Monday, September 9, 2013

Analysis of Decisions Not to Charge Lehman Brothers Executives

The New York Times has an interesting article investigating the decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission not to charge any of the Lehman Brothers executives with civil charges in the wake of the firm's colossal collapse, which helped to precipitate the financial crisis of 2008. 
The article discussions the internal debate between the investigators from the Enforcement Division who argued against charging any executives and the commission members, most particularly Chairman Mary Shapiro, who urged the investigators to keep investigating in an attempt to establish culpable responsibility by Lehman executives.  According to the article, Chairman Shapiro warned (as it turned out correctly) that the world would not understand the failure to charge anyone with responsibility for the massive failure.
Also interesting is the secondary discussion in the article about the Justice Department's decision not to bring criminal charges against anyone from Lehman.  The decisions of the SEC and DOJ are juxtaposed against the report of the bankruptcy receiver who authored a report alleging wrongful conduct by the top echelon of Lehman's management.

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