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January 29, 2023

Anyone Holding Their Breath for the SEC to Give Lehman Brothers a Slap on the Wrist Will Be Passing Out Soon

Bloomberg reports that an internal memo states that the crack squad looking at the Commission is wrapping up their investigation and a stern talking to is the probably the worst it'll get for Dick Fuld et al.: 

Under a heading reading “Activity in Last Four Weeks,” the undated document reads, “The staff has concluded its investigation and determined that charges will likely not be recommended.” SEC officials didn’t dispute the authenticity of the memo or its contents. Pressure on the agency to punish any wrongdoing related to Lehman’s collapse escalated after Anton Valukas, the court- appointed bankruptcy examiner, found the firm misled investors with “accounting gimmicks” that disguised the firm’s leverage. Senior officials have been reluctant to formally close the matter even though investigators found a lack of evidence of wrongdoing, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. The officials have weighed issuing a public report on their findings that would stop short of an enforcement action while describing questionable conduct.

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