Monday, September 15, 2008

Who are the Lehman Brothers Top Shareholders?

Today Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail, not bailed out like BearStearns or FreddieMac or FannieMae. Why? The fact that it is the largest U.S. corporate bankruptcy to date (see list below) cannot be the whole story. After all, we are often told that huge corporations, like GM, are too big to be allowed to fail.

So here is a thought I'm tossing out for consideration: Perhaps Lehman Brothers was not bailed out because of who their major investors were (or weren't). In BearStearns case, the Carlyle Group was involved (through Carlyle Capital). Carlyle is closely tied to the Bush family and Saudi royals. Maybe this is just a coincidence, but I can't find any google route into Lehman Brothers List of Top Shareholders to verify or debunk who their major investors are. Maybe they are people or firms without clout in our neocon world. Maybe they are competitors with Bush-Saudi interests for oil domination. Maybe maybe maybe the "Line in the Sand" (today's official talking point) is really just Bushit.

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List of biggest U.S. corporate bankruptcies:

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s Chapter 11 filing is by far the largest corporate bankruptcy case in the U.S., measured by total assets before the filing. Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday after falling under the weight of $60 billion in soured real estate holdings. Its filing listed $639 billion in assets as of May 31.The list includes the date of the company’s bankruptcy filing and its assets at the time of filing...

1. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Sept. 15, 2008, $639 billion
2. Worldcom Inc., July 21, 2002, $103.91 billion
3. Enron Corp., Dec. 2, 2001, $63.39 billion
4. Conseco Inc., Dec. 18, 2002, $61.39 billion
5. Texaco Inc., April 12, 1987, $35.89 billion
6. Financial Corp. of America, Sept. 9, 1988, $33.86 billion
7. Refco Inc., Oct. 17, 2005, $33.33 billion
8. Global Crossing Ltd., Jan. 28, 2002, $30.19 billion
9. Pacific Gas and Electric Co., April 6, 2001, $29.77 billion
10. UAL Corp., Dec. 9, 2002, $25.2 billion
11. Delta Air Lines Inc., Sept. 14, 2005, $21.8 billion
12. Adelphia Communications, June 25, 2002, $21.5 billion
13. Mcorp, March 31, 1989, $20.23 billion
14. Mirant Corp., July 14, 2003, $19.42 billion
15. Delphi Corp., Oct. 8, 2005, $16.59 billion

Source: The Associated Press
Updated: 2:54 p.m. ET Sept. 15, 2008© 2008 MSNBC.com
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3683270/


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Did you notice something funny about that list? All but 3 of the 15 largest US corporate bankruptcies in history took place during the GWBush Administration! The 3 outliers took place during the waning days of Reagan and beginning of GHWBush. Those Repubs sure know how to bring down the house!

But don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Lehman Brothers didn't deserve to fail. I'm just questioning why them and why not BearStearns? I'd be willing to hazard a guess that none of the largest shareholders of Lehman Brothers is named Bush or Cheney or Carlyle. Please correct me if you have shareholder info.

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Now here's another thought: the BofA spokesman interviewed on Bloomberg today predicted that by this time next year, the number of surviving US banks will be 50% of the current apprx 9,000 US banks. He should know. His company has been in the bank gobbling business for years. Last year BofA acquired MBNA (another Bush-Carlyle investment). Today they acquired Merrill Lynch. Both BofA and Barclay's Bank passed on Lehman Brothers.

There is a very important reason you should be watching which banks are gobbling up the banks you do business with. That reason is FDIC-insurance limits. Your money is only insured up to the FDIC limit for each banking institution (link to FDIC limits). You may find yourself unintentionally exceeding those limits if a few of your banks are merged into one mega bank in the coming financial shake-out.

Well, that's my financial tip of the day, inspired by comments at Enigma's "Black Monday" post. Soon we will see the predictably weak Fed response of lowering interest rates which will further erode the US Dollar (not to mention further impoverishing those living on fixed incomes). It seems to be all they can think of to do!

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UPDATE 9/16/08: LindsayLobe found the VIP shareholder info ... read his & my response in the comment thread ... I think we are onto something about why one investment firm was bailed out, but not the other. Thanks, Lindsay!

20 comments:

enigma4ever said...

so the post on Bloody Monday did indeed inspire something ;-)

great post...and yeah- I think all of us would LOVE to know who was invested in Bear Stearns...yup...

I have nothing nice to say...where are the "tini's???"

Mauigirl said...

Very interesting, it makes sense.

My husband was wondering if these failures are part of some conspiracy to help the short-sellers make more money.

Whatever the reasons, this sure is a mess.

Utah Savage said...

This is esactly the kind of information I know exists somewhere, but am too lazy to look up. May I post your piece at my place? All due credit given of course. I have a feeling there's more to come tomorrow.

D.K. Raed said...

Enigma:
Sorry, I guess I kind of lost the martini thread. I did look up some recipes for gin vs vodka ones, but when they start telling me how to "approach the shaker", I can't take it seriously. Maybe I am more a Margarita type.

MauiGirl:
your hub has an interesting conspiracy mind -- I think I like him! There was definitely some hanky-panky involving inside trading in the BearStearns bailout. I read at Enigma's about your 401K. It might help to watch the roller coaster effect because there will be plenty of ups & downs as the market gets more erratic. Take advantage of an uptick to unload some of your worst performers. Maybe switch them into moneymarketfunds with the same brokerage firm for now. You'll sleep better at night & you can always jump back in when it troughs. BTW, I'm not a financial expert so take my advice with a big fat grain of salt (and a margarita)!

UT Savage:
Of course you can post or link! I'm flattered -- this was just a thread of a thought I was trying to follow & got frustrated reading through hundreds of pages of Lehman Bros Annual Reports that don't reveal their major shareholder info. I thought there were SEC requirements to do that!?!

I'm also still trying hard to catch up on things since we returned from vacation. I'll be by later. And yes, I'm also very worried about tomorrow, and all the tomorrows leading up to this election. To quote a disreptuable preacher, "the chickens have come home to roost".

Fran said...

Wow DK~ I've been reading for quite some time financial analysts saying *fasten your seatbelts, this is going to be a very rough ride*. At this point, while there is money still in the FDIC coffers, they may well be picking & choosing who gets rescued, based on "the base" of those with links to the inner circle. But if the domino effect really continues on, at some point the FDIC will go bust too. At that time, old George will be making his farewell speech, leaving the economy in this country in a similar state, akin to previous hurricane disaster management. How did it get to this point? What is being done to stop it? I see Greenspan shaking his head saying how bad it is, but not how to fix it.
Thanks Al.
I am starting to tink the best financial investment might just be a fireproof safe.

D.K. Raed said...

Fran: It's very scary! But I wasn't referring to bank failures being given preferential bailout treatment based on the inner circle. Lehman Bros is an investment corp, not a bank.

Last time I looked, the FDIC had $50Billion to cover the apprx 9K FDIC-insured institutions. What happens to the first bank that fails AFTER that fund is depleted? Better make that safe fireproof and theftproof!

Amazing how much destruction this horrible failure of a president is leaving behind. Even more amazing that his would-be idealogic successor is polling evensteven. I feel like invoking Dennis Kucinich: "WAKE UP AMERICA!"

lindsaylobe said...

Reference : Leman Bros

You can view the top 10 shareholders at the time of bankrutcy from this reference http://finance.aol.com/company/lehman-brothers-holdings-inc/leh/nys/institutional-ownership

But bear in mind Leman was 30% owned by its employees who have lost all of their previous equity in the firm.

Its biggest individual shareholder was Fench insurer AXA (7.25% stake)according to Forbes at the time of lodgment of the bankruptcy.
See http://www.forbes.com/markets/2008/09/15/axa-lehman-alliancebernstein-markets-equity-cx_po_0915markets26.html

When looking at the top shareholders table be aware you wont see AXA listed since its stake was held by its asset management division Alliance Bernstein, which was held on behalf of other institutional investors.

The largest shareholders (prior to its acquisition by Jp Morgan )in Bears Sterns is listed at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear_Stearns.

I think you will also find this info can be verified from filings with your Securities Commission, of publically available info, but all rather messy to try and access.

Best wishes

D.K. Raed said...

That was VERY illuminating. Thank you, Lindsay! Of the largest individual Lehman shareholders, I only recognized Thomas Cruikshank -- fomer CEO of Halliburton who was replaced by Dick Cheney (hmmm, maybe some bad blood there). Another big one, Sir Richard Fuld, does charity hospital works & also the Robin Hood Foundation. I see he was disinvited from the Billionaire Party in 2008, so you know, eff him.

I see both Bear Stearns & Lehman had many instituional shareholders in common ... with one glaring exception ... UBS held a large position in BearStearns ... UBS is a problem for Phil Gramm, thus also a problem for John McCain, and oh yeah UBS is part of the banking family to the king of Saudi Arabia.

So, as Fran (above) noted "the links to the inner circle" ... BearStearns seems to have had them; Lehman did not.

I had waaay too much trouble mincing my way through all the Lehman Annual Reports and never could find the trail to their SEC top shareholder filings. So big thanks to you, Mr. Lobe -- you obviously know the key!

DivaJood said...

After the Great Depression, FDR's New Deal put into place all kinds of regulations to prevent such a disaster from happening again.

Ronald Reagan (Mr. Deregulation himself) greased the slide, and George W. Bush & Co pushed the rest down the slope. We are in terrible financial trouble. Terrible.

HelenWheels said...

GREAT post. My sister has told me for years that the Clintons are also included in the Carlyle Group? Which is part of the reason I've never seen them as any different than Bushes... all in it together.

Thank you for the comprehensive bankruptcy list.

On a good note: Countdown reports tonight Palin's popularity is tanking. Turns out their gimmick was short-lived.

Re: THis meltdown... I think it might be the entire country that is bankrupt. I wonder when they will deign to tell us.

HelenWheels said...

BTW: I just blogrolled you & I hope that's OK! If not, let me know :)

D.K. Raed said...

Diva:
yup, no one knows how to run the economy into the ground better than a repub. they are quite good at it. I, for one, am getting tired of cleaning up their messes.

HelenWheels:
Clintons did have Carlyle involvement. It was minor, but they were there, so they know how dirty that whole group is. Overall, it's mainly a bush-saudi group of extremely powerful greedy money laundering profiteers. HW Bush sent James Baker over to teach the saudis how to funnel untraceable investment money to Carlyle. No kidding. It's very dirty.

Of course you can blogroll me! And now I feel guilty once again for never having taken the time to set up my own blog roll. well when I do, you'll be on it!

enigma4ever said...

okay ...so here is my question...late tonight the FEDS bailed out AIG for 85-90 Billion...so they bailed them out- but WHY...and do they have that kind of money ....banks were not able to bail out AIG- which says to me alot of banks are still rocky.....

( I wrote a post I think the Govt bailed them out because of IKE- but that is just my theory...I don't know enough)

DivaJood said...

DK, I have tagged you on a musical meme.

Ingrid said...

wow, I have been away for a bit (personal stuff) and what an awesome post! I need to go get the kids and boy..I have some catching up to do..bravo DK! And Lindsay and Enigma..

if only we could all be published in a newspaper, the world would hear more and take action.. well, in this country they ought to..

Ingrid

an average patriot said...

Hi Red
Sounds like a bunch of Hooey to me but this is what I found on Lehman Brothers!
why Lehman Brothers wasn't saved!

The way things are done today you know we will never know the truth but Politics and someones selfish enrichment are behind everythinga

Border Explorer said...

D.J. McPOW could learn a thing or two about the economy from you. Didn't I tell you: you're smarter than the average? This is great investigative work.

an average patriot said...

Thanks Border Explorer this lie we are living just has no end unless we the people create it!

D.K. Raed said...

Enigma: no one knows enough, nor can we without more transparency.

Diva: a musical meme sounds very lyrical.

Ingrid: we are publishing ourselves in blogs ... I need to catch up with you, too.

Avg Patriot: ah so, you don't think it was "the line in the sand" BS reason either!?!

B. Explorer: McPOW could learn about economics from my dog, too. My dog knows more about fundamentals (as long as fundamentals involve food, playtime, and naptime)!

an average patriot said...

Red
No you know I agree with you but I don't want to rain on anyones parade so I most often have to shut up and keep reality on my site because it isn't plesant. Take care!