Lehman Brothers: The American Dream

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Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the American dream as, “a happy way of living that is thought of by many Americans as something that can be achieved by anyone in the United States especially by working hard and becoming successful.” This “American dream” appeals to many immagrants and draws them to the United States where they hope to turn their lives around for the better. Entrepreneurs such as Jerry Yang, the founder of Yahoo and Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, are immigrants that proved that the American dream is a real thing and is possible to come true. In 1844, Henry Lehman immigrated from Rimpay, Germany, to Montgomery, Alabama, where he opened a small grocery store selling dry goods and utensils to local cotton farmers. He partnered with his two brothers, Emmanueal and Mayer in 1850, and the name Lehman Brothers was established. Shortly after, Henry died in 1855 and left the establishment to his brothers. In 1929, the Lehman family created the Lehman Corporation, which was a closed-end investment company. For four decades, the firm comprised of sons, brothers, and cousins in the Lehman…show more content…
There are two opinions on who should be at fault for Lehman Brother’s failure: E&Y or Lehman’s financial reporters. Those who believe E&Y should be at fault say E&Y should be responsible because it is the duty of an audit firm to recognize shady accounting practices and report it. Those on the side of the auditor say that Ernst & Young did its duty as an auditor: made sure the financial statements were in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). They also believe E&Y is too big of a company to let a fraud this big happen under its name (Coenen 2010). A shift for who to blame for the accepted fraud shifted from E&Y to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) because they are in charge of making the audit rules E&Y followed that allowed Lehman to get away with fraud for so

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