Despite a wretched week, Lehman battled back with negative ads about his opponent. . . Lehman’s sister Sue won the Sydney marathon. Cries of “Sue Lehman!” filled the air. . . An actor wearing a Warren Buffett mask called Lehman “a ticking time-bomb” that would go off when, in spite of all the avant-garde accounting methods in use, the bad debt and derivatives will have to be written down. The argument elicited the murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves and even a smile or two from the nervous nabobs of negativity. "Death is the down side of Capitalism," Lehman explained to the hushed crowd. "But we have a right to dream."
After the bell earnings came in as expected. The dividend would not have to be lowered after all. Lehman mixed martinis for the relieved shareholders. "The profit margins at the venerable house may shrink,” he quipped. “But the prophets themselves have never had it so good. They are being feted in a manner that the Bible’s Amos and Joel and Hosea could not have imagined or foretold." Lunch hour had begun. Ladies loped on the sidewalk in front of headquarters. A bespectacled lad recited numbers into his cell phone. Meanwhile, the search for Lehman’s missing brother remained the three-hundred-pound Republican in the room.