Monday, September 22, 2008

The staggering debt of Lehman

From the Daily Deal today

America's fourth-largest investment bank left behind 25,000 employees.

Its outsized Chapter 11 filing is by far the largest bankruptcy in history.

Lehman's liabilities totaled $613 billion at the time of the filing. Unsecured claims of Lehman's 30 largest claimants alone show bond debt and bank loans of approximately $150 billion.

To put the scope of Lehman's demise in perspective, WorldCom Inc.'s meltdown garnered the previous corporate bankruptcy record, with $34.3 billion in liabilities. Russia a decade ago defaulted on debt of about $100 billion, which marked the largest default ever, until, that is, Lehman trundled along. Following the savings and loan crisis, the Resolution Trust Corp. in the '90s closed down more than 700 banking institutions. Their total assets were just over half the amount of Lehman's total $639 billion at the time of its failure.

Simply staggering.

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