Lehman Brothers hasn’t lost its bottle: Famous investment banking name relaunched as whiskey brand

One of the most notorious Chapter 11 bankruptcy and liquidation cases in history was the September 2008 demise of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (NYSE:LEH) which shuffled off the corporate coil, filing for insolvency with $639 billion in assets and $619 billion in debt after massive quarterly losses running into the billions during that year. Almost […]

Is this the end of last look execution

One of the most notorious Chapter 11 bankruptcy and liquidation cases in history was the September 2008 demise of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (NYSE:LEH) which shuffled off the corporate coil, filing for insolvency with $639 billion in assets and $619 billion in debt after massive quarterly losses running into the billions during that year.

Almost eight years on, the proud edifice in Canary Wharf, surrounded by a seemingly continual array of chauffeur driven Mercedes Benz S-500 and Bentley Continental luxury sedans is a distant memory, as is the company and its once prominent position among the world’s top investment banks.

Today, however, the Lehman Brothers name has been revived, although this time, the company will not be participating in the complexities of London and New York’s institutional banking and electronic trading business.

A far cry from its original establishment, some 158 years before its 2008 demise, the Lehman Brothers of today will distill and produce a range of Scotch whiskey.

Thirty four year old entrepreneur James Green sees value in the brand name, and is launching three different whiskey products under the Lehman Brothers moniker, one of which has the rather too accurate name of “Ashes of Disaster”, evoking, according to Mr. Green a “wicked suggestion of burning banknotes, a hint of ripe autumn fruit about to fall.”

Mr. Green, whose main business is real estate investment, is a British businessman who made a filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2013 to use the name “Lehman Brothers” for bars as well as alcoholic beverages, and now that he has been granted permission, is taking orders for the new brand of whiskey from entertainment and bar chains in London and New York.

The path to resurrecting the brand name was not without pitfalls, however.

In 2014, Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) filed a complaint in order to attempt to stop Mr. Green from using the name, citing the somewhat tenuous claim that Lehman Brothers often handed out cut glass crystal whiskey decanters etched with the name “Lehman Brothers” as gifts, meaning that the trademark should exist beyond financial services.

 

Lehman whiskey
Money to burn? James Green’s Lehman Brothers whiskey evokes memories of excess

 

Barclays gave up on this and suspended its case in October 2015, paving the way for Mr. Green’s creativity to start flowing…. literally.

At the time of the demise of Lehman Brothers, Barclays had purchased parts of the company, hence its interest in this matter.

Make hay while the sun shines

Although Barclays has suspended its case with the US Patents and Trademarks Office, it could resume it at any time and the outcome is still considered ‘pending’, however perhaps rather amusingly, Mr. Green’s lawyers have told him to sell as much whiskey as he can in the meantime.

On the other side of the Atlantic, where Mr. Green hopes to have equal success to London, one of the Lehman Brothers whiskey products is named “Snapfire” which Mr. Green says is “perfect with reckless manoevres, long gambles, and explosive consequences. Drink alone, if possible.”

The rather charismatic Mr. Green is looking for investors to assist in the opening of a Lehman Brothers themed bar in Wall Street, which he considers to be the perfect place from which to sell the third whiskey, called “Evergreen” which is being sent to market as “perfect for when fortune is with you and you are riding your luck. Tastes best when you are sitting on top of the world.”

Photograph courtesy of James Green and CNN Money. Featured photograph: Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London E14, where Lehman Brothers once stood proud

Read this next

Digital Assets

Luxembourg’s regulator warns on false regulation of Crypto Capital Profits

The regulator of Luxembourg’s financial markets, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), has warned that a firm claiming to be authorized under the name Crypto Capital Profits is in fact not licensed to carry out business from within its jurisdiction.

Institutional FX

FINRA fines Wedbush $900K over reporting violations

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority continues to take disciplinary actions against financial services firms for providing inaccurate securities trading information.

Digital Assets

Bitkub investigated by Thai regulator in ‘wash trading’ case

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission has targeted Bitkub over allegations of inaccurate reporting and wash trading on its cryptocurrency platform.

Crypto Insider

Crypto.com secures approval to launch its services in France

Crypto.com has registered its cryptocurrency services with the dual regulatory structure in France, which includes the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR).

Inside View

How to offer iOS compliant trading apps? Editorial by Chris Rowe

Webtraders are becoming increasingly important for FX and CFD brokers as more and more of their clients are trading using their mobiles. 

Institutional FX

SpiderRock deploys Eventus trade surveillance for futures and options offering

“As we have begun to provide direct market access as a routing broker and grown in our futures offering, which is subject to a different regulator, we wanted to make sure we chose a trade surveillance platform that has all the tools that we need, a format we can review easily, and capabilities to demonstrate to regulators that we have the proper trade surveillance procedures in place. Validus checks all the boxes for us.”

Industry News

Space and Time raises $20 million to grow its decentralized data warehouse

“We look forward to seeing the ways in which Space and Time will allow the business logic in centralized systems to be automated and connected directly to smart contracts.”

Digital Assets

Mastercard, hi app partner to issue cards with NFT avatars

In partnership with Mastercard, crypto and fiat financial app hi is launching what it calls “the world’s first debit card featuring NFT avatar customization.”

Digital Assets

Wirex to support government of Uzbekistan to adopt blockchain

“We’re excited to work alongside the Uzbekistan Direct Investment Fund in order to help the sector thrive, enrich the financial ecosystem there and set a benchmark for other countries, and ultimately expand.”

<