Third, what really hit me was the lack of remorse. He genuinely did not believe that either he, his bank or his industry had brought about this financial train-crash and recession. He blamed Dick Fuld, politicians and public naivety that it could all go on for ever. For him, things weren't going to be so easy, but there was no way his new employer Nomura wanted him or his colleagues to be less creative. 'You stick a hair shirt on for a while, but then you find other ways to make money.'
Although the slump might mean that the take-home pay of our Master of the Universe drops from a million and a half to a paltry six-figure sum, it means something far worse to Joe Public. Those who will suffer when business hits the buffers and companies start hacking away at costs are ordinary, less-well-qualified people - those on £25k who are going to lose their jobs and have to explain that to their kids when they get home from school. Mr Ex-Lehmans was right to says that we all floated upward in the bubble together, but now that it has been pricked, the hardest fall will be for those with no crash-mat.
One thing that's vital as things turn down is to try to keep one's chin up (see our feature, p46). There's nothing worse than a collective dose of the blues to have us all reduced to numbed inactivity. I'm not saying that we should all be wandering around grinning like village idiots oblivious to the realities we face. Just that sometimes seeing a glass that is half-full rather than half-empty can do wonders for morale and productivity. And survival.