Does Dick Fuld Know How to Answer Questions?

Apparently not. The former Lehman CEO devolved into long soliloquies about the history of the bankrupt firm, took long pauses and seemed generally delusional in his testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee this afternoon. Here’s a recap of Fuld’s bizarreness:

The most peculiar answer: “We were risk averse,” Fuld says in response to a question about why the firm failed. He chalks the losses up to “terrible timing” on commercial real estate investments. Still, at the end, Fuld says there was “no capital hole.” “We could not convince the world about the [good] position we were in.” He also blamed naked short sellers, again.

Asked if 30 to 1 leverage seemed risk averse to him, Fuld said 30 to 1 was a misconception. (It seems as though he really believes this.)

At the end of his his opening statement, Fuld looks up from his prepared remarks, takes off his glasses and says: “Given all that has been said, I would like to add that I am aware that one day we had a firm and the next day we did not and a lot of people got hurt with that and I have to live with that. ”

Asked if he should have known about the Repo 105 transactions, Fuld said “there was no reason why I would know about those sale transactions” because they were merely sales of government securities. “I was focused on less liquid assets: commercial real estate, residential mortgage, leveraged loans. I was focused on what could impact our capital. Government securities do not impact our capital.”

After a question about what caused the demise of Lehman Brothers, Fuld pauses for an uncomfortable amount of time and then begins a history lesson on Lehman, which goes back 150 years and leads up to to the firm’s IPO in 1994 before he’s cut off by Rep. Paul Kanjorski, who asks him to make his answer more succinct. But Fuld keeps fumbling and going back in time talking about how great the firm was. Kanjorski interjects again: “I haven’t heard you take responsibility” and “Don’t give me an advertisement” for the firm.

Later in the hearing we finally get a sort of answer out of Fuld about the mistake he made: “We did not understand the contagion of one asset class to the next and failed to see the depth of the crisis,” he sad. Oh yeah, and the firm “had too much commercial real estate,” he adds.

One representative asks Fuld if he gambles. After another long pause he says, “Not in the way you’re asking.”

(hidden for your protection)
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156 Responses to “Does Dick Fuld Know How to Answer Questions?”

  1. Somewhat Concerned says:

    Fuld knows exactly how to answer questions. He is not in jail. He hasn’t been barred from the securities industry. He’s still rich (if not as rich). He’s having the last laugh. We can wonder whether he’s delusional, but he’s the one still eating at The Four Seasons. What does he care what we think about his testimony.

  2. Client 9 says:

    way to edit out the best part of his testimony.

    Kanjorski: “I haven’t heard you take responsibility.”

    Fuld: “I could break you, mate. In two pieces over my knees. You know it, I know it. I could buy you six times over.”

  3. Dumbfounded CSPAN watcher says:

    Zachery Kouwe you took the words right out of my mouth!!! As I was watching Fuld’s testimony I was thinking to myself: “He’s stalling, he’s giving non-answers, that can’t possibly be right, he’s LYING.” Perfect Zach. I couldn’t have said it better. He has bigger problems than Congress. Let the civil lawsuits begin !!! I hope he hangs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Traders don’t lose money. Structured products lose money.

  5. Moffat Top says:

    That look suggests that Gorilla Fuld is contemplating whether or not ripping off the arm of the interviewer and beating him to death with their severed limb would be an appropriate response for questioning the position of Lehman Brothers.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Finally! An original, readable piece from Kouwe.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Fuld said he only signed SEC filings after chief in house lawyer told him they were fine.
    So when are they going to subpoena that arrogant you know what , Steve Berkenfeld, and haul his ass before Congress.
    He will just say that it was somebody else’s fault , while claiming he did everything for the “team”

  8. Skippy says:


  9. Anonymous says:

    great job, Zach. You are right on the money. Delusional is the perfect word. Fuld saying, “Everything was FINE Friday night..” Then somehow Monday.. “oops? Bankruptcy. My bad.”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Fuld is a delusional D I C K, typical Wall Streeter, believes his own reality and believes he can shape another persons view to see things they way his will has either bent them, or wishes to see them.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Former SEC Chairman Cox finnally wakes up and takes his job seriously:

    Former SEC chairman Chris Cox says the SEC could potentially file charges against Lehman (LEHMQ.PK) after the firm “filed misleading financial reports and failed to disclose material accounting information.” More: Neither the SEC nor the Fed knew about Lehman’s Repo 105 transactions.

  12. Anonymous says:

    it appears the Gorilla is going bananas

  13. Rafiki says:

    They should have asked Scar why he killed Mufasa

  14. guest says:

    anyone have a link to watch Fuld?

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think its on replay on Animal Planet

  16. Joe L. says:

    Man, is this dude off his rocker. nice piece zach….keep em coming.

  17. BillyG says:

    How’d this clown Fuld get to be the boss of Lehman. He doesn’t have enough sense to run a pushcart. He does have enough money to pay a consultant to teach him how to bamboozle a congressional committee (but how much effort could that be).

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