Thursday, September 25, 2008

The World is Changing Rapidly

The financial crisis has changed the American system so rapidly that my book -- which hasn't even been published yet -- has some parts that are already out of date.

Last week Lehman Brothers, founded by one of Isaias Hellman's brothers in law, filed for bankruptcy. On Friday, the 118-year old law firm Heller Ehrman, a San Francisco institution, will dissolve.

The firm is named after Isaias Hellman's two sons-in-law, Emanuel Heller and Sidney Ehrman. Heller was a young lawyer when he set up his firm in 1890. He soon met Hellman, who had just moved to San Francisco to take over the Nevada Bank. Soon, Heller was doing much of the bank's legal work. When the Nevada Bank merged with Wells Fargo, Heller took over that work as well. Heller married Hellman's oldest daughter, Clara Hellman, in 1899.

Sidney Ehrman married Florence Hellman in 1904 and soon joined the firm. That's him in the photo at Lake Tahoe.

Both my father and grandfather worked at Heller Ehrman.

Two historical ties now severed.

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