Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We need more regulation of financial industry: Lehman Examiner to Testify That S.E.C. Sat on Its Hands

Lehman Examiner to Testify That S.E.C. Sat on Its Hands
Stephen Crowley
The New York Times
April 19, 2010

The court-appointed examiner who dissected the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy is expected to criticize the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday for its decision to “stand by idly” as the investment bank veered toward collapse.

The S.E.C. knew that Lehman did not have adequate liquidity and had exceeded its own limits on risk-taking but in essence did nothing, the examiner, Anton R. Valukas, will say in testimony released in advance by the House Financial Services Committee.

One of the most damning findings in Mr. Valukas’s 2,209-page report last month — that Lehman used accounting gimmicks to hide the extent of its indebtedness — was not known to the S.E.C. He wrote: “I saw nothing in my investigation to suggest that the S.E.C. asked even the most fundamental questions that might have uncovered this practice early on, before Lehman escalated it to a $50 billion issue.” ...

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