Ex-Bankers Sleep Rough On The Sidewalk

Bloomberg reports that former employees at the likes of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley slept under blankets on the sidewalk outside Trump Tower in New York last week, as they hoped to be chosen as one of the 14 contestants for Trump's next Apprentice season.

The news agency quotes casting director Scott Salyers, who said: 'We're primarily focusing on people that have been affected by the recession. Not necessarily out of work, but maybe they're stuck in a job they think they're better at'.

In the meantime, Fox Business News reports that US market regulator The Securities and Exchange Commission is ramping up its probe of former Lehman executives in the light of the recent report published by bankruptcy examiner Anton Valukas.

The business news channel also reports that The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which is responsible for US public accounting firms, has launched a probe into Ernst & Young's role in signing off Lehman's financial accounts. Valukas's report accused the firm of 'professional malpractice' for approving the use of the controversial off-balance sheet accounting technique known as Repo 105.

Finally, Reuters reports that the administrators of Lehman's UK unit have objected to the US plan to turn what remains of the firm into an asset management business, which might also take in external clients. The UK administrators have described the plan as 'premature', and have called for more details on how creditors are likely to be repaid.

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