Lehman Brothers was once a financial powerhouse, but now it's little more than a piece of Wall Street history. Before we forget about the "shenanigans" that brought down Lehman, we should pick through its remains, says Rick Newman in U.S. News & World Report, and learn valuable lessons about how to deal with the next wayward firm that comes along. Here, an excerpt:
"Lehman Brothers is becoming a historical artifact, a corporate fossil like Enron and Worldcom that we can dissect to learn about its inner decay. But as revelations mount about the degree of corruption at Lehman, we're forgetting that the failed investment bank nearly garnered a taxpayer-assisted buyout in 2008 that would have saved the firm and probably prevented public disclosure of its most abusive practices.
A new report generated as part of Lehman's bankruptcy proceedings depicts a firm so desperate to attract funding and disguise its woes that it ginned up some creative accounting maneuvers that essentially allowed it to hide nearly $50 billion worth of money-losing assets. Even on Wall Street, that's a huge sum that could easily mean the difference between solvency and collapse."