Lehman shares down on sale talk
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Renita Jablonski: U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is “adamant” that no government money will be used in any deal resolving the crisis at Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers. This comes just now with a source familiar with his thinking.
Lehman shares are down about 10 percent right now. They fell more than 40 percent yesterday. It’s hurting to say the least. On a conference call a few days ago, the company said it wanted to sell off some of its assets .Several reports today say the entire company is officially up for sale. Marketplace’s Janet Babin has the latest from North Carolina Public Radio.
Janet Babin: Confidence in Lehman Brothers has eroded so much, that many analysts say a sale is the only way to save the firm. Analyst Richard Bove at Ladenburg Thalmann says Bank of America is the likely buyer. Other reports cite HSBC or Barclays, but both have kept their distance.
Several reports say the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are engaged in the rescue effort. Finance professor James Angel at Georgetown University says a tanked Lehman Brothers would be Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s biggest nightmare.
James Angel: A disorderly failure of a big firm would spin out of control and create a domino effect, causing other firms to fail and a general freezing of the financial sector.
But some analysts say the government should stay out of a Lehman bailout. We all might know what happens by Monday — Reuters reports that a sale could be finalized by then.
I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.
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