Staffers at the once No. 4 U.S. investment bank headed into its midtown Manhattan headquarters on Monday morning, armed with bags and suitcases of all sizes.
Their emotions ran the gamut.
One man caught his co-worker’s eye and threw his hands up in the air in dismay before hurrying into Lehman’s global headquarters, a few minutes’ walk from Times Square.
“It is madness,” one man said on the phone, as he walked by dozens of reporters lined up on the sidewalk in front of the building.
Another just stood by the corner of the street and gazed up at the building silently for a few seconds before walking in.
Some bought their morning coffee and stood in groups, smoking and talking in the corner near the entrance to the subway station.
Even the coffee cart guys seemed unusually somber, talking very little and shaking hands with their customers.
Most staffers did a doubletake on seeing the media lineup and refused to answer questions as they walked in.
But cameramen and reporters pursued those who came out of the building with what seemed like packed bags or boxes.
A mix of passers-by and Lehman staffers turned their thoughts on the firm’s fall into art, signing a close-up painting of CEO Richard Fuld.