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Lehman Goes Banktrupt in High Profile Casualty Case

West Palm Beach (HedgeCo.net) – Lehman Brothers, Wall Street’s fourth biggest investment bank has filed for bankruptcy, making it the largest and highest-profile casualty of the global credit crisis, with approximately $639 billion in assets.

The bank said the Chapter 11 filing will not include its broker-dealer operations and other units, including Neuberger Berman. Lehman is looking at selling its broker-dealer operations, and is still in advanced discussions with a number of potential buyers of its investment management division.

Investors in recent weeks had grown increasingly jittery about Lehman’s $46 billion of mortgages and asset-backed securities, as well as its credit rating and its ability to raise capital. 

Bankruptcy also represents a bad end to Chief Executive Dick Fuld’s four-decade career at Lehman. Fuld, who piloted the investment bank through prior crises with aplomb, was widely seen as too slow to recognize Lehman’s need to raise capital and shed bad assets.

Lehman listed its biggest unsecured creditors as Citigroup Inc, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, Aozora Bank, and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. Citi and Bank of New York Mellon are trustees for Lehman bonds.

The firm said that as of May 31, it owed about $110.5 billion on account of senior unsecured notes, about $12.6 billion on account of subordinated unsecured notes and about $5 billion on account of junior subordinated notes.

Alex Akesson

Editor for HedgeCo.Net
Email: alex@hedgeco.net

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