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Full-Text Articles in Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy H: The Global Contagion, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy H: The Global Contagion, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

When Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, it was the largest such filing in U.S. history and a huge shock to the world’s financial markets, which were already stressed from the deflated housing bubble and questions about subprime mortgages. Lehman was the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank with assets of $639 billion and its operations spread across the globe. Lehman’s clients and counterparties began to disclose millions of dollars of potential losses as they accounted for their exposures. But the impact of Lehman’s demise was felt well beyond its counterparties. Concern regarding its ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy C: Managing The Balance Sheet Through The Use Of Repo 105, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy C: Managing The Balance Sheet Through The Use Of Repo 105, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

The Lehman Brothers court-appointed bankruptcy examiner produced a 2,200-page report detailing possible claims that the estate might pursue. The most surprising revelation of the report was that during its last year Lehman had relied heavily on an unusual financing transaction—Repo 105. The examiner concluded that Lehman’s aggressive use of Repo 105 transactions enabled it to remove up to $50 billion of assets from its balance sheet at quarter-end and to manipulate its leverage ratio so that it could report more favorable results. This case considers in-depth Lehman’s questionable use of Repo 105 transactions and its impact.