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Mark Gilbert

True 'Lehman Moments' Must Clear These Hurdles

Only Richard Fuld has presided over the real thing.
Only one guy has presided over a true Lehman Moment.

Only one guy has presided over a true Lehman Moment.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Ever since the demise of Lehman Brothers in 2008, the failed bank's name is evoked whenever a company, industry or market gets into difficulties. Google the words "Volkswagen Lehman Moment" and you'll generate 357,000 results in 0.55 seconds. Do the same for "Glencore Lehman Moment," and the search engine will deliver 144,000 items in 0.49 seconds. So I propose applying the following criteria to judge whether the label is warranted the next time there's a financial car crash:

It isn't a Lehman Moment if people are calling it one.