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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 G: The Special Case Of Derivatives, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy G: The Special Case Of Derivatives, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

When it filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2008, Lehman Brothers was an active participant in the derivatives market and was party to 906,000 derivative transactions of all types under 6,120 ISDA Master Agreements with an estimated notional value of $35 trillion. The majority of Lehman’s derivatives were bilateral agreements not traded on an exchange but in the over-the-counter (OTC) market. Because derivatives enjoyed an exemption from the automatic stay provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, parties to Lehman’s derivatives could seek resolution and self-protection without the guidance and restraint of the bankruptcy court. The ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy E: The Effects On Lehman’S U.S. Broker-Dealer, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy E: The Effects On Lehman’S U.S. Broker-Dealer, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

Lehman’s U.S. broker-dealer, Lehman Brothers Inc. (LBI), was excluded from the parent company’s bankruptcy filing on September 15, 2008, because it was thought that the solvent subsidiary might be able to wind down its affairs in a normal fashion. However, the force of the parent’s demise proved too strong, and within days, LBI and dozens of Lehman subsidiaries around the world were also in liquidation. As a regulated broker-dealer, LBI was required to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission financial-responsibility rules for broker-dealers, including maintaining customer assets separately. However, the corporate complexity and enterprise integration ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy D: The Role Of Ernst & Young, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Rosalind L. Bennett, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy D: The Role Of Ernst & Young, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Rosalind L. Bennett, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

For many years prior to its demise, Lehman Brothers employed Ernst & Young (EY) as the firm’s independent auditors to review its financial statements and express an opinion as to whether they fairly represented the company’s financial position. EY was supposed to try to detect fraud, determine whether a matter should be publicly disclosed, and communicate certain issues to Lehman’s Board audit committee. After Lehman filed for bankruptcy, it was discovered that the firm had employed questionable accounting with regard to an unorthodox financing transaction, Repo 105, which it used to make its results appear better than they ...


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.


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy A: Overview, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Thomas Piontek, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy A: Overview, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Thomas Piontek, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank, sought Chapter 11 protection, initiating the largest bankruptcy proceeding in U.S. history. The demise of the 164-year old firm was a seminal event in the global financial crisis. Under the direction of its long-time Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld, Lehman had been very successful pursuing a high-leverage, high-risk business model that required it to daily raise billions of dollars to fund its operations. Beginning in 2006, Lehman began to invest aggressively in real-estate-related assets and soon had significant exposures to housing and subprime mortgages, just ...