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Lehman = $4; WAMU = $2

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On September 11, 2008 @ 9:40 am In Corporate Management,Credit,Short Selling,Valuation | Comments Disabled

Another day, another disaster at the 148 year old firm known as Lehman Brothers:

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>lehman_open_9.11 [1]
When the posthumous story on Lehman gets written, I do not see how full blame for the debacle does not fall anywhere but squarely on CEO Dick Fuld, [2] who has presided over a stock decline of 90%+ this year:

• Failed to adequately recognize the danger of the credit crunch, declaring LTCM worse. His quote in April [3]:  “The worst is behind us.

Failed to sell Neuberger & Berman [4] on a timely basis. When your back is against the wall, you do not have the luxury of holding out for top dollar — you should be raising cash [5].

• At a time when confidence in the firm and its management needed to be shored up, very foolishly played games with leaking non-public information [6];

• The CEO was far more involved in the day-to-day PR [7] than was advisable.

• Fuld focused obsessively on the Shorts [8], instead of his company’s deteriorating balance sheet and flailing business;

•Can still redeem himself by pulling a rabbit out of his hat, and getting some decent sale of the firm [9].

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Special kudos to Citibank, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, for the timely downgrades of the banks TODAY. Talk about value added, you guys are the best!

It just goes to show how true the cliche is about fundamental analysts: You don’t need them in a bull market, and you don’t want them in a bear market.

Rumors that Goldman is looking to bottom tick the stock, and take them
out (cheap) are rampant. (I have no opinion on whether its true or
not). Earlier this week, the trading desk IM # was $4 a share.

Well, Goldie, here it is. (UPDATE: Goldman Sachs is not buying Lehman – sources [10])

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No position in any stock mentioned.

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Previously:
Financial Sector: Beware LEH, CIT [11] (June 2008)

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/06/financial-secto.html

Dirty Tricks at Lehman? [6] (June 2008)

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/06/dirty-tricks-at.html

Who is the least trustworthy C.E.O. on Wall Street? [12] (August 09, 2008)

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/08/who-is-the-leas.html

Gasparino vs Einhorn, Kohn & Ritholtz [13] (June 2008)

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/06/gasparino-vs-ei.html

Fuld’s Misquote Contest [8] (June 2008)

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/06/fulds-misquote.html


Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/09/lehman-4-wamu-2/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/lehman_open_9.11.gif

[2] CEO Dick Fuld,: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2008/09/11/business/20080911_FULD_GRAPHIC.html

[3] April: http://uk.reuters.com/article/telecomm/idUKN1548081820080416

[4] Failed to sell Neuberger & Berman: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=axx1tl8SRBXU&

[5] you should be raising cash: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/columnists/article4728063.ece

[6] played games with leaking non-public information: http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/06/dirty-tricks-at.html

[7] day-to-day PR: http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/06/updating-lehman.html

[8] Shorts: http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/06/fulds-misquote.html

[9] sale of the firm: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2008/09/lehman-end-imminent.html

[10] Goldman Sachs is not buying Lehman – sources: http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINWEN794920080911?rpc=44

[11] Financial Sector: Beware LEH, CIT: http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/06/financial-secto.html

[12] Who is the least trustworthy C.E.O. on Wall Street?: http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/08/who-is-the-leas.html

[13] Gasparino vs Einhorn, Kohn & Ritholtz: http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/06/gasparino-vs-ei.html

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