Dick Fuld was the head of the investment bank Lehman Bros. in 2008 when the bank collapsed in the biggest bankruptcy in history, kicking off the worst part of the financial crisis. Who can say if Dick Fuld ever did anything “wrong?” Not Dick Fuld!
In a talk at a conference yesterday, Fuld made his first public comments in years, after being vilified as one of the worst culprits of the Wall Street blowup that led to the epic 2008 economic collapse that robbed countless millions around the world of their livelihoods. Sure, it’s true that Fuld oversaw Lehman while it dove headfirst into toxic subprime mortgages and leveraged itself by more than 30 to one in the manner of a degenerate gambling addict on a temporary hot streak. But look—that’s in the past. From Dealbook:
Explaining the origins of the financial crisis, Mr. Fuld avoided any mention of investment banks’ eagerness to issue subprime mortgages. (Lehman had an enormous portfolio of subprime loans.)
“It’s not just one single thing,” Mr. Fuld said. “It’s all these things taken together. I refer to it as the perfect storm.”
One might say “borrowing tons of money in order to bet it on toxic mortgages that would soon collapse because they were inherently worthless to begin with” was the “one single thing” that really caused this “perfect storm,” but then again one is not Dick Fuld. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Dick Fuld has “no regrets!”
When asked why he didn’t simply ride off into the sunset after Lehman’s collapse, Mr. Fuld responded, “Why don’t you just bite me?” He quickly followed up by saying he couldn’t give up and felt he had “no choice” but to start his new firm, Matrix Advisors LLC.
Haha, Dick Fuld, you are a true Wall Street character! America’s long-term unemployed will find some levity in your comments—you scamp!
[Photo of Dick Fuld joking with friends: AP]