Reviled: Lehman Brothers ex-boss Dick Fuld is the banker who likes to hate Americans
Traditionally in pantomime, the bad guy enters the stage to make a volley of cheering and hissing.
He snarls and screams and despite frequent protests he can not generate sympathy. Without fail, the rotter ultimately gets his earned salary.
In the past decade Dick Fuld has performed this rich comic role full of self-confidence.
As chief executive of the late Lehman Brothers, he is the banker who likes to hate Americans, their symbol of everything that is wrong with capitalism.
When Lehman collapsed under the weight of bad investments, Fuld did not go to prison nor were criminal prosecutions filed.
His pride has certainly been successful, but he has vast homes in Connecticut and Florida. In the eight years prior to the crash, he received an average of £ 47 million per year.
He is the Captain Cook of Wall Street, his Wicked Witch, his King Rat is rolled. Whether he got the earned wage he deserved is a different matter.
Fuld is physically born to play the bad guy. A fierce, non-behaving creature with colossal shoulders and a cruel mouth, he has a brilliance that can make a pint of gold top sour.
On Wall Street he was known as & # 39; the Gorilla & # 39 ;, a reference to both his voluminous frame and his troubling habit of speaking in grunts.
He spoke to traders as if he were a Mafia capo. & # 39; Tear their throat out & # 39 ;, was a popular chorus.
Fuld joined the university's air force as a trainee in the hope of becoming a test pilot. A brawl with a commanding officer of whom he claimed that he was drawing a small cadet soon stopped that career plan.
After Lehman recruited him in 1969 as a fixed income trader, he attracted the attention of President Glucksman, a complex soul with a preference for lunches with three martinis and swinging telephones.
Fuld grew into more machine than man and spent endless hours on his green screen. His advance to the top track in 1994 became inevitable. And he remained a banker of the old school. An impeccable dresser, his navy suits were cut at Richards in Connecticut, his silk ties were obtained from Hermes and his black lace-up shoes always seemed to be a high buff.
Sloppy dress, sloppy thinking, & # 39; he would say. When the Lehman workers voted for Friday, the chief executive said solemnly: "This is a dark day for the company."
In the eight years prior to the crash Fuld was paid an average of £ 47 million per year. He maintains extensive homes in Connecticut and Florida
Fuld expected his charges to apply equally strict standards to their private lives. The marriage was encouraged, the divorce was frowned and things were not tolerated.
One of Fuld's redeeming features is his dedication to his wife Kathy, a towering blonde with whom he has three children.
Colleagues say that he would interrupt meetings to answer her phone calls, while she spoke to her fondly as "Fuld & # 39 ;. His most beautiful hour came during 9/11.
When the financial district was evacuated, Fuld and his team settled down at the Sheraton Hotel. Staff packed in rooms to keep acting. In the subsequent 2001 recession, Lehman outperformed the rest of the sector.
When the walls tumbled down seven years later, the congress had a field day. The sight of Fuld under heavy interrogation on Capitol Hill, his stony face betrays no hint of remorse, remains one of the most enduring images of the credit crisis.
Last year he tried a comeback, with the launch of corporate finance firm Matrix Wealth Partners. Whether it succeeds remains to be seen.
Fuld's only public statements since appearing before Congress were in 2015. It was a rubber dip lunch for investors at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York.
When he dealt with the death of Lehman, he blamed the American government, the world economy, the Federal Reserve. Almost everyone bar Richard S Fuld Jr. Those present said it was painful to watch. The applause that greeted his performance was at best lukewarm.
When the blows died out, Wall Street's panto-rogue quickly left the stage on the right, followed by lawyers.