According to the examiner's report, a little bit of both. (Since Anton Valukas apparently has no interest in telling both sides of the story, it falls on us to remind you that Dick has his own theory for why LEH went under: the adoption of Casual Friday).
Fuld was warned months before the bankruptcy by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that Lehman might fail if it continued to report losses without finding a buyer or putting in place a survival plan, according to the report.
Lehman’s chief was “at least grossly negligent in causing Lehman to file misleading periodic reports” while its risks were rising because of long-term assets financed with short-term debt, Valukas said in the report.
Lehman’s executives engaged in conduct ranging from “non- culpable errors of business judgment” to “actionable balance sheet manipulation,” as they used “accounting gimmicks” to move assets off the balance sheet without disclosing that to the government, rating agencies, investors or Lehman’s board.
Also supposedly not helping matters was Pandit. That damn Pandit. And Jamie Dimon but he gets a pass because he can do whatever he wants.
“The demands for collateral by Lehman’s lenders had direct impact on Lehman’s liquidity pool,” said Anton Valukas, the U.S. Trustee-appointed examiner, in a 2,200-page report filed in Manhattan federal court. “Lehman’s available liquidity is central to the question of why Lehman failed.”
JPMorgan, Citigroup Helped Cause Lehman's Collapse [Bloomberg]
Lehman Report [Jenner And Block]