Lehman Brothers: Rumor or Reality?
It's a fragile financial world.
We don't "do" rumors in the 'Ville but we'd be remiss if we didn't pass along our ears to ye faithful.
The chatta--and it's just that, unconfirmed chatta--is that counter-parties are "pulling a Bear" on Lehman Brothers (LEH). In other words, the "rumor becomes reality" scenario is making it's way around the trading wires.
I have no insight to the legitimacy of these stories but I'll say the same thing I said about Bear Stearns (BSC) in March. If rumors alone can bring down a franchise, how strong can that franchise be? This speaks to the fragility of a globally interwoven banking system in a finance-based economy built on more than $500 trillion of derivatives.
The conditional elements for meltage are in place--we've been warning about the wobbling wheels since last summer and speaking of the conditional elements for years.
I'm not smart enough to know if the comeuppance has arrived--there are huge agendas and proactive initiatives in play--but I'll humbly note that the recipe for slippage that we've spoke of--BKX 75, a stronger dollar and slippage in commodities--is quietly in place.
To be clear, I don't have a position in Lehman--or any financial, for that matter, despite my incessant and insistent rambling about the importance of BKX 75. The meat of my heat is in the short commodity space, which I'm picking at and trading around as a function of discipline, and I'm trying to stay tight
The purpose of this post is to again point to risk management over reward chasing as the modus operandi of choice. By the time most people learn that lesson, it may be too late.
Be a Minyan. Be proactive. Be careful. And be yourself sir. No matter what happens, they can't take that away from you.
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Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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