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Lehman Brothers Collapse Detailed in Report by Jenner & Block LLP
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After a year of arduous investigation, Anton Valukas and his Chicago based law firm, Jenner & Block, LLP, have produced a 2,200 page report regarding the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings.

The bankruptcy court appointed Valukas as an examiner to investigate what led to Lehman’s collapse and determine whether creditors could bring claims against Lehman’s estate or former officers.

The report details evidence that Lehman employed “balance sheet manipulation” by utilizing an accounting practice known as “Repo 105”. Essentially, directly before a reporting period, Lehman would enter into an arrangement to sell and then repurchase financial assets. These would normally be classified as “transactions”. However, by adding a cash element Lehman was able to classify them as “sales”. This allowed Lehman Brothers to portray a false picture of financial health.

  
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In The Times Mar 12 article, Valukas was quoted as saying, “Unable to find a United States law firm that would provide it with an opinion letter permitting the true sale accounting treatment under United States law, Lehman conducted its Repo105 programme under the aegis of an opinion letter the Linklaters law firm in London.”



 

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