April 14, 2011
Pity poor Richard Fuld. Once head of Lehman Brothers, Mr. Fuld saw his net worth drop all the way from $1 billion to a mere $100 million. Please, dear reader, don't avert your eyes from this tragedy; it gets even worse. According to the NY Times, Mr. Fuld and his wife were "forced to sell some of their renowned art collection." I know what you're thinking: how can a civilized society let one of its number suffer so. Especially someone so selfless, so kind to (a few of) his fellow Lehman workers that he approved $20 million in bonuses a week before taking his shareholder-owned company into bankruptcy. (hint to amateur sleuths: heard of fraudulent conveyance?)
The financial crisis was shot through with stories of mismanagement, corruption, and fraud. There's no law against hubris, but what about the rest of it? Where are the prosecutions? Taxpayers (that's you; also me) ponied up billions to rescue these fools and scoundrels, and so far the worst penalties seem to be that guys like Fuld have to eke out a living on their $100 million nest eggs. Where is the Sheriff of Wall Street when you need him? He's on CNN. Governor Cuomo wore the star briefly but now seems busy with his new job. Maybe our political leaders are content to look away while accepting cash from the architects of collapse.
(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).