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“Accounting Gimmicks”

Lehman Brothers, the bank which collapsed in September 2008 and sparked global economic meltdown, could face legal action over accounting “gimmicks” revealed in a recent report. “A court-appointed US bankruptcy examiner has concluded that there are grounds for legal claims against top Lehman Brothers bosses and auditor Ernst & Young for signing off misleading accounting statements in the run-up to the collapse of the Wall Street bank in 2008 which sparked the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. A judge last night unsealed a 2,200-page forensic report by expert Anton Valukis into Lehman's collapse which includes scathing criticism of accounting ‘gimmicks’ used by the failing bank to buy itself time. These included a contentious technique known as ‘repo 105’ which temporarily boosted the bank's balance sheet by as much as $50bn (£33bn). The exhaustive account reveals that Barclays, which bought Lehman's US businesses out of bankruptcy, got certain equipment and assets it was not entitled to. And it reveals that during Lehman's final few hours, chief executive Dick Fuld tried to get Gordon Brown involved to over-rule Britain's Financial Services Authority when it refused to fast-track a rescue by Barclays.”
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