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Lessons from Bear Stearns

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 16th, 2009 10:37 AM |

It was one year ago that the Federal Reserve and Treasury delivered Bear Stearns into the hands of JP Morgan for $2 a share. Bear Stearns stock had traded above $170 a share in 2006. With the passage of time, what are some of the lessons learned and what questions remain unanswered.

1. Although Bear Stearns employees and shareholders may not qualify a price of $2 a share (revised to $10 a few weeks later) as being saved, would the financial system have been better off letting Bear totally fail? Why? If Bear had failed, many people do not believe we would have had the breakdowns in our financial systems that occurred because of Lehman’s failure.

2. Did Dick Fuld, CEO of Lehman, assume that the Fed and Treasury would save Lehman much as they did Bear? Was he less aggressive in pursuing increased capital injections during the Summer 2008 as a result? Many people believe this to be the case. (more…)






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