Lehman Down

Looks like nobody wants to buy Lehman Brothers so they’re looking at liquidation. Bank of America, which I guess has money, was once considered a likely candidate to buy Lehman, but now it looks like they’re going to buy Merrill Lynch (which was likely to go down after Lehman) instead.

Can someone remind me what it is that all these financial wizards were getting paid so much money to do? Is there some reason you need to pay top dollar to find someone capable of managing an institution into the ground.