Lehman's Latest Plan To Save Itself: Create A "Bad" Bank

With a tip of the hat to the late eighties, Lehman is now rumoured to be considering creating a second bank called Spinco that will take $32 billion in commercial mortgages and real estate junk off Lehman’s hands.

Bloomberg: Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. may shift about $32 billion of commercial mortgages and real estate to a new company that will be spun off in a move similar to the good-bank-bad-bank model used in the 1980s banking crisis, two people briefed on the discussions said.

The bad bank, nicknamed Spinco for now, would have about $8 billion of equity coming from Lehman, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the plan is one of several under consideration. Spinco would borrow the remaining $24 billion from Lehman or outside investors. The New York-based bank would replace capital put into Spinco, whose shares would be owned by current Lehman shareholders.

Lehman Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld, 62, is under pressure to strip the firm’s balance sheet of hard-to-sell assets. To raise cash needed to cope with losses from a wholesale disposal, Lehman has been talking with Korea Development Bank about a capital infusion and with private equity firms interested in buying its asset-management unit.

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