Back in April, we learned that after keeping a fairly low profile over the last six years, following the implosion of Lehman Brothers, ex-CEO Dick Fuld felt it was time to emerge from the shadows. He started with social events and when those went by without incident decided the world was ready, nay, WAITING, for the full enchilada: Dick Fuld, Master of the Universe, and all of his business wisdom. He booked himself a speaking gig at the "Marcum MicroCap Conference" and organizers promised it would be an event not to be missed, wherein The Gorilla would discuss "The strategy employed by Lehman Brothers to become one of the world’s leading investment banks, aspects of the financial crisis, the current capital market environment and the keys to success for today’s growth companies choosing to access the capital markets now."
For nearly two months, Fuld fans and finance execs who've always dreamed of destroying a 158 year-old institution from the inside but never knew quite how to do it have been salivating, chomping at the bit to get in a room with the business wisdom oozing out of Fuld's pores. Finally, that day has come.
Richard "Dick" Fuld is making a keynote address today at the Marcum MicroCap Conference in Midtown Manhattan right now. It's his first public speech since the demise of Lehman in 2008. "Lehman was one of the great Wall Street banks," Fuld told the crowd. He also touted the firm's culture as part of its "success." Fuld was one of the people blamed for the financial crisis. He pointed out that it was a "perfect storm" of easy credit that started with the government's desire to have “everybody... be able to fulfill their view of the American dream.”
Before its bankruptcy, Lehman Brothers was at the time the fourth largest Wall Street bank. "I had 27,000 risk managers because all employees owned a piece of the firm," said Fuld. Fuld also discussed Lehman's "mandated bankruptcy." At that point he sounded a little defensive, saying that Lehman had unencumbered collateral of $127 billion and equity capital of $28 billion. "There's so much I'd love to say. Enough said on that time to move on."
In related news, Charlie Gasparino reports that Fuld's biggest deal since setting up his own shop, Matrix Advisors, was something called "In The Car," and spoiler alert, it didn't go so well.