This has to be the very definition of an illiquid, toxic asset.
Turns out that Lehman owns enough uranium cake to make a nuclear bomb.
Bloomberg: The bankrupt bank, in the throes of paying off creditors, acquired uranium cake “under a matured commodities contract” and plans to sell it when the market improves “to realise the best prices,” Chief Executive Officer Bryan Marsal said.
Lehman, once the fourth-largest investment bank, has an estimated $200 billion in unsecured liabilities left to pay. The uranium, which may be as much as 500,000 pounds, might fetch $20 million at today’s prices of about $40 per pound, said traders who asked not to be named because of the confidential nature of the data. Marsal said the traders’ estimate of Lehman’s uranium holding is “reasonable,” while declining to be more specific.
The potential for metaphor here is rich, especially given the fact that many believe that the messy Lehman bankruptcy is what destroyed the world last September.
Now just for the tinfoil hat crowd out there, last week the Daily News reported that Iran was attempting to use New York banks to smuggle nuclear material.