London's Gathering Storm

PHOTOGRAPH FOR TIME BY TOM STODDART REPORTAGE / GETTY

THE SKY FALLS: After 15 years of growth, London is headed for hard times

When the 4,500 people who used to work for Lehman Brothers in London showed up at the investment bank's plush office on Canary Wharf on Sept. 15, only to be told that the firm was out of business and that they should look for another job, some of them did what any number of their colleagues around town have been doing for years: they threw a party. On the equity-trading floor, the internal PA system known as the "hoot" blared out the R.E.M. song "It's the End of the World as We Know It." And then, after collecting up their personal...

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