The Financial Crisis: This Day—One Year Ago, Sept. 9, 2008
On Tuesday, Lehman Brothers starts playing defense.
Reports say Lehman management is considering moving up the release of its third-quarter earnings, which had been scheduled for next Thursday.
As concerns mount that the fourth-largest US investment bank won't be able to raise needed capital in the wake of huge losses, Lehman shares fall as much as 45 percent—hitting their lowest level in nearly a decade. As a result, Standard & Poor’s puts Lehman’s credit rating on watch.
But Charlie Gasparino reports that despite "all the negativity out there, there is a bullish case for Lehman" among analysts. (What's the bullish argument it? Watch the video.)
"[CEO] Dick Fuld may have screwed up here, getting so many of these bad assets on the books, but he's considered one of the better managers on Wall Street," Gasparino says.
What You Were Reading:
- Cramer: Lehman's 'Chance Is Gone'
- US May Be Running Out Of Options To Stop Recession
- Diana Olick's Blog on the Fannie/Freddie 'Bailout'
Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Brad Hintz says the selloff doesn't signal any credit or counterparty risks at the beleagured bank. He continues to rate Lehman shares as "market perform" and tells clients in an investor letter that the dread is misplaced—as there is no chance the US government will let Lehman collapse.
The Fed, having stepped in to keep Bear Stearns from failing in March, won't risk "an avalanche of unquantifiable systemic risk" triggered by a Lehman failure, said Hintz.
But Mad Money's Jim Cramer is more pessimistic: As state-controlled Korea Development Bank reportedly backs away from a possible deal to infise funds into Lehman, Cramer doubts there are any more potential buyers for the US firm.
"Fuld had a chance. The chance is gone with Korea,” Cramer said. “I don't think anyone else is interested.”
Opinion is split on the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , and the effects on the troubled housing sector. Realty Check blogger Diana Olick notes an "interesting opposition of viewpoints" among builders and realtors. She reports that National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard is calling a housing bottom.
And mortgage-backed bonds look attractive to some strategists again. Pimco's Bill Gross tells CNBC that he'd be a buyer: "Basically mortgage securities are attractive here because the Treasury announced that they were going to be buying them in the future," says Gross.
Stock traders feel differently: The Dow ends down 280.01, or 2.4 percent, to close at 11230.73, erasing much of the prior session's gain. Twenty-four of the 30 Dow components finish lower. Lehman drags the S&P 500 down 3.4 percent, its worst percentage decline since early 2007. The Nasdaq sheds 2.6 percent.
Crude oil prices drop about $3 to settle at $103.26 a barrel.
What the Experts Were Saying:
Charlie Gasparino reports the latest developments transpiring at Lehman Brothers.
Housing bottom? National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard tells Jane Wells why the government is on the right track.