Lehman Brothers abyss had Paulson seeking prayer amid crisis

Hank: five years from the brink still

People weren’t taking Dick Fuld’s calls the weekend before September 15, because Dick had been in denial for a long time.

Bloomberg News has this from former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson:

As the CEO of Lehman Brothers, he had asked the New York Fed and the Treasury weeks earlier to put capital into a pool of nonperforming illiquid mortgages that he wanted to put in a subsidiary he called SpinCo and spin off. We had explained that we had no authority to do that. He thought somehow there was something the government could do to help. How could it be that no one would want to buy his company ? He just couldn’t believe it.

I was one of the few people speaking with him, and I told him what was happening: We couldn’t find a buyer, and without one, the government was powerless to save Lehman. He was devastated.

You would have to be a CEO to really understand what he was going through. He obviously loved the firm - viewed it as his firm - and to have it go down when you’re at the helm, there can’t be much that’s more devastating than that professionally. But the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy on September 15 was hardly the end of the crisis. It wasn’t the beginning, either.

Hit the link below to access the complete Bloomberg article:

Lehman Brothers Abyss Had Paulson Seeking Prayer Amid Crisis

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Source: Bloomberg

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