Financials

Lehman CEO: Short-Sellers Took Down Bear

Charlie Gasparino|On-Air Editor

Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld has instructed his legal staff to tell regulators that he has information suggesting that short-selling hedge funds colluded to help cause the demise of Wall Street investment bank giant Bear Stearns, sources told CNBC.

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Lehman vs. Short Sellers

The information Fuld told his staff he has comes just two weeks after the collapse of Bear Stearns and its subsequent purchase by JPMorgan Chase .

It was widely believed that Lehman Brothers was the next target of short-sellers who were speculating that the investment banks were facing liquidity crises and were about to become insolvent.

Bear Stearns fell after a crisis of confidence caused by rumors of the liquidity crisis. Fuld's efforts to alert the Securities Exchange Commission about the possible short-selling plot could be an attempt to ward off a future effort against his firm.

Lehman Brothers said it had no comment on the matter, and SEC officials did not return a request for comment.