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Want a Job at Lehman Brothers?


Incredibly, the company is hiring.

Some Wall Streeters who found themselves out of work after the market downturn have landed new jobs in an unlikely spot - Lehman Brothers.

Lehman sold many of its assets to Barclays (BCS) and Nomura Holdings (NMR), but retains about $7 billion in cash, holds private investments worth an estimated $12.3 billion, and retains derivative contracts valued at about $24 billion. The current task: Sell off the remaining assets and recover as much as possible for creditors, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The pay isn't great for the skeleton staff, at least by the standards of Wall Street's glory days. But in the current downbeat market, it's a paycheck with a "sweetener" intended to retain workers until the job is completed in about 2 years.

It's also a chance for workers to showcase their skills to buyers, perhaps creating a future job opportunity. It's a long shot, but in the current job market, a shot worth taking.

Alvarez & Marsal, the New York restructuring firm overseeing the sale of Lehman's assets, has received resumes from workers who got the ax at major firms, including Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and Morgan Stanley (MS). About 200 former Lehman workers have been called back to help break up their old company, and workers with knowledge of derivatives and real-estate holdings have been added.

Creditors are owed about $150 billion. It will cost an estimated $30 million to sell off Lehman's assets and the breakup work is done bare-bones style.

Richard Fuld, Lehman's former chairman and chief executive officer, has a small office and offers information about the company's assets on an informal basis when asked. But the black Mercedes once provided by the company is long gone.

Barclays bought Lehman's spiffy headquarters overlooking Times Square, and the task of unwinding the once-mighty New York brokerage house is handled in a ho-hum office in the Time-Life building on Sixth Avenue that served as Lehman's overflow office.

Also gone are weekly deliveries of fresh flowers and warm chocolate-chip muffins. The private chef who prepared meals for Lehman's top dogs was cut, and current employees subsist on cafeteria grub in the Time-Life building.

Lehman is also selling off its fleet of corporate jets valued at about $164 million, including a Boeing 767. If you're in the market for a Sikorsky helicopter, you might be able to pick up Lehman's former chopper at a good price.

It looks like Wall Street is more efficient than sausage makers, who are legendary for not letting any scrap go to waste. On Wall Street, there's money to be made when a company is flush and money to be made after it's gone bust.

Such a deal.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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