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Lehman Sign Sells for $14,915, Five Years After Collapse

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Two employees of Christie's auction house manoeuvre the Lehman Brothers corporate logo before its last sale. The sign is again at auction, three years after the last auction and now five years after the investment bank collapsed. Photographer: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Two employees of Christie's auction house manoeuvre the Lehman Brothers corporate logo before its last sale. The sign is again at auction, three years after the last auction and now five years after the investment bank collapsed. Photographer: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- A metal sign from the London headquarters of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. sold at auction today for 9,375 pounds ($14,915) -- a quarter of its price three years ago.

The sign was being re-sold at Christie’s International in London. The event comes five years after the bank collapsed, helping trigger a global financial crisis.

The sign was bought for 42,050 pounds at an auction of Lehman Brothers property at the same venue in September 2010. That earlier event, to benefit creditors, was said at the time by dealers to have some “crazy” prices. Souvenir hunters snapped up remains of the collapsed bank, including books and artwork from the office walls.

This time the sign proved to be a less impressive investment. It was valued at 8,000 pounds to 12,000 pounds and bought by an unidentified bidder on the telephone. Christie’s said it would not comment on why the sign was back on sale.

New York-based Lehman was the world’s fourth-largest investment bank on Sept. 15, 2008, when it filed the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history. It had assets of $639 billion and listed $613 billion in debt when it filed.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged 46 percent from the last trading day before the company’s collapse to a closing low of 676.53 on March 9, 2009.

(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include: Mark Beech on arts, Frederik Balfour on film, Jeremy Gerard on U.S. theater and Greg Evans on U.S. television.

To contact the writer on the story: Scott Reyburn in London at sreyburn@hotmail.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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