversaw its sale to Bank
of America in Sept. 2008 as the financial crisis deepened. He came in for
criticism over lavish office decorations and billions of dollars in bonus
payments made to Merrill employees late in 2008. He briefly worked for the
combined Bank of America Merrill Lynch firm, before being forced out by Ken
Lewis. Thain has since become CEO of CIT Group CIT +0.16%   . In an interview earlier this year, he told
The Wall Street Journal that he regretted taking the Merrill job and having to
sell the investment bank to BofA.
Angelo Mozilo
The founder and former CEO of Countrywide Financial
Corporation became the face of the subprime mortgage crisis, famous for seeking
lenient regulation by providing special terms to elected “friends of Angelo.”
Countrywide was bought by Bank of America early in 2008 as problems mounted in
its lending operations. He ultimately settled securities fraud cases with the
Federal government by agreeing to pay a fine of $67.5 million.
Ken Lewis
The former Bank of America chairman and CEO is noted for the
disastrous purchases of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch, which lead to massive
losses for the bank and multi-billion dollar bailouts by the government. Lewis
retired at the end of 2009 and was replaced by current CEO Brian Moynihan. Bank
of America agreed lasted year to pay $2.4 billion to settle claims stemming
from the Merrill Lynch acquisition.
Henry Paulson
Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was the architect of the
TARP program which bailed out Wall Street’s biggest banks. He is considered by
some the most important person at the height of the financial crisis, memorable
for his quick, aggressive response as the economy was on the brink of collapse.
Others see him as a Wall Street player engineering the salvation of his peers
with federal bailout funds. Paulson, with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
and then New York Fed President Tim Geithner, convinced then President George
W. Bush and Congress to approve TARP, in the days after the Lehman collapse,
though not before some of Wall Street’s most volatile trading days ever.
Tim Geithner
Geithner played a key role in the financial crisis as New
York Fed President and was involved in critical decisions involving bailing out
banks, allowing the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Bear Stearns.
Geithner went onto become Treasury Secretary under President Obama, serving
almost five years in the post, before leaving to become head of the Council of
Foreign Relations in New York.
Jamie Dimon
The CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. was considered to be
running the most stable firm during the financial crisis and at the urging of
the government, bought Bear Stearns in a fire sale as the firm was failing in
early 2008. Dimon has been highly critical of regulations brought by the
government subsequent to the crisis to crack down on risk on Wall Street and
has been quoted saying his firm had a “fortress balance sheet.” More recently
J.P. Morgan JPM +0.17%    suffered more
than $6 billion in trading losses from complex derivatives, after initial
reports were dismissed by Dimon as a “tempest in a teapot.”
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