With Wall Street basically dead this week, except for the bankers trying to save Lehman (and the Goldman Sachs folks helping out MGM and the Merrill bankers poring over their UA contract looking for a way out), Andrew Ross Sorkin predicts what will happen to Lehman Brothers once everyone gets back to work after labour Day.
NYT: Lehman may not be too big to fail, but it may be too important to fail. Why? Because Richard S. Fuld Jr., Lehman’s chairman and chief executive, is too important. He is a member of an exclusive club: the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
It’s hard to believe that the Fed would let one of its own fail the way Bear Stearns did. Another member of club Fed, James Dimon, JPMorgan Chase‘s chief executive, was handed the deal of a lifetime. Alan D. Schwartz of Bear Stearns? Not a member.
Given Mr. Fuld’s access to Fed chief Ben S. Bernanke and Mr. Bernanke’s man on Wall Street, Timothy F. Geithner, Mr. Fuld is in a much better position than his rivals to keep his firm alive. A prediction: Watch the Fed’s discount window for loans to brokerage firms. It won’t close until Mr. Fuld is out of the woods…
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