Lehman Brothers gasped its last breath this morning, filing for Chapter 11 protection in Manhattan under a crushing $613 billion in debt, the largest—and potentially most frightening—bankruptcy in US history, reports Bloomberg. Experts say the filing is likely to trigger a domino effect in the US economy.
Lehman was felled by the collapse of the mortgage-securities market it helped create, and a possible rescue by Barclays and Bank of America fell apart this weekend, signaling its death knell. Lehman owed hundreds of millions to banks in Asia, had lost 94% of its value over the past year, and has struggled to raise funds as its reputation waned. Lehman has about 25,000 employees worldwide.