Lehman Lives on— and It's Getting Bigger

Financial giants refuse to die, Steven Davidoff explains
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2012 12:37 PM CST
Lehman Lives on— and It's Getting Bigger
Businessmen walk in to the Roppongi Hills complex, an office/apartment skyscraper, beside the signboard of Lehman Brothers in Tokyo in this Thursday, April 3, 2008 photo.   (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)

You might remember Lehman Brothers from its starring role in kicking off 2008's financial crisis by declaring bankruptcy, and hence, you might think it is dead and buried. But you'd be wrong, writes Steven Davidoff in the New York Times: Lehman is actually still shambling around, zombie-like, and what's more, it's trying to get bigger. Courts are still trying to work through Lehman's bankruptcy, the biggest in history, and in the meantime Lehman's estate is trying to buy apartment firm Archstone-Smith.

Archstone-Smith, ironically, played a big role in Lehman's collapse; Lehman bought it in 2007, and swiftly regretted it, winding up with billions in unsellable debt. Today, Lehman only owns 47%, but the companies that own the other 53%—Barclays and Bank of America—are looking to unload, and many expect Lehman to pick up a juicy 26.5% chunk. The lesson, Davidoff writes, is that big financial institutions don't just disappear—and we should think carefully on whether we should let them grow. (More Lehman Brothers stories.)

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