Lehman Brothers Totally Open To A Sale

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It's common knowledge that the idea of Lehman Brothers becoming part of some homogeneous bank makes Dick Fuld sick to his stomach, and when the CEO is in the room it's a "don't go there topic" that employees can and have been fined for bringing up in his presence. The only conceivable reasons for mentioning it would be if someone either had a death wish or was really intent on taunting the guy. I don't know what he was thinking but Bank of America analyst Michael Hecht went there during this morning's conference call, inquiring about "any talk of an outright sale."
As this thing is his baby gorilla, Fuld grabbed the mic from CFO Ian Lowitt to answer and-- no hyperbole here-- you could feel a rise in blood pressure associated with wanting to kill a person. Barely getting the words out, Fuld told Mikey, "This is a strong cohesive culture...we've been through adversity before...[we 've been] distracted by rumors and comments...but are holding wonderfully." Then he paused for an awkwardly long period of time (probably thinking but not saying "and don't need any meddling bastard company coming in an telling us how to live our lives"), remembered he was on a conference call and added "I have always said that if anybody came with an attractive proposition that made it compelling for shareholder value it would be brought to the board, discussed and evaluated," before ultimately being rejected, with the suitor added to a not so secret "To Maim" list.

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Some Lehman Brothers Alums Doing Demonstrably Better Than Others

Joe Gregory has been forced to put his Long Island-chic manse on the market. Dick Fuld's been pounding the pavement for months with nothing to show for it.  Bella is still dead. Not a lot to celebrate and yet some people have managed to do pretty okay for themselves despite having spent time at 745 7th Avenue. Erin Callan, as may have heard, is happily married to firefighter Anthony Montella and living in a $3.9 million house in the Hamptons and Evelyn Stevens, who actually worked at another firm before leaving Wall Street but should know that if you so much as set foot in the lobby of the building, you'll be branded a Lehman Brother or Sister for life, just competed in her first Olympics and no longer counts herself among financial services employees who spend their days fantasizing about a life that doesn't so closely resemble hell. The 5-foot-5 (1.7-meter) Stevens said she’s using savings from banking bonuses to “cushion” the blow of lower earnings. She began her career as an investment-banking analyst at Lehman Brothers Inc., leaving in 2007 before the bank collapsed. “I was able to save a lot of my bonuses,” Stevens said. “I don’t have to survive on a $10,000 or $8,000 purse from cycling. If I hadn’t been in investment banking, I wouldn’t have been able to be at the Olympics.” She was 24th in yesterday’s Olympic women’s road race, finishing among a group including teammate Shelley Olds that was 27 seconds behind gold-medal winner Marianne Voss of the Netherlands. There were 66 riders at the start. While there’s a “big discrepancy” from what she once earned, Stevens said her quality of life has improved. After leaving behind a 90-hour working week in banking, she lives in Girona, Spain during the European racing season and Boulder, Colorado. “In New York there’s pressure, and it’s kind of negative, everyone was stressed,” Stevens, dressed in U.S. team tracksuit and lycra three-quarter length pants at the London Olympic Park, said July 27. “I don’t get so much money now but my quality of living has gone up.” Ex-Lehman Banker Parlays Bonuses Into Cycling Berth At Olympics [Bloomberg]

Lehman Brothers Thought Fight To Stay Alive Was A Battle Of Good (Them) Versus Evil (Everyone Else)

As some of you may recall, a month after Lehman Brothers went under, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released an interesting email Dick Fuld had sent to LEH vice-chairman Thomas Russo on Saturday, April 12, 2008, circa midnight. Dick had just come back from a dinner with Hank Paulson and was so excited to relay the details he couldn't wait 'til the next day to get in touch with Russo, who he apparently viewed as his "teacher." Fuld said his key "takeaways" were that the government loved Lehman, that Paulson wanted to "kill the bad hedge funds" (like those diabolical shorts Fuld knew were to blame for his problems), and that while the then Treasury Secretary appeared to have a "worried view" of Merrill Lynch, Dick got the sense that Paulson thought Lehman was in terrific shape. Per the bankruptcy documents put online last week, here's how the rest of the conversation between Fuld and his Sensei went.