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Lehman’s Fuld in the dock
Congress starts the post-bailout blame game
T

he $700 billion Wall Street bailout is law, said Brian Wingfield in Forbes online, so “it’s time for Washington to return to a more familiar game: finger pointing.” It got started at a congressional oversight hearing appearance by Richard Fuld, the CEO of failed investment bank Lehman Brothers. The political parties blamed each other. Fuld said Lehman didn't mislead investors—he blamed regulators and short sellers.

“If Fuld didn’t act when he could have, it’s a bit much for him to blame the regulator for inaction,” said Richard Beales in Breakingviews.com. He and his team had six months to “buttress their firm” after the collapse of Bear Stearns. They didn’t, so “Fuld’s cake of excuses” is hard to swallow.

It’s a shame that Fuld’s grilling, however deserved, was mostly political “theater,” said Joe Nocera in The New York Times. It would have been “genuinely useful for the country to understand” Lehman’s collapse. Given the ensuing panic, the federal government’s failure to save Lehman could be its “single worst mistake” in this crisis.

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