Is It Rational to Hire Failed Firms' Casualties?

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One (admittedly minor) consolation for financial professionals whose jobs may be erased by a forced merger or bankruptcy, is the absence of the sort of stigma that used to attach to employees of recently failed institutions.

Numerous mid- to upper-level managers at Bear Stearns have landed (and even now continue to land) plum jobs within other investment banks and hedge funds. Many of these success stories involve individuals who had held direct responsibility over market segments that figured heavily in Bear's demise - such as several co-heads of fixed-income.

Now there is a similar rush by surviving insitutions to hire top talent from the former Lehman Brothers. "Surely this is bonkers," opines Financial Times columnist Tony Jackson.

What do you think? Should having worked recently at Bear, Lehman, AIG, UBS's investment bank division, Wachovia, Merrill Lynch or other troubled institutions, be viewed as a black mark on a banker's resume? Or, do surviving employers have good reason to bid for talent set free by the turmoil at these and other firms?