Business, Finance & Economics

Lehman Brothers share sells for $33,000 at antiques auction


Lehman Brothers share number 0001, issued in 1994 and sold at auction this weekend.



Three years ago, investors couldn't get rid of Lehman Brothers stock fast enough. Now, it's officially a collector's item.

Share number 0001 in the doomed firm sold for €24,000 ($33,000) at an antiques auction in Würzberg, Germany, on Saturday, Agence France Presse reported.

Not a bad profit: the certificate was originally for a 50-cent stake.

It was issued in 1994 to then chief executive Richard Fuld, as a souvenir of the firm's initial public offering that year.

It hung in Fuld's office for years before being sold in a mixed lot of financial papers earlier this year, and eventually ending up with the HWPH Historisches Wertpapierhaus auctioneers, which specializes in historic investment memorabilia.

They had asked for a minimum price of €5,000 but the bidding started at €10,500, according to The Local.

"What happened here was just crazy," said auction house chairman Matthias Schmitt.

The successful bidder, one of 10 interested parties, wishes to remain anonymous, he said.

Appropriately enough, the original Lehman brothers - Henry, Emanuel and Mayer - were born near the auction house in Würzberg. They left for the US between 1844 and 1850, where they founded their firm in Montgomery, Alabama.

Lehman Brothers eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008, in the biggest banking collapse in US history.