Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Barclays gets a Wall Street foothold

Amy Scott Sep 18, 2008
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Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Barclays gets a Wall Street foothold

Amy Scott Sep 18, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Even though it feels like the financial sky is falling, this will pass eventually. Things might be a lot different and in many ways, that’ll be good. Opportunity abounds here, though. The British bank Barclays has wanted to get on Wall Street for years. And it’s purchase of some Lehman Brothers assets this week might be the ticket. Here’s Amy Scott.


Amy Scott: Barclays already has a small foothold on Wall Street with its investment bank Barclays Capital. But in a call with analysts yesterday, chief executive John Varley said he wants more.

John Varley: I have felt for some time that we are underweight America.

If the deal goes ahead, Barclays takes on 10,000 Lehman employees, and a $1.5 billion in New York and New Jersey real estate, including Lehman’s flashy Times Square headquarters. Roger Nightingale is global strategist with Pointon York in London. He says Barclays’ previous forays across the Atlantic haven’t taken off. And he says deals like this face some head winds.

Roger Nightingale: I would go so far as to say there’s been almost no example of a commercial bank taking over an investment bank, and the two working well together on a long-term basis.

Nightingale says this time Barclays stands a better chance of taking on Wall Street. He says the bank has snapped up some very good assets at a very attractive price.

In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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