Lehman Reeling

The trouble at Lehman Brothers is rapidly becoming a race against time for the struggling Wall Street bank as its shares sank on Thursday.

Lehman's fortunes have dwindled as the firm, staggered by the biggest loss in its 158-year history, fights to regain confidence among investors.

Even after Lehman pledged Wednesday to shrink its operations in its most drastic step yet to shore up its financial position, its shares slid Thursday, falling almost 40 percent in mid-morning trading, to $4.33. On Wednesday the stock had closed down 7 percent to $7.25. Shares stood at $82 little over a year ago.

With each passing day, the pressure is growing for Lehman to secure a financial lifeline or at least arrest the precipitous decline in its stock, which has lost 55 percent of its value over the last three days.