Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. announces a $3.8 billion (Rs18,392 crore today) third quarter loss and unveils a restructuring plan that includes selling parts of itself to raise the cash it needs to survive.
Fuld’s failure: A file photo of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. chief executive officer Richard Fuld in Washington, DC. Carol T. Powers
Chief executive Richard Fuld outlines the moves a day after investors learn that a state-run South Korean bank walked away from talks to invest in Lehman. The new plan is to raise money by selling pieces of the firm, including its investment management unit and its commercial real estate assets.
Fuld also says Lehman will examine all other options, including a sale of the entire firm. The goal: Avoid the fate of Bear Stearns Companies Inc., whose losses from mortgage-related assets led to last spring’s US government-brokered sale of the firm to JPMorgan Chase and Co.Lehman has now lost $6.5 billion over six months on bad trading bets and its mortgage-related assets.
Investors and stock analysts fear the company, which traces its history to before the Civil War, is running out of time. They also complain that the latest plan is short on specifics. Lehman shares fall 7%, to $7.25, after falling 45% a day earlier. They traded at $67.73 a year earlier.
Market moves: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 40 points to close at 11,268.92. But financial shares are mixed on worries about Lehman’s well-being. The Nasdaq and Standard and Poor’s 500 both rise less than 1%.
“This is agonizing for shareholders. Fuld was supposed to have a war room started in March, when Bear Stearns nearly collapsed, to solve these problems, and at this point he has failed miserably,” said Mark Williams, professor of finance at Boston University School of Management.