Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sign of the Apocalypse - Dick Fuld - Say WHATTTT?

Again, when I read this story from Dealbreaker, the first thing I did was click through to make sure it wasn't an Onion article.  Nope - NY Post.  Then, I checked my calendar to see if it was an April Fool's prank... Nope again...

"He may be one of the most vilified men coming out of the financial crisis, but ex-Lehman Brothers boss Dick Fuld is feeling vindicated in the wake of last week's 2,200-page report by a court-appointed bank examiner, sources tell The Post.

Fuld privately believes that the report by examiner Anton Valukas provides proof that he did nothing illegal as he steered Lehman through a financial mess that ultimately led the firm to file the largest bankruptcy in US history, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Among Valukas' findings is that Lehman used an esoteric accounting practice known as "Repo 105," which allowed the firm to move toxic mortgage assets off its books in order to make it seem healthier.

But while Valukas in the report said that the Lehman estate has "colorable" claims against Fuld, former CFO Erin Callan, and other members of the financial team for not disclosing its use of the Repo 105 transactions, people in Fuld's camp think differently.

They say that if after poring over reams of documents and sifting through millions of e-mails, Repo 105 is the strongest example of Lehman's supposed shenanigans, Fuld & Co. are in good shape."
Here's me after reading that:  Hmmm.... shaking head... tongue tied... not sure what to write... can't believe he's actually going this route...

To recap, Fuld's view now seems to be, "Hey mofo's - if the best you could do after tens of thousands of man hours of investigation is discover massive financial fraud on the part of my company, then SUCK IT! I Win!"



Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah I'm no prosecutor or regulator, but I've been writing a post all week about how guilty that investigator's report makes Lehman, each CFO and the CEO look, in particular in light of these periodic Repo 105 transactions that apparently were happening just a day or two prior to earnings being announced and recorded, and then undone a day or two later.

Among other things, Sarbanes-Oxley requires the CFO and CEO to personally attest in writing that the financial numbers being submitted to the SEC represent a true picture of the financial condiction of the company.

Fuld can spin this however he wants, but on first blush I think this looks pretty awful for the firm. The report makes it sound like Fuld might not have been the #1 guy making the decisions on the Repo 105 transactions, but I'm having a hard time understanding how he avoids liability if what is in that report is true.

Mike said...

Hahahaha. Great video call.

scharfy said...

Back when these firms were private partnerships, this kind of gaming/fraud would be sad,stupid, and unethical - but not illegal.

However, when you take your company public, and issue tradable securities to the public, you assume a higher threshold of regulation and transparency. If you lust for the IPO and all its blessings, you must have open and honest accounting.

If our markets are to retain(rebuild) their attractiveness(and thusly their high valuations and high capital flow from the across the globe), confidence and trust in the system is of utmost importance to long term prosperity.

Fuld wants plausible deniability, but he can't have it from me.

Former President of Lehman, Herb McDade:

“Fuld knew about the accounting of Repo 105,” McDade said in an interview with Valukas on Jan. 28 this year.

Dick Fuld Unaware of Lehman’s ‘Cooking the Books’? STOP IT!!

We do not need more regulation. We need enforcement of fraud using existing laws.

Anonymous said...

Scharfy – I have a neighbor who curses, swears and basically acts poorly, this is her habit, there is no changing her. It should be no surprise her children act in the same unruly way, yet she gets mad at the “little shits” and tells them how to behave.

To argue Fuld deserves plausible deniability is absurd, so like you say he should not get it from you, me or anyone else. But when the Federal Gov and Fed Reserve are acting in the same reckless fashion, who is going to hold Fuld’s of our world accountable?

The way my neighbor has raised her children is sad, stupid, and unethical - but not illegal. And the kids act just as they have been raised. What can the school or community do if their mother is not willing to change her behavior?

Many of the companies that have helped bankrupt our country are only acting in a way the government has allowed. And if the chief participant is not held accountable how can the others?


Kid Dynamite said...

Fuld is culpable, and also, the regulators should be held seriously accountable for gross failure to do their jobs.

it is very analogous to the gross incompetence shown by the ratings agencies in the whole MBS mess.

EconomicDisconnect said...

I actually have sympathy for Fuld; He knows everyone is doing it and cannot figure out how his firm got the winning (losing) lottery toicket to get dusted. I wonder myself.

did you drown with all the rain last week/weekend??

Kid Dynamite said...

GYSC - rain was relentless. No damage though - that's all that matters. my yard is still soggy.

my dad, just west of boston, said there were lots of roads in his town closed today. he said some towns got NINE INCHES OF RAIN!!! talk about signs of the apocalypse..