Lehman Lynched…RE-VISITED

Lehman Lynched…RE-VISITED

We all have read about the fall of Lehman and takeover of Merryl by BOA. Here’s what I had written to Financial Express in SEPTEMBER 2008 :

This refers to your editorial “Lehmanaging finance” (FE 16.09.08). What has happened to Lehman Brothers now in 2008 is a grim repeat of the Great Depression of 1931. It appears that Merryl Lynch somehow wrangled to avoid bankruptcy by finding an Angel Investor in Bank of America. Such well known icons of the global financial world, falling down from their high and mighty pedestals like a pack of cards indicates that their fundamentals were weak and their foundations were hollow. We Indians looked at them as pillars of strength and often had grandiose plans to grow to their heights but the real picture was a facade behind which lurked murky matters and financial juggleries which caught their investors unawares. Let our RBI and Finance Ministry take a leaf out of the books of these two mishaps to learn a lesson and take corrective measures to ensure that such sudden and shocking falls in stock markets are prevented. Greed and Fear are the main culprits of such excesses. It is also likely that some other big brothers like Goldman Sachs may see similar fate looking to the fact that its third quarter earnings plunged massively by 70%. Our own banks like ICICI and SBI are also likely to suffer huge damage to their reputations by making high provisions to cover their investments in Lehman’s Indian arms. The need of the hour is that “Big Bosses” of RBI/FINMIN/SEBI should get together and plan to put in place required risk control measures in public interest and in the interest of financial stability. Every time such shocks surface, our people who sit on the top of our financial systems, merely mouth dialogues like: “The fundamentals of Indian economy are really strong”. It is high time our financial pundits did a thorough study and come out with a detailed analysis of our financial system so that Indian investors are not taken for a ride by such shocking shake-ups.

J S BROCA, New Delhi.

LINK FROM MY BLOG : http://seeingwithc.org/jsblog/?p=62



FE Editorial– Lehmanaging finance

 The Financial Express | Updated: Sep 17 2008

 Americas fourth-largest investment bank, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy on Monday after talks with the Bank of America and Barclays failed to end in any settlement over a possible purchase/rescue. One can hardly blame potential suitors. Lehman, like may other struggling Wall Street firms, is carrying too many mortgage-based securities that have become toxic after the collapse of the US mortgage market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were nationalised. Bear Stearns was rescued. Merrill Lynch saved itself by selling itself cheap to Bank of America. AIG, the US insurance giant, is looking for a saviour or looking at bankruptcy. There are others on Wall Street that may have switched their thoughts from bonuses to survival. But the spotlight will eventually have to shift from planning rescues to diagnosis. And thats from where a danger even bigger than a financial crisis can come.

First, on the issue of managers taking excessive risks, remember that risk is the motor of financial openness. Ridiculous bets, like the ones on US mortgage appear to be now, are avoidable, but the job of looking at that should be with shareholders, not a micro-managing regulators. Over-regulation will not help anyone, including the ordinary Joe, who needs an open system to be financially included. Second, maybe Alan Greenspan wasnt God. Greenspan, it is clear now, let too much money into the system and kept interest rates too low for too long. This meant financial institutions had a lot of cash and not enough returns from conventional instruments (rates were too low) and had the incentive to create products whose real economic basis wasnt sound enough. That doesnt mean the managers responsible shouldnt paythey should and in some cases they are paying; Lehmans top management isnt going to make a packet out of bankruptcy. But it does mean that the liability of regulators should be assessed more sophisticatedly, not just by screaming about their inability to punish bad boys. Third, no one should forget the gains of an open financial system, gains that accrue continuously and gains that outweigh the losses of infrequent crises. Countries that have liberal finance have more dynamic real sectors. As India looks at the Mistry and Rajan reports on financial openness, this is the lesson to be learnt from America. Sadly, there are too many people in this country who will argue, by pointing to Lehman, Bear Stearns, etc, that puny banks and over-regulated finance are Indias national jewels.

TODAY ON 28TH NOV 2018 AFTER MORE THAN 10 YEARS, WHEN I GOOGLED Lehman Brothers, I GOT About 1,85,00,000 results in 0.54 seconds!

 Lot of interest had cropped up in the media and internet.

Here are some obvious Qs and As:

Q1. Who was the CEO of Lehman Brothers when it failed?

Richard “Dick” Fuld, was the CEO who led investment bank Lehman Brothers up until its failure at the start of the Financial Crisis.

Q 2. Who were the Lehman Brothers?

In 1847, following the arrival of his brother Emanuel Lehman, the firm became “H. Lehman and Bro.” With the arrival of their youngest brother, Mayer Lehman, in 1850, the firm changed its name again and “Lehman Brothers” was founded. During the 1850s, cotton was one of the most important crops in the United States.

Q3. Who bought Lehman Brothers?

Bank of America leapt into the maelstrom and bought Merrill Lynch for about $50 billion. Early the next morning, Lehman Brothers announced its bankruptcy filing. Lehman soon sold its investment banking and capital markets operations to Barclays for $250 million.

Q4. When did Lehman Brothers go under?

September 15, 2008. The filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by financial services firm Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008, remains the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, with Lehman holding over US$600,000,000,000 in assets.

Q5. What caused the 2008 financial crisis?

The financial crisis was primarily caused by deregulation in the financial industry that permitted banks to engage in hedge fund trading with derivatives. Banks then demanded more mortgages to support the profitable sale of these derivatives. That created the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession.




Here is one link that I liked and have shared —



Lehman Brothers collapse: A race to the bottom

5 things you need to know about Lehman Brothers

The Lehman Brothers Collapse and How It’s Changed the Economy

Life after the Lehman Brothers collapse

Shock and awe: the aftermath of Lehman Brothers’ collapse

A decade after the Lehman Brothers’ collapse, finance remains a major risk


J S BROCA  28TH NOV 2018

 Image result for lehman brothers

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