The first hearing into what caused the nation’s financial markets to collapse last month, precipitating a $700 billion bailout, opened with finger-pointing and glimpses into internal company documents from Lehman’s chaotic last hours.
...Richard S. Fuld Jr., chief executive officer of Lehman Brothers, was among witnesses called to testify.
“What has happened is an absolute tragedy,” Fuld said in prepared remarks. “I feel horrible about what happened.”
Waxman read excerpts from Lehman documents in which a recommendation that top management should forgo bonuses was apparently brushed aside. He also cited a Sept. 11 request to Lehman’s compensation board that three executives leaving the company be given $20 million in “special payments.”
“In other words, even as Mr. Fuld was pleading with Secretary Paulson for a federal rescue, Lehman continued to squander millions on executive compensation,” Waxman said.
The government let Lehman go under Sept. 15, only to bail out insurance giant American International Group the next day, in a cascading series of financial shocks and failures that put Washington on track for the multibillion-dollar rescue starting the end of that week.
Waxman quoted Fuld as saying in one document, “Don’t worry” to the suggestion that executives go without bonuses.
That suggestion came from Lehman’s money management subsidiary, Neuberger Berman. Waxman quoted George H. Walker, President Bush’s cousin and a Lehman executive who oversaw some Neuberger Berman employees, as responding with a dismissive tone to the idea of going without bonuses.
“Sorry team,” he wrote to the executive committee, according to Waxman. “I’m not sure what’s in the water at 605 Third Avenue today.... I’m embarrassed and I apologize.”
Oh yes....isn't it interesting that we find that BUSH name involved in one more scandal? Ins't it interesting that the man who is running for president on the Repub ticket is a supporter of Bush policies?
VOTE MCAIN FOR MORE OF THE SAME!
"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac
"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."
~Harry S. Truman