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Lehman Crash

Lehman Crash

THE LEHMANN CRASH In August 2007, Lehman closed its subprime lender, BNC Mortgage, eliminating 1,200 positions in 23 locations, and took a $25-million after-tax charge and a $27-million reduction in goodwill). The firm said that poor market conditions in the mortgage space "necessitated a substantial reduction in its resources and capacity in the subprime space". [2] In 2008, Lehman faced an unprecedented loss due to the continuing subprime mortgage crisis. Lehman's loss was apparently a result of having held on to large positions in subprime and other lower-rated mortgage tranches when securitizing the underlying mortgages; whether Lehman did this because it was simply unable to sell the lower-rated bonds, or made a conscious decision to hold them, is unclear. In any event, huge losses accrued in lower-rated mortgage-backed securities throughout 2008. In the second fiscal quarter, Lehman reported losses of $2.8 billion and was forced to sell off $6 billion in assets.[3] In the first half of 2008 alone, Lehman stock lost 73% of its value as the credit market continued to tighten.[3] In August 2008, Lehman reported that it intended to release 6% of its work force, 1,500 people, just ahead of its third-quarter-reporting deadline in September.[3] On August 22, 2008, shares in Lehman closed up 5% (16% for the week) on reports that the state-controlled Korea Development Bank was considering buying Lehman. [4] Most of those gains were quickly eroded as news emerged that Korea Development Bank was "facing difficulties pleasing regulators and attracting partners for the deal."[5] It culminated on September 9, 2008, when Lehman's shares plunged 45% to $7.79, after it was reported that the state-run South Korean firm had put talks on hold.[6] Investor confidence continued to erode as Lehman's stock lost roughly half its value and pushed the S&P 500 down 3.4% on September 9, 2008. The Dow Jones lost nearly 300 points the same day on investors' concerns about the...

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