They targeted a bankers’ conference in the Rhineland-Palatinate state capital, saying their financial advisors had not explained the risks of Lehman Brothers’ products.
Shouting “where is our money?” and “pensions, houses, study courses – with Lehman more than money is gone,” the demonstrators gave voice to their anger at the banks, the advisors and the financial institutes which failed to prevent the collapse.
They have formed a lobby group which is now calling for the government to use its financial bailout funds to pay individuals who have lost out in the chaos, as well as the banks.
They say 50,000 private investors lost money in the Lehman collapse, with a total sum of more than €800,000 missing. Many of those concerned are older people who had planned to fund their retirement with certificates from the US bank.
Estimates from the Bundesbank suggest the total damage to European banks from this one bankruptcy could add up to more than €5 billion.