The court appointed examiner of the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy said the company 'doubled-down' on risky trading activity in 2007, exceeding its own limits as the sub-prime mortgage business was developing into a crisis.
Lehman was slow to recognize the developing storm and its spillover effect upon commercial real estate and other business lines, Anton Valukas, Chairman of law firm Jenner & Block and a former U.S. attorney wrote in a report released on Thursday.
Lehman made the conscious decision to double down, hoping to profit from a counter-cyclical strategy. As it did so Lehman significantly and repeatedly exceeded its own internal risk limits and controls, he added.
Valukas noted that Lehman's share price fell 95 percent from a high of $65.73 per share in January 28 of that year only to fall to less than $4 on Friday, September 12, 2008, the last time it would trade before filing for bankruptcy that weekend.
It was the largest bankruptcy proceeding filed in U.S. history.