Bravo to Reuters reporter Clare Baldwin who tracked Dick Fuld down to get a few words from the ex-Lehman boss on the eve of the one-year anniversary of his firm’s implosion.
Her editors were sufficiently impressed, so they had her write a separate piece about the experience of hunting down the “the gorilla” in Idaho. Among the startling revelations: He gave her a hug!
I had tracked Fuld to his wood and stone house in Ketchum, a beautiful corner of Idaho, last Friday, and I took the same flight as him to Salt Lake City on Saturday before he flew on to New York and I returned home to San Francisco.
The hug, the second he had given me in the two days, was warm — far from what you might expect from a banker nicknamed “gorilla” for his combative and intimidating behaviour. It was accompanied by a departing “goodbye, sweetie.”
I had been trying to get Fuld, who said I reminded him of his daughters, to do something he said he just couldn’t do — to tell his story about the collapse of Lehman on September 15 last year and the massive recriminations that have followed.
Repeatedly, over a series of meetings I had with him — at his house, on a plane, at an airport — Fuld indicated he really would like to get his side out there. But possibly for legal reasons and also because he doesn’t think the world is yet ready to give him a fair hearing, he says he won’t.