The former boss of Lehman Brothers, Dick "the gorilla" Fuld, has come out all guns blazing and blamed false rumours, uncontrollable market forces and the refusal of the US government to ride to the rescue.
Dick Fuld does though accept some responsibility,"Did we do everything right? We clearly did not," he told the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission "I myself did not see the depth and violence of the crisis. I did not see the contagion. I believe we made poor judgments in timing for the assets we bought and for the businesses we supported. Would I love today to be able to reach back and [re]take those? Yes."
Since the Lehman collapse Fuld has established Matrix Advisors, a small financial advisory boutique service. The trouble is that in New York there are many 'Matrix Advisors' companies, it's a very common name and they have nothing to do with Fuld.
Fuld remains very angry that Lehman was not rescued in the same way that Bear Stearns, a smaller rival, had been some six months earlier. Fed officials are still adamant that a rescue was impossible because the two institutions that could have helped, Bank of America and Barclays, just could not move fast enough to put a rescue package together.
According to a Guardian report Fuld says that Lehmans actually had a positive equity position of $26.7 billion in its final days, not the reported 'capital black hole' of $30 billion. But a court report put together in March accuses Lehmans of using a 'repo 105' accounting technique to play down its liabilities by about $105 million.
From 2000-2007 Fuld was paid about $310 million. And his 'uncompromising' attitude that led to his nickname of 'the gorilla' as he became a symbol of the banking system's excesses of the time.