[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/18/art.vert.financial.street.jpg width=292 height=320]Editor’s note: Glenn Beck is on CNN Headline News nightly at 7 and 9 ET and also is host of a conservative national radio talk show.
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"Greed is good."
At least, that's what Michael Douglas' character Gordon Gekko claimed in the movie Wall Street. But, just like Gekko, the modern-day companies that followed that motto now find themselves wondering how everything could collapse so fast.
You know the names by now: Countrywide Financial, Bear Stearns, IndyMac, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, AIG. And that's not even counting companies like Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs that, while still in existence, have lost untold billions in market value and have laid off thousands of employees.
Maybe greed isn't so good after all.
Lehman was founded in 1844 when Henry Lehman, a German immigrant, opened a small shop in Montgomery, Alabama. His brothers joined him six years later and, by 1858 they were busy turning cotton provided by local farmers into a cash crop - a business that didn't have anything to do with helping low-income families afford 27-bedroom McMansions.
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