Lehman Talks Continue: Government Backing Still A Sticking Point

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Good morning. Here's the latest we have on Lehman Brothers. Top Wall Street executives and Washington officials returned to meetings at the New York Federal Reserve this morning.
Barclays has emerged a the leading contender for a takeover of Lehman, the Wall Street Journal reports. The role of government support for a sale of Lehman remains a sticking point, with both Barclays and Bank of America insisting that the government commit to backing the deal with financing while officials from the Treasury Department remain adamant against that backing.
The Financial Times sees a different group as the leader:

Bank of America is seen as the leading candidate to buy Lehman. It is considering a possible joint takeover bid with JC Flowers , the financial investor, and China Investment Corporation, the Chinese sovereign wealth fund. UK bank Barclays is also interested. The three could combine, with the BoA consortium buying Lehman's investment bank and Barclays taking its asset management arm, which includes Neuberger Berman.

At CNBC, Steve Liesman provides some details on what the Fed's officials in Washington and New York have been up to.

By mid-morning, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was said to have been involved in several conversations by phone from Washington with officials meeting at the New York Federal Reserve. In addition, Bernanke was said to have made several calls already to foreign central bankers who are monitoring the proceedings carefully.
New York Federal Reserve President Tim Geithner and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson were already at the New York Fed by the time executives from top Wall Street firms began to arrive.

For some purely atmospheric takes on the scene yesterday at the Fed you can read Deal Journa's coverage of casual dress and sandwich carts or check out some of the Associate Press photos DealBook included it is write-up.
You can contact DealBreaker by email at tips@dealbreaker.com and follow us on Twitter, which we'll use for mini-updates about the situation. You can also reach us by calling or texting our special Lehman tips hotline: 646-526-FEAR. (A bit dramatic, we know. Just wanted something you'd remember.)

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