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Edward Evans

Europe’s Bankers Are the Big Post-Lehman Losers

While local politicians and CEOs dithered, Wall Street cleaned up.

Decade of struggle. 

Decade of struggle. 

Photographer: Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

Bloomberg Opinion marks the 10th anniversary of Lehman’s bankruptcy with a collection of columns from around the world. Read more.

To see how Europe’s banking system has failed to bounce back from the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., one metric will suffice. The market value of a single U.S. company — Apple Inc. — is getting close to that of Europe’s 48 biggest banks combined.

On almost any measure, Europe’s lenders have been the loser from the financial crisis. They are less profitable and less valuable than they were in 2008. They’ve lost market share to Wall Street rivals, whose share prices have recovered handsomely. The market capitalization of the Standard & Poor’s Financial Sector Index has climbed to $3.4 trillion today.