Business: More Than $1,000

On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange one morning this week the gong bonged as usual at 10 a. m., opening the day's trading. Slowly the ticker tapped out the first sale—100 shares of Lehman Corp. at $25.50 per share. The market was dull. Suddenly the bell rang again, bringing trading to a sharp halt. As a man the hushed brokers turned toward the rostrum to hear an astounding announcement: the firm of Richard Whitney & Co. was unable to meet its obligations.

The brokers could not believe their ears. Indeed, as...

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