A woman who gave up her stable, prestigious position as a managing director at HSBC to move to Lehman Brothers just one year before the investment bank would crumble ... along with her savings.
A lawyer who now works at a start-up and misses the exciting atmosphere of the bank — but doesn't miss having to wear a suit to work. You'll find the general counsel in a T-shirt and sneakers these days.
An executive assistant who worked at the bank for a decade and has not been able to find another full-time job since. He bounces around from company to company as a contract worker, suspended in uncertainty.
Lehman Brothers' failure in 2008 upended the lives of these and thousands of other former employees, and triggered a financial crisis so dark and huge people were questioning if American capitalism had a future. The world's fourth-largest investment bank, which had been around since 1850, had grown into one of the country's main underwriters of the poisonous and predatory subprime mortgages. By Sept. 15, 2008, it went bankrupt with its more than $600 billion in assets. It remains the largest filing in the nation's history.
Some 25,000 employees were left asking: Now what?
To try and answer that question, CNBC reached out to the company's former workers. Here are a few of their stories.