Actually, it’s been more like a week. A week where one of Wall Street’s top bulge bracket firms saw the value of its stock drop 72%. Ouch.
As we’ve said many times, the credit crisis has not been very kind to the financial sector. But Lehman just seems to be taking one of the biggest hits this time. They announced a third quarter loss of nearly $4 billion dollars and many analysts aren’t sure they’ll be in business for much longer.
Let’s take a fantastic trip down memory lane to see how we got here:
In the wake of a massive collapse like Bear Stearns, everyone knows all too well what could happen. Today a number of analysts from Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs piled on the fray saying Lehman was crap and downgraded from a ‘buy’ to a ‘hold’ rating.
However Meredith Whitney, the dominatrix of downgrades, said that she still thinks Lehman’s stock is worth at least $27 … but it’s currently sitting way down at $4.
Earlier today, a commenter on DealBreaker even posted this Reuters picture of the Lehman Brothers staff at the London office gathered around to hear some news ‘firing squad’-style. Doesn’t look good, guys.
One of the biggest problems is that it looks like Lehman is just sitting on its ass and taking all this crap. During all the most recent conference calls, neither CEO Dick Fuld nor anyone else has said they have a legitimate plan to fix all these problems.
Most people are calling for Lehman to get bought out/merged with/ or taken over by a more powerful rival firm (BoA perhaps?). Even still, others are wondering if Hank Paulson and the US Treasury will throw Lehman on the pile of taxpayer-responsible liabilities just like they did with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Bear Stearns sale.
In summation, here’s a little pictoral recap of what happened via the brilliant and poignant minds of LOLFED.com:
FYI: CDO = collateralized debt obligation
MarketWatch: Analysts hit Lehman when it’s down, September 11, 2008