The ninth month of the year has become typical for memorable events. In the year 2001, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York were virtually destroyed by aircraft supposedly under the control of Al-Quaeda. In the year 2008, we had the global financial crisis triggered by questionable practices perpetrated by some of the biggest financial institutions int eh United States. Once again, in 2018, we are recording the funeral of a notable son of Africa, Kofi Annan, the only black man to be named a Secretary-General of the United Nations.


I would like to hone in on a series on the BBC has been airing about the events that led up the near collapse of the global financial system as a result of questionable practices perpetrated by staff of some of the world’s oldest and “richest” financial institutions. The re-enactment of these events showed the utter confidence that people like the CEO of Lehman Brothers voiced out to his President, confidence that, to my mind, bordered on arrogance. He was absolutely sure that the United States or Barclays Bank would buy them out but he was utterly wrong. Yes, an institution with more than a century of success can definitely fail.


There are a few things we can learn from the events surrounding the fall of Lehman brothers. I will simply outline them and let the reader think through:

1. You are never too big to fail. We have seen it with institutions and we have seen it with great men. A history of great achievements can easily be erased from memory with one colossal failure.

2. Failure is often a series of wrong steps. Your habits are amplified as you grow in influence. The are amplified because you actions affect many more people that previously. The effects of a bad habit are much worse when you are a person or an institution of great influence.

3. You are never guaranteed someone else’s help. The decision as to whether your friends will help you when you are in trouble or not is not your decision, it’s theirs. You have no right to count on that help especially when the failure is your fault.

So …

I am sure there are many other things we can pick from this part of the world’s history. Maybe you think, I should mention the need to keep out of any kind of debt but I am sure you have already heard that from Dave Ramsey.