Company admits slave history
"This is a sad part of our heritage. . . . We're deeply apologetic. ... It was a terrible thing. . . . There's no one sitting in the United States in the year 2005, hopefully, who would ever, in a million years, defend the practice," said Joe Polizzotto, general counsel of Lehman Brothers.
Polizzotto initially claimed that company research had, so far, produced no concrete information that founding brothers Mayer, Henry and Emanuel Lehman had profited from slavery. But, under questioning from aldermen, he said, "It is virtually inconceivable, given the fact that they owned slaves that were in the business that the company didn't profit in some way, shape or form, from the institution of slavery. We appreciate that fact. We know that," the general counsel said.
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