The world of the Lehman spouse sounds horrible. Sure, you get fancy clothes, extravagant dinners, cars and trips. But the price seems excissive --- since the firm literally owned its employees and their families. Indeed, executives were pressured to miss a child's birth. The world of Lehman spouses described by Vicky Ward in her new book, The Devil's Casino: Friendship, Betryal and the High Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Bros., sounds like the modern equivalent of the Stepford Wives. Super-competitive Stepford wives on steroids and strappy stilettos, that is.
This month Vanity Fair exceprts the book. Here is how it is described. "Lehman Brothers C.E.O. Dick Fuld expected his top executives to get married, and stay married. For their wives, the firm was both fishbowl andshark tank, with unwritten rules about the clothes they wore, the charities they supported, and the hikes they took at the company’s Sun Valley retreats. One and a half years after the firm’s collapse, in an excerpt from her new book, the author sums up the high price—a life of isolation, backstabbing, and hypocrisy—paid by Lehman’s better halves."
Here is another choice nugget that sums up the inner world that Fuld created at Lehman: "As the firm’s dramas played out in the Lehman offices, they also played out among the wives. Many were as competitive as their husbands, and they ruthlessly criticized or exploited any perceived weaknesses of their rivals."
At Lehman's annual Sun Valley executive retreat, which wives were expected to attend, Lehman culture put its wives through the ringer, "with its grueling hike, elaborate dress codes, and social jockeying—until Fuld decided the spouses were too much of a distraction." Click here to check out the swells who comprised the Lehman "family."