×

CNBC Exclusive: CNBC Transcript: Former Lehman Brothers CFO Erin Callan Speaks with “Closing Bell” Today

WHEN: Today, Wednesday, March 30th

WHERE: CNBC's "Closing Bell"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with former Lehman Brothers CFO Erin Callan on CNBC's "Closing Bell" (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET) today, Wednesday, March 30th. Following is a link to the video on CNBC.com:http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000505713.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

KELLY EVANS: ONCE CALLED ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL WOMEON ON WALL STREET, FORMER CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER OF LEHMAN BROTHERS ERIN CALLAN IS NOW SPEAKING OUT. CALLAN WAS JUST 41 YEARS OLD WHEN LEHMEN PRESIDENT JOE GREGORY AND CEO DICK FULD ASKED HER TO BECOME CFO. SHE TOOK THE REINS IN DECEMBER OF 2007 AND RESIGNED IN JUNE OF 2008, JUST THREE MONTHS BEFORE LEHMAN BROTHERS COLLAPSED. AFTER A BRIEF STINT AT CREDIT SUISSE CALLAN FLED THE SPOTLIGHT. SHE IS NOW LIVING A MUCH CALMER LIFE IN FLORIDA WITH HER SECOND HUSBAND, A FORMER HIGH SCHOOL CLASSMATE. HE'D REACHED OUT TO HER AFTER SEEING CALLAN APPEAR ON "CLOSING BELL," IN FACT BACK IN 2007 AND THEY HAVE A 1-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER TOGETHER NOW. AND NOW ERIN CALLAN MONTELLA SELF-PUBLISHED A NEW MEMOIR ON AMAZON CALLED FULL CIRCLE, WHERE SHE DETAILS HER CAREER PATH, HER TIME AT LEHMAN AND THE FALLOUT FROM WHAT SHE CALLS LEANING IN TOO FAR. SHE JOINS ME NOW EXCLUSIVELY. ERIN, WELCOME BACK TO CLOSING BELL.

ERIN CALLAN: HI, KELLY. THANKS. NICE TO BE BACK.

EVANS: IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU. THIS IS SEVERAL STORIES, REALLY. YOUR BOOK WRAPPED ALL INTO ONE. IT'S THE STORY OF A WOMAN WHO LEANED IN TOO FAR AT WORK AND LOST HER REAL LIFE IN THE PROCESS. THERE'S THE STORY OF AN EXECUTIVE TRYING TO EXPLAIN HER ROLE IN THE FINANCIAL CRISIS AND IN SOME WAYS EXONERATE HERSELF. BUT IT STRUCK ME IN READING THE BOOK THAT YOU'RE ACTUALLY MUCH HARDER ON YOURSELF THAN YOU ARE ON THE GUYS AT LEHMAN, WHO PUT YOU INTO THE CFO ROLE, THEN KIND OF IGNORED YOUR ADVICE AND SENT THE FIRM CAREENING INTO BANKRUPTCY. WHY IS THAT?

CALLAN: I THINK THE BOOK IS INTENDED TO BE REALLY AN INTROSPECTIVE REFLECTION ON MY CAREER, AND I HAD TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT I WAS DOING IN THAT POSITION AT THAT POINT IN TIME. AND IT WAS REALLY A FUNCTION OF A LOT OF DECISIONS I'D MADE IN MY LIFE UP UNTIL THEN. SO WHAT I WANTED TO DO MOST IMPORTANTLY WAS TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR MY OWN ACTIONS. HOW DID I GET THERE? WHY WAS I IN THAT PLACE? IT WASN'T RANDOM. IT WASN'T CHAOS. IT WAS ALL THE THINGS I HAD DONE UP UNTIL THEN AND BE CLEAR WITH MYSELF AND WITH OTHERS ABOUT WHAT I THOUGHT MY ROLE WAS.

EVANS: SURE. YOU TALK A LOT ABOUT BEING A WORKAHOLIC. YOU WERE A SUCCESSFUL CORPORATE TAX LAWYER, YOU WENT TO LEHMAN, YOU STARTED AS AN INVESTMENT BANKER, LEAVING A PARTNERSHIP TRACK AT THE LAW FIRM AND WORKED YOUR WAY UP TOWARDS RUNNING A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT THINGS. YOU CREATED A BUNCH OF FINANCIAL PRODUCTS. YOU WERE ABLE THEN TO WORK WITH A BUNCH OF HEDGE FUNDS DURING THE BOOM AND THEN ULTIMATELY YOU WERE SORT OF PLUCKED FOR THIS CFO ROLE. YOU SAID BEING SO MOTIVATED BY SUCCESS YOU COULDN'T HAVE TURNED THAT ROLE DOWN. NOW IN RETROSPECT, WOULD AND SHOULD YOU HAVE TURNED IT DOWN?

CALLAN: OBVIOUSLY THAT'S SORT OF THE QUESTION FOR ME, AND IT'S HARD TO SAY NOW FOR THOSE KINDS OF BIG DECISIONS THAT I WISH THEY'D HAPPENED DIFFERENTLY OR I MADE DIFFERENT DECISIONS, BECAUSE IT'S LED ME TO WHERE I AM, AND WHERE I AM IS A GREAT PLACE AT THIS POINT. DO I THINK AND I TALK ABOUT THIS IN THE BOOK THAT MAYBE THERE WAS SOME HUBRIS ON MY PART GOING INTO IT THINKING THAT HEY, I'M BEING PICKED FOR THE ROLE SO IT MUST BE THAT I'M READY FOR IT. I THINK SO AND I TRIED TO LOOK HARD AT MYSELF ON THAT POINT BUT I DID HAVE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE ROLE ALSO. SO I THINK IF THE TIMING HAD BEEN DIFFERENT THINGS WOULD HAVE WORKED OUT QUITE WELL BUT IT WASN'T. THIS WAS WHERE I WAS AT THAT POINT IN TIME AND I CAN'T REALLY REGR ET THAT DECISION BECAUSE IT'S PART OF WHO I AM AND WHERE I AM TODAY.

EVANS: UNDERSTOOD. AT ONE POINT IN THE BOOK YOU DID REFERENCE THE GLASS CLIFF AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE LOOK AT YOU AND THE OTHER HIGH-PROFILE PROMINENT WOMEN THAT WERE ON WALL STREET, SALLY KRAWCHECK, ZOE CRUZ. ZOE CRUZ HAD BEEN CO-PRESIDENT OF MORGAN STANLEY AND PUSHED OUT SHORTLY BEFORE YOU RESIGNED AS YOU MAKE CLEAR IN THE BOOK, BUT DO YOU THINK IN YOUR CASE THAT YOU WERE PICKED IN A WAY TO FALL ON THE SWORD OF A COMPANY THAT PERHAPS THE GUYS RUNNING IT KNEW MORE ABOUT HOW FRAGILE A CONDITION IT WAS IS THAN EVEN YOU DID?

CALLAN: WELL I DID TALK ABOUT THIS IN THE BOOK. I MEAN IF YOU REALLY LOOK AT IT PRACTICALLY SPEAKING, NOBODY WANTED ME TO FAIL. EVERYBODY'S INCOME, LIVELIHOOD WERE TIED UP IN LEHMAN STOCK. THERE WAS NO INCENTIVE TO HAVE ME FAIL. DO I THINK AT SOME POINT IT WAS EASIER FOR ME TO BE THE PUBLIC FACE OF THE FIRM AND AS A RESULT I WAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ENTIRE PERFORMANCE OF THE FIRM? YEAH, ABSOLUTELY AND I TALK ABOUT THAT, BUT I DON'T THINK THERE WAS ANY KIND OF CONSPIRACY THEORY OR IDEA THAT PEOPLE WANTED ME TO FAIL. BEING A WOMAN ON WALL STREET, IT REALLY CUTS BOTH WAYS. THERE'S GOOD AND BAD. AND I NEVER WANTED TO SPEND TIME JUST ON THE BAD. I TALK IN THE BOOK ABOUT THE GOOD, ABOUT BEING UNIQUE, BEING DIFFERENT, BEING SOMEONE WHO HAD A DIFFERENT STYLE BECAUSE I WAS A WOMAN AND SO I CAN'T JUST LAMENT ONE SIDE OF THE EQUATION THAT, YEAH, I HAPPENED TO BE A WOMAN IN THAT SEAT AT THAT TIME. I DON'T KNOW ANYBODY WHO COULD HAVE BEEN IN THAT SEAT AT THAT TIME WHO WOULDN'T HAVE FAREED REALLY IN THE SAME WAY THAT I DID.

EVANS: INTERESTING, BECAUSE THERE WERE PASSAGES YOU RELAY IN THE BOOK WHERE YOU TALK ABOUT, YOU KNOW, YOU HAD PUSHED, EVERYBODY SHOULD KNOW, WHEN THEY CAME TO YOU AND SAID WE WANT YOU TO BE CFO. THE CFO AT THE TIME WAS NOT REALLY A POWER PLAYER IN THE FIRM AND THIS IS INTERESTING FOR PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT WALL STREET AS WELL AT THAT TIME. IT WAS SOMEBODY WHO YOU THOUGHT ACTUALLY IF YOU GOT THE ROLE, YOU WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU WERE ON THAT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. IN FACT THAT MADE YOU THE FIRST WOMAN ON THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, WHEN THEY WENT ALONG WITH IT AND SAID FINE. AFTER YOU WERE STUDYING UP ABOUT THE SHAPE OF THE FIRM AND YOU SAID TO THEM WE'VE GOT TOO MUCH OF THIS REAL ESTATE DEAD ON THE BOOKS, WE NEED TO SELL IT DOWN, A SIMILAR CONVERSATION WAS HAPPENING OVER AT GOLDMAN, AND THEY DID SELL IT DOWN. BUT THE GUYS AT LEHMAN DID NOT AND IN FACT WERE TALKING TO YOU ABOUT YOUR OUTFITS BEING A DISTRACTION DURING YOUR EXECUTIVE MEETINGS. SO DO YOU THINK IN THAT WAY PERHAPS YOUR GENDER GOT IN THE WAY OF THE GREATER GOOD FOR THE FIRM?

CALLAN: I DON'T KNOW IF THAT WAS SO MUCH ABOUT GENDER AS IT WAS ABOUT EXPERIENCE IN THE ROLE. I DON'T THINK I REALLY HAD THE STANDING YET IN THAT ROLE. I THINK I HAD A TREMENDOUS RESPECT AND TREMENDOUS STANDING WITHIN THE FIRM AS A WHOLE FOR MY CAPABILITIES AND MY INTELLIGENCE, MY CLIENT SKILLS, BUT IN THE CFO ROLE ITSELF, I JUST -- IT WAS A MONTH AND A HALF INTO IT. SO I THINK THAT WAS REALLY PART OF THE CHALLENGE IS I HADN'T REALLY BEEN ABLE TO DEVELOP ANY KIND OF EMPOWERED POSITION YET IN THE CFO ROLE ITSELF.

EVANS: YEAH AND THERE WERE OF COUPLE DECISIONS AT THE TIME AS WELL. PEOPLE HAD QUESTIONED WHY WOULD SHE DO THIS? AND YOU READ THE BOOK AND YOU REALIZE WELL, YOU WERE KIND OF TOLD TO DO IT. AND I'M REFERRING BOTH TO YOU BEING THE SOLE PERSON ON THE EARNINGS CALL IN MARCH AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF BEAR STEARNS WHICH FOR A TIME BEING SHORT OF CONFIDENCE IN YOUR FIRM AND GOT KIND OF GLOWING REVIEWS, AND ALSO THE CALL THAT YOU HAD WITH DAVID EINHORN, SPENDING ABOUT AN HOUR ON THE PHONE WITH HIM. HE WENT OUT THE NEXT WEEK WITH A SHORT POSITION PRESENTATION ON LEHMAN BROTHERS THAT BECAME WIDELY POINTED TO, AND THIS WAS IN THE MONTHS BEFORE OBVIOUSLY THE FIRM WENT BANKRUPT. IN BOTH OF THOSE CASES YOU SAID THE DECISION WASN'T REALLY YOURS IT WAS FROM THE GUYS ABOVE YOU SAYING HERE IS WHAT WE THINK YOU SHOULD DO, BUT YOU DON'T NECESSARILY REALLY TAKE THEM TO TASK FOR THAT, DO YOU?

CALLAN: WELL, I POINT OUT THAT IT WAS THEIR DECISION, SO I THINK THAT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF IN VOLUMES. I'M NOT SURE I HAVE TO SAY A LOT MORE THAN THAT. I THINK I COULD HAVE MYSELF PROBABLY FOUGHT THOSE DECISIONS A BIT MORE. I'M NOT SURE THE OUTCOME, I DON'T BELIEVE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY DIFFERENT. I THINK I WOULD HAVE ENDED UP DOING BOTH THOSE THINGS IN THE WAY THAT I DID, BUT AS MERELY POINTING OUT THAT THAT'S HOW THE DECISIONS WERE MADE I THINK MAKES IT CLEAR. I THINK THE FACT IS THE FACT.

EVANS: HAVE YOU, BY THE WAY, HEARD ANYTHING FROM DAVID EINHORN IN THE YEARS SINCE?

CALLAN: NO. WE DIDN'T KNOW EACH OTHER BEFORE. WE HAVEN'T KEPT IN TOUCH SINCE. I'M SURE THAT WON'T SURPRISE YOU.

EVANS: BUT IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D WANT TO SAY TO HIM NOW?

CALLAN: NO, YOU KNOW, I'M TRYING TO REMEMBER HOW I FOUND THIS OUT, BUT I DO REMEMBER AT SOME POINT LATER ON SOMEBODY RELAYED SOMETHING TO ME ABOUT SOMETHING HE HAD SAID TO THEM REGARDING MY TENURE AND MY POSITION AS CFO, AND I REMEMBER HEARING SOME COMMENTARY THAT HE DID UNDERSTAND THAT MANY OF THE DECISIONS THAT WERE MADE IN TERMS OF THE ASSETS THAT WE HAD WERE REALLY LEGACY DECISIONS, THEY WEREN'T REALLY MY DECISIONS. AND SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES, BUT NO, LOOK, THE P OINT I MAKE IN THE BOOK AND I MAKE THIS AT THE END OF THE BOOK WHEN I TALK ABOUT SPEAKING WITH DICK ONLY ABOUT A YEAR AGO, DICK FULD, IS YOU KNOW ALL THESE THINGS NOW, THESE ARE NOT IMPORTANT THINGS IN MY LIFE ANYMORE, SO ANY KIND OF REDEMPTIVE DISCUSSION WITH DAVID EINHORN, AS INTERESTING AS IT MAY SEEM, IS NOT SOMETHING THAT'S ON MY BRAIN AND THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME THESE DAYS.

EVANS: CONGRATULATIONS, BY THE WAY.YOU HAVE A DAUGHTER MAGGIE, YOU'RE LIVING DOWN IN FLORIDA, AND HAVE TOTALLY SHIFTED YOUR PRIORITIES, AND YOU TALK ABOUT TAKING 12-HOUR ROAD TRIPS WITH YOUR HUSBAND. THERE YOU GUYS ALL ARE. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE NOW.

CALLAN: WELL, I WILL SAY SOMETHING. BEFORE I EVEN WROTE THIS BOOK, I USED TO SAY TO MY HUSBAND, I'M GOING TO WRITE A BOOK CALLED "WORK WAS EASY." AND I THINK THAT BOOK IS STILL IN ME. I DIDN'T REALLY ADDRESS THAT WHEN I WROTE THIS BOOK. BUT WHAT I WILL SAY IS, LOOK, THE LEANING BACK OR LEANING OUT, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT, WHAT I HAVE TRIED TO DO OVER THE PAST EIGHT YEARS OF MY LIFE, WHICH IS STEPPING OUT OF THIS POWERFUL ROLE AND STEPPING INTO A MORE CONVENTIONAL LIFE, WHICH IS WHAT I WANTED, JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT SOMETHING DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE GOOD AT IT OR YOU REALLY KNOW HOW TO GO ABOUT IT. AND SO FOR ME IT'S BEEN A DIFFICULT TRANSITION. I WILL SAY I USED WAKE UP SOME MORNINGS AND SAY WHY AM I NOT DOING WHAT I WAS GOOD AT? WHY AM I TRYING TO DO THIS THING THAT I'M NOT GOOD AT, WHICH IS SORT OF LIVING LIFE LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES. I'VE HAD A LOT OF FUNNY EXPERIENCES AND SOME SAD EXPERIENCES D OING THAT, BUT MY DAY TO DAY I THINK LOOKED A LOT LIKE OTHER PEOPLE'S. I SPEND TIME WITH MY HUSBAND, I AM RAISING MY DAUGHTER, AND I FEEL BLESSED AND LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE WITH THE WISDOM AND PERSPECTIVE OF WHAT OF WHAT CAME BEFORE AND REALLY I'M PROUD OF WHAT CAME BEFORE. I THINK I LET IT BE TAINTED FOR MANY YEARS BY WHAT HAPPENED IN THE END, BUT NOW I THINK I'VE REACHED A POINT WHERE I'M AT PEACE WITH IT, AND I'M HAPPY AND PROUD OF WHAT I HAVE DONE.

EVANS: WELL, THE REAL IMPETUS FOR THE BOOK AND ALSO FOR AN OP-ED YOU WROTE IN "THE NEW YORK TIMES" SEVERAL YEARS BACK WAS SHERYL SANDBERG'S BOOK "LEAN IN" WHERE SHE ENCOURAGES YOUNGER WOMEN TO TAKE MORE CHARGE OF THEIR CAREERS AND REALLY GO AFTER IT AND THAT REALLY STRUCK A CHORD WITH YOU, DIDN'T IT? STRUCK A NERVE, REALLY.

CALLAN: IT DID. YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT TO SAY IT STRUCK A NERVE, BECAUSE AT THAT POINT I HADN'T BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT AT ALL, AND I JUST WOKE UP ONE MORNING, I SAID TO MY HUSBAND, "I FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING. I DON'T KNOW WHY, I'M JUST GETTING THIS LIKE OVERWHELMING FEELING." I SPENT A HALF HOUR, I WROTE SOMETHING DOWN, I SENT IT INTO "THE NEW YORK TIMES" MAILBOX, THEY PUBLISHED IT AND THE RESPONSE WAS INCREDIBLE. WHAT I JUST HAD WANTED TO SAY, WHICH IS REALLY WHAT MY MEMOIR IS ABOUT, IS I THINK I'VE HAD A UNIQUE POSITION WHERE I CAN SPEAK WITH SOME AUTHORITY ABOUT WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO REALLY MAKE YOUR CAREER THE ABSOLUTE CENTER OF YOUR EXISTENCE. AND FOR ME, AND IT'S PERSONAL, IT'S NOT INTENDED TO BE A SELF-HELP OR ADVICE, IT'S JUST, HEY, FOR ME, I TOOK IT TOO FAR. AND AS A RESULT, WHEN THINGS DIDN'T WORK OUT, WHICH IS WHAT HAPPENED OBVIOUSLY IN 2008, WHEN THINGS DIDN'T WORK OUT, I HAD NO FOUNDATION. I CRUMBLED. I REALLY WENT THROUGH SOME VERY DARK MOMENTS THAT I DESCRIBE IN THE BOOK. AND I'M NOT PROUD THAT I DIDN'T HAVE THE RESILIENCY TO GET THROUGH IT. AND THE REASON I DIDN'T HAVE THE RESILIENCY I HOPED FOR IS BECAUSE OF THE WAY I HAD APPROACHED IT, HOW MUCH I HAD PUT INTO IT AND HOW MUCH ENERGY AND HOW LITTLE ENERGY I PUT INTO THE REST OF MY LIFE.

EVANS: DARK MOMENTS YOU SPEAK ABOUT THE BOOK THAT LED TO, IN ONE CASE, TRYING TO TAKE YOUR LIFE SHORTLY BEFORE CHRISTMAS OF 2008. AND IT WAS, YOU KNOW, THERE WAS SO MUCH GOING ON AT THAT TIME. YOU HAD LEFT LEHMAN, GONE TO CREDIT SUISSE, BUT ALSO YOU HAD BECOME SUCH A POINT OF CONTENTION FOR THE BROADER PUBLIC IN A WAY OVER THE FINANCIAL CRISIS THAT WAS BEGINNING TO ENGULF THE BROADER ECONOMY. AND I WANT TO READ A SAMPLE OF THE KINDS OF COMMENTS THAT WE WERE GETTING FROM PEOPLE EVEN JUST WHEN YOUR NAME CAME UP. FOR EXAMPLE, SAYING, IN REFERRING TO ERIN CALLAN, "THIS PERSON WAS REPEATEDLY ON TV SAYING LEHMAN WAS OKAY AND YET IT WASN'T. SHE IS A FRAUD, SHE SHOULD BE IN JAIL, SHE COST PEOPLE MILLIONS, SHE RUINED LIVES." ERIN, THAT'S WHY I THINK SOME PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED THAT YOUR BOOK ISN'T A LITTLE BIT MORE VEHEMENT ABOUT THE ROLE YOU PLAYED OR DIDN'T PLAY IN THE COLLAPSE OF LEHMAN BROTHERS.

CALLAN: WELL, I THINK I TRIED TO BE PRETTY DIRECT AND TRUTHFUL ABOUT THE ROLE I DID PLAY. AND THE ROLE I DID PLAY I THINK TO SOME NOW IS SURPRISINGLY LESS THAN EXPECTED. IE, SOME OF THE DECISIONS YOU WERE CITING EARLIER, DECISIONS THAT WEREN'T MADE BY ME, MADE BY OTHERS. AND I TALK ABOUT A BIT OF A LACK OF EMPOWERMENT IN THAT ROLE IN THE BOOK AND WHAT THAT LOOKED LIKE. THAT I FELT LIKE I DIDN'T HAVE THE ABILITY TO INFLUENCE DECISIONS AND INFLUENCE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WERE GOING ON. AND REMEMBER, THIS WAS – IT WAS SIX MONTHS. IT WAS – THIS WASN'T A FIVE OR TEN-YEAR TENURESHIP AS CFO. I MEAN, HOW MUCH CAN YOU REALLY INFLUENCE A PARTICULAR POSITION OR A WHOLE ORGANIZATION IN THAT SHORT OF A TIME FRAME? SO, THREE MONTHS IN WAS THE BEAR STEARNS CRISIS. SO I THINK AS PEOPLE READ THE BOOK AND THEY CAN SEE A BIT OF THE BEHIND THE SCENES AND THE DAY TO DAY, I THINK IT'S NOT THAT SURPRISING MAYBE AT HOW LITTLE I COULD HAVE INFLUENCED OR HAD THE ABILITY TO INFLUENCE SOME OF THESE OUTCOMES. AND I UNDERSTAND THE ANGER AND WHAT HAPPENED, AND HOW MANY PEOPLE LOST SO MUCH. TRUST ME, I UNDERSTAND THAT. WHAT THIS BOOK WAS NOT ABOUT WAS FINGER POINTING OR REALLY TRYING TO EXONERATE MYSELF. I JUST WANTED PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT MY EXPERIENCE WAS AND TO TAKE THAT FOR WHAT IT WAS WORTH.

EVANS: YEAH, AND ONE QUESTION THAT ISN'T ADDRESSED IN THE BOOK – IT'S A LITTLE BIT TECHNICAL, BUT IMPORTANT TO WHAT HAPPENED BACK DURING THOSE DAYS – IS THE EXAMINER'S REPORT ON THE COLLAPSE OF LEHMAN TALKED ABOUT HOW THE COMPANY SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE FORTHCOMING ABOUT THE USE OF REPO 105 AS AN ACCOUNTING MANEUVER THAT HELPED TO MAKE THE BALANCE SHEET PERHAPS LOOK IN BETTER SHAPE THAN IT REALLY WAS. DO YOU HAVE REGRETS? AND WERE YOU PERSONALLY INVOLVED IN THAT DECISION DURING THE TIME, ERIN?

CALLAN: YEAH, I'M REALLY NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THAT POINT NOW, KELLY.

EVANS: IS THAT BECAUSE – IS THERE A LEGAL REASON? OUR JUST TECHNICAL REASON?

CALLAN: WELL, I THINK, WITHOUT ELABORATING TOO MUCH, I'VE REALLY SAID WHAT I WANTED TO SAY ABOUT SOME OF THE DETAILS OF LEHMAN AND MY ROLE AND THE SPECIFICS WITHIN THE BOOK. I REALLY DON'T WANT TO COMMENT BEYOND THAT ON SOME OF THESE TYPES OF ISSUES.

EVANS: UNDERSTOOD. ALSO, WHEN YOU LOOK AROUND WALL STREET TODAY, AND WONDER IF THE CULTURE HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN. I KNOW YOU'RE FAR AWAY FROM IT NOW, BUT ALSO PROBABLY STILL KNOW MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING OR JUST FOLLOWING IN GENERAL THE COMPANIES THAT ARE STILL AROUND TODAY. DO YOU THINK THERE HAS BEEN A MATERIAL CHANGE FROM THE PLACE IT WAS THEN TO THE PLACE IT IS NOW?

CALLAN: WHEN YOU REFER TO CULTURAL CHANGE, I'M NOT SURE WHAT EXACTLY YOU'RE GETTING AT IN TERM – I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'RE GETTING AT RISK TAKING? I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE WAY PEOPLE APPROACH THEIR JOB AND WORK LIFE BALANCE? WHAT ANGLE ARE YOU THINKING OF?

EVANS: YEAH, I GUESS THERE'S A COUPLE DIFFERENT STRANDS THERE. BUT LET'S JUST BEGIN WITH THE FIRMS VERY MUCH LOOK THE SAME. YOU KNOW, VERY MALE DOMINATED STILL, BUT THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF EFFORTS TO TRY IT MAKE IT MORE EQUITABLE AND FOR PEOLE TO HAVE MORE OF A WORK/LIFE BALANCE. SO MAYBE JUST STARTING WITH THAT ASPECT OF IT, DO YOU THINK THERE'S BEEN AN IMPROVEMENT SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN THERE?

CALLAN: WELL, I READ THE STORIES LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE ABOUT OKAY, NO ANALYSTS WORKING ON SATURDAYS OR WHATEVER TYPES OF PROGRAMS PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO INTRODUCE TO REALLY INSTITUTIONALIZE AN APPROACH ON THIS TOPIC. BUT YOU KNOW, IN THE END, IT'S EACH INDIVIDUAL'S DECISION ON HOW THEY DO IT. THAT'S WHY I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY DECISIONS. NOBODY MADE ME WORK THE WAY I WORKED. BUT I DO TALK IN MY BOOK ABOUT BEING IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE YOU WOULD ADMIRE HOW HARD PEOPLE WORKED. AND THAT WAS TO BE ADMIRED. AND THERE WERE BADGES OF HONOR. AND I TALK ABOUT SOMEONE WHO TOOK A TWO-WEEK MATERNITY LEAVE AND I SAW THAT AS IMPRESSIVE. AND NOW I LOOK AT THAT TO SAY OH MY GOODNESS. NOW THAT I'VE HAD A BABY, I CAN'T EVEN FATHOM THAT CONCEPT OF A TWO-WEEK MATERNITY LEAVE. BUT THERE DEFINITELY WAS THAT TYPE OF AN ENVIRONMENT, OR ADMIRING SOMEONE WHEN I WAS A LAWYER WHO WORKED 3,000 HOURS A YEAR AND WHAT THAT REALLY MEANT. BUT I WAS IMPRESSED BY THAT. AND I LIKED THAT ENVIRONMENT. SO HAS THAT CHANGED? YOU KNOW, THAT'S HARD FOR ME TO SAY. I KNOW I SEE THE HEADLINE STUFF CHANGING IN TERMS OF FIRMS TRYING TO TELL PEOPLE TO MAYBE BEHAVE IN A DIFFERENT WAY. IS THAT ACTUALLY PLAYING THROUGH INTO HOW INDIVIDUALS ARE APPROACHING THE WORKPLACE AND KIND OF WHAT'S THE ACCEPTED NORMS? IT'S HARD FOR ME TO SAY ON THAT FRONT.

EVANS: YEAH, IT DOES SEEM IN A WAY AS THOUGH ALMOST SILICON VALLEY HAS BECOME WHERE THIS DEBATE IS PLAYING OUT RIGHT NOW. YOU MENTIONED THE TWO-WEEK MATERNITY LEAVE AND A LOT OF US THINK OF MARISSA MEYER, OVER AT YAHOO. AND YOU MENTION HERE IN THE BOOK, TOO, AND SORT OF SYMPATHIZING WITH SOMEBODY WHO MAYBE GOT CAUGHT UP IN THE SWEEP OF A MAGAZINE FEATURE, OR JUST IN GENERAL IS UNDER THE LIMELIGHT MORE. BECAUSE YOU KNOW, SHE'S RUNNING A COMPANY, BUT YOU'RE SAYING LOOK, AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE'RE ALL PEOPLE HERE, TOO, AND WE ARE ALL KIND OF THE SAME AND YOU RELATE TO HER IN SOME WAYS, DON'T YOU?

CALLAN: YEAH, I DO BECAUSE I THINK IT'S – I HAVE ONE CHAPTER I CALL LOSING MY WAY. WHAT THAT'S ABOUT IS THE NOTION THAT WHEN YOU ARE PUT INTO THE SPOTLIGHT, WHEN YOU GET MEDIA COVERAGE, AND FOR ME, AT LEAST INITIALLY, AND FOR SOME PERIOD OF TIME IT WAS VERY POSITIVE COVERAGE, YOU BELIEVE IT. YOU START TO BELIEVE IT. TALK ABOUT BEING SYMPATHETIC WITH PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES WHERE PEOPLE SAY OH, HOW COULD THEY HAVE LOST THEIR WAY? AND THEY DIDN'T STAY GROUNDED, AND THEY DIDN'T SEE THIS OR THAT. WELL YOU KNOW, I HAD MY OWN VERSION OF THAT. I NEEDED TO TONE IT DOWN A BIT. I NEEDED TO JUST SORT OF SEE THAT ALL THE HYPE WASN'T REALITY. IT WAS JUST THE MOMENT, AND IT'S A HARD THING TO DO. SO I SAID I'VE LEARNED TO BE VERY SYMPATHETIC TO OTHERS AS THEY GO THROUGH THAT CHALLENGE. YOU WAKE UP EVERY MORNING, YOU PUT TWO LEGS OF YOUR PANTS ON. YOU'RE NO DIFFERENT THAN ANYBODY ELSE. YOU'VE GOT TO REMIND YOURSELF OF THAT EVERY DAY, BECAUSE IT IS HARD, AS YOU GET POSITIVE ATTENTION, AND THEN OF COURSE NONE OF US LIKE THE NEGATIVE ATTENTION AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS, THEN IT'S EASY TO SEE IT.

EVANS: RIGHT. OH YEAH, NO. FOR SURE IT'S THE FLIP SIDE OF THE COIN. TOWARDS THE END OF THE BOOK, IT'S INTERESTING, AT THE VERY END OF THE BOOK REALLY, AS YOU WERE WORKING ON IT, YOU GOT A CALL OUT OF THE BLUE FROM DICK FULD. AND YOU SAID YOU WONDERED IF YOU WERE BOTH ON SORT OF THE SIX-YEAR SELF-REFLECTION PLAN. WHAT DID HE SAY TO YOU? IS THE AIR CLEARED BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU?

CALLAN: YES, AND I SAY THIS IN THE BOOK. YOU KNOW IT'S FUNNY, I FEEL LIKE IT WAS THE MOVIE ENDING TO THE BOOK THAT JUST SURFACED WHEN HE CALLED ME. BUT, YOU KNOW, WHAT HE SAID TO ME WAS THAT HE WAS SORRY ABOUT HOW EVERYTHING HAD PLAYED OUT, AND HE STILL FELT THAT I HAD BEEN THE BEST PERSON FOR THE JOB, AND THAT I HAD DONE A GREAT JOB, AND HE FELT BADLY BASICALLY THAT I HAD BEEN SORT OF LEFT OUT THERE ON MY OWN TO FACE THE MUSIC, WHICH REALLY MAYBE WASN'T COMPLETELY FAIR IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS. I SAY TWO THINGS ABOUT THAT IN THE BOOK. I SAY, ONE, IT WAS A VERY IMPORTANT PHONE CALL TO ME, BECAUSE IT DID HELP CLOSE THAT CHAPTER OF MY LIFE. SOMETHING I HAD WANTED TO HEAR, AND SOMETHING IN A SENSE, THAT WAS IMPORTANT WAS I HAD ALWAYS HAD AN INSTINCT ABOUT DICK. I TRUSTED HIM, I THOUGHT HE LOOKED OUT FOR ME, AND AT LEAST THAT PHONE CALL MADE ME FEEL MY INSTINCTS WEREN'T COMPLETELY WRONG. AND THAT WAS SOMETHING I NEEDED TO KNOW. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE VERY IMPORTANT THING ABOUT THAT PHONE CALL WAS THAT IT DIDN'T MATTER THAT MUCH. AND I SAY IN THE BOOK, I DON'T WANT TO UNDERMINE THE FACT THAT HE DID IT, BECAUSE I'M VERY IMPRESSED THAT HE DID IT, AND I THOUGHT ONLY A GOOD PERSON WITH A CONSCIENCE MAKES THAT PHONE CALL. BUT I HAD SO MOVED ON NOW IN MY LIFE THAT IT WASN'T THE BE ALL/END ALL. IT WASN'T THE GAME CHANGER. IT DIDN'T REALLY MEAN ANYTHING IN THE BIG PICTURE. AND I WAS HAPPY THAT THAT'S WHERE I HAD COME TO. THAT THAT PHONE CALL WASN'T SO DRAMATIC AND SO TELLING IN MY LIFE.

EVANS: YOU DO SPEAK A LOT IN THE BOOK ABOUT JUST HOW MUCH YOU LOVED LEHMAN BROTHERS IN A SENSE. IT GAVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING KIND OF MAVERICK-Y WITHIN THE FIRM TO BE ABLE TO WORK WITH CLIENTS LIKE GENERAL MILLS AND OTHERS TO CREATE PRODUCTS FOR THEM THAT FIT NEEDS THAT THOSE CORPORATE GIANTS HAD, TO WORK ACROSS DIFFERENT DIVISIONS IN A WAY THAT MANY OTHER WALL STREET FIRMS COULDN'T REALLY DO, BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO SILOED AND BRING YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A CORPORATE TAX LAWYER TO A SORT OF RISING NUMBER OF DIFFERENT ROLES THERE. AND SO I WONDER, AND YOU TALKED ABOUT YOUR ADMIRATION FOR HIM AS WELL, IF DICK FULD CALLED YOU AND SAID, "ERIN, I WANT YOU TO WORK WITH ME AGAIN," WOULD YOU?

CALLAN: ABSOLUTELY NOT. BUT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DICK. IT IS JUST I HAVE NO INTEREST IN THAT TYPE OF A LIFE AT THIS POINT. I HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT LIFE, I'M VERY HAPPY AND SO IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DICK.

EVANS: IF YOU HAD TO GIVE, ERIN, SOME ADVICE – AND I KNOW YOU WILL BE GIVING MUCH TO YOUR DAUGHTER OVER THE YEARS, BUT TO THE OTHER YOUNG WOMEN WATCHING AND LISTENING NOW BEFORE WE GO, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

CALLAN: WELL, I'D SAY IT'S MORE OF A REALLY BIG-PICTURE CONCEPT WHICH IS PEOPLE ALWAYS LIKE TO TELL YOU, "WELL, THAT HAPPENED FOR A REASON." IF YOU HAVE SOME SORT OF SOMEWHAT TRAUMATIC EVENT IN YOUR LIFE, THAT'S NOT A GOOD EVENT, WELL, IT HAPPENED FOR A REASON. AND I ALWAYS JUST SAY I DON'T BELIEVE THAT. I DON'T BELIEVE THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN FOR A REASON. BUT WHAT I HAVE COME TO UNDERSTAND IS IT HAPPENS FOR A REASON IF YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR A REASON. AND THAT WOULD BE MY ADVICE. THINGS WILL GO WRONG IN YOUR LIFE, IN YOUR CAREER, BIG, SMALL, IT DOESN'T ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE A REASON. BUT YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR A REASON. YOU CAN TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT AND MAKE YOURSELF A BETTER PERSON. YOU CAN MAKE YOURSELF A BETTER EMPLOYEE. YOU CAN DO SOMETHING WITH THAT TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE. AND THAT'S WHAT I'VE TRIED TO DO. I'VE TRIED TO TAKE SOMETHING THAT REALLY WASN'T SO GOOD IN THE END, AND I'VE TRIED TO MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR A REASON, AND HAVE A REALLY DIFFERENT LIFE, AND ONE THAT I TRULY APPRECIATE.

EVANS: AND ERIN, CAN YOU GIVE US ANY CLUES IN TO HOW YOU MIGHT SUPPORT YOURSELF FINANCIALLY GOING FORWARD? YOU MENTIONED YOUR PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY, HOW THAT HAD BECOME AN ISSUE IN THE YEARS AFTER PAYING ALL OF THESE LEGAL FEES DEALING WITH THE FALLOUT FROM LEHMAN. AND I UNDERSTAND YOU DON'T WANT TO GO BACK TO THAT WORLD, BUT WHAT MIGHT YOU BE DOING FROM HERE?

CALLAN: I DON'T KNOW. I STILL CONSIDER MYSELF RELATIVELY YOUNG, SO I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M GOING TO DO FROM HERE. THIS WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE, WRITING THIS BOOK. YOU KNOW, HONESTLY, MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE DRAMATICALLY CHANGED OUR LIFE. WE'VE SIMPLIFIED. WE'VE DOWNSIZED. AND WE PLAY IT DAY BY DAY, WE'LL SEE. BUT THERE'S A LOT OF LIFE LEFT TO LIVE, I HOPE, ON THAT ONE.

EVANS: I SUSPECT MUCH MORE, ERIN. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US THIS AFTERNOON. WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.

CALLAN: THANK YOU, KELLY. IT WAS NICE TALKING TO YOU.

EVANS: ERIN CALLAN MONTELLA. THE BOOK IS CALLED "FULL CIRCLE."

About CNBC:

With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC World and CNBC HD , CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to approximately 371 million homes worldwide, including more than 100 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 15 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also has a vast portfolio of digital products which deliver real-time financial market news and information across a variety of platforms. These include CNBC.com, the online destination for global business; CNBC PRO, the premium, integrated desktop/mobile service that provides real-time global market data and live access to CNBC global programming; and a suite of CNBC Mobile products including the CNBC Real-Time iPhone and iPad Apps.

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/networks/cnbc/.