Lehman Brothers: Financial Fraud In 2008

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Executive Summary

Lehman Brothers were an investment bank involved in transactions worth billions of dollars and one of the most powerful investment banks in the world.
Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 following bad investment in the sub-prime mortgage market and used bad accounting practices called Repo 105 transactions to try and cover up the bad assets.
This report sets out the use of the fraud triangle when describing the actions which led to the collapse. The pressure applied on the bank, the opportunity due to the lack of regulation to carry out the actions and the ability of the bank to rationalise their decision making.
It shows how the fraud was detected and the accounting practices that were used at the time, how the director
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Pressure
Lehman Brothers was one of the largest investment banks in the world, so expectation and pressures of reporting positive financial results that apply to a bank of that magnitude are intense. Were a bank of this size to have a poor reporting period it would have a significant impact on its quoted share price.
In the years leading up to 2008, Lehman Brothers invested heavily in the US sub-prime mortgage market. Were they lent large sums of money to individuals with the purpose of becoming homeowners, it was seen as a quick way of making money as they would group a lot of the mortgages together, sell them on to other banks and make a profit. A risky investment if the homeowners were unable to repay the mortgage. This proved to be the case when the US economy and housing market crashed in 2008 and Lehman Brothers had billions of dollars invested in the subprime mortgage market and homeowners had no money to repay the
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Conclusion
After reviewing the information obtained through this report, it highlights the lack of regulation and their accounting practices which took place within Lehman Brothers.
The accounting practices that were used within the bank were set by the tone at the top and show that the CFO’s during the 2000’s and going forward had plenty of knowledge of the Repo 105 transactions and had no great will to do anything about. The thinking at the time seemed to be, that the company had used this accounting practice for so long, that if there was something wrong it would have come up by now no point rocking the boat.
The only good thing to come out of Lehman’s collapse was that the US regulators had to tighten up regulations and limit the chance of such a crisis happening again. This will bring back investors confidence in Wall Street and keep the economic wheel turning.

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