Excellent account of the super-Lehman bankruptcy of 150 years ago (Overend Gurney)
The failure of Overend Gurney — a discount house which had been larger than its three next largest competitors combined — sent shockwaves through the financial system in
May 1866. The seeds of its demise had been sown many years earlier. Despite its profitable bill broking business, Overend Gurney had been on the brink of failure for some time, incurring enormous losses from the bad loans it had extended with little credit risk assessment.