Lehman According to Fuld

by Derek Loosvelt | September 12, 2008

While Lehman Brothers attempted to find a savior today, its shares fell a further 13 percent in value. Bank of America, Barclays and a few private equity firms have surfaced as possible acquirers, but a deal will be difficult for these companies to shake on if the Fed doesn’t step in like it did in the Bear Stearns bailout—and all signs are pointing to the Fed keeping away from this subprime calamity. Still, with or without the Fed’s help, a deal—whether it be an acquisition or breakup—could happen as soon as tomorrow. In the meantime, here's the recent history of Lehman Brothers, in the words of CEO Dick Fuld:

“Our global platform is stronger and more balanced than ever.”
June 2007, after Lehman’s second-quarter results surpassed analyst expectations

“Despite challenging conditions in the markets, our results once again demonstrate the diversity and financial strength of the Lehman Brothers franchise, as well as our ability to perform across cycles.”
September 2007, reporting on third-quarter results

“Every day is a battle: think about the firm, do the right thing, protect your client, protect the firm, be in it, be a good team member.”
October 2007, in a New York Times interview regarding Lehman’s future

“Over the last two years, we saw that our underwriting standards in subprime were putting us at a disadvantage. That told us a lot—it told us a lot of people were doing things that we didn’t like.”
October 2007, in a New York Times interview regarding Lehman’s subprime mortgage involvement

“I ignored the rumors; my comment was keep your head down, focus on your business. I was dead wrong. The rumors continued and I think that stubbornness hurt us; that’s not true. I know my stubbornness hurt us.”
October 2007, on his denials of the 1998 rumors of Lehman’s insolvency

“In what remains a challenging operating environment, our results reflect the value of our continued commitment to building a diversified platform and our focus on managing risk and maintaining a strong capital and liquidity position. This strategy has allowed us to support our clients through these difficult and volatile markets, while continuing to build and strengthen our global franchise for our shareholders.”
March 2008, after posting first-quarter Lehman results

“The worst of the impact of the financial markets is behind us.”
April 2008, at Lehman’s annual shareholder meeting

“I clearly have the obligation to take that to the board, and if it’s reasonable, to be considered. But today, with the power of this franchise, we can very much go it alone and be very strong.”
June 2008, on whether Lehman would be looking for a firm with which to merge

“We have begun to take the necessary steps to restore the credibility of our great franchise and to ensure this quarter's unacceptable performance is not repeated.”
June 2008, after reporting Lehman’s shaky second quarter results

“We've made a number of changes. Now it's now my job to make sure we execute."
June 2008, after posting second-quarter results

“The losses have clouded the underlying value of our franchise.”
September 2008, after Lehman admitted it was looking for bids for the company

“I have always said that if anybody came with an attractive proposition that made it compelling for shareholder value, that would be brought to the board, discussed with the board and evaluated, and that has not changed.”
September 10, 2008, in a conference call

Filed Under: Finance


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