Monday, September 22, 2008

Lehman and that $8 billion

Lehman administrators have filed a court order for the return of $8bn that was transferred from the UK to the US just before the firm's failure. The radio news this weekend said (my phrasing) that it was Lehman's practice to park the money in the US overnight to earn interest.

Reuters says "Administrators for Lehman's European operations have questioned why $8 billion was transferred to New York from London just before the bank collapsed."

Was this really standard practice? Couldn't the money have been earning (possibly higher) interest overnight here? Do other firms do the same?

Or was it part of a Lehman plan to draw assets back onto US soil in preparation for its bankruptcy, in order to favour American creditors over foreign ones, as London Banker mooted on 12 September?

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