Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lehman Teaches JP Morgan Lesson on Need for Current Asset-Level Disclosure

Bloomberg reported on how even a global, financial institution like JP Morgan could not value the opaque toxic structured finance securities.  In this particular case, had current asset-level data on the underlying collateral been available, JP Morgan would not have accepted the securities as collateral. [emphasis added]
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. tricked JPMorgan Chase & Co. into holding onto collateral that the bankrupt investment firm internally described as “goat poo,” according to a court filing by JPMorgan. 
JPMorgan was stuck with Lehman’s worst securities backing $25 billion of loans as Lehman was sold to Barclays Plc in September 2008, JPMorgan said in its filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Lehman described the collateral as “toxic crap” and “goat poo” to be scattered “in other people’s backyards,” JPMorgan said. 
“Only later was JPMorgan able to determine that the position in which it unexpectedly found itself was the result of collusion and deception” by Lehman and Barclays, JPMorgan said. 
The accusations appeared in amended counterclaims against Lehman in its lawsuit against JPMorgan. Both companies are based in New York. 
Lehman accuses JPMorgan of siphoning billions of dollars from Lehman, leading to it collapse in September 2008. London- based Barclays bought Lehman’s broker-dealer unit after Lehman’s bankruptcy filing. 
Kimberly Macleod, a spokeswoman for Lehman, and Mark Lane, a spokesman for Barclays, both declined to comment. 
The case is Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, 10-03266, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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