A recipe for use by self-policing markets:
1. Bring water to boil.
2. Add books.
3. Boil until books thoroughly cooked.
Serves: One crash.
People within the bank knew this was a sleight of hand. In one exchange of emails, a senior Lehman executive wrote: “It’s basically window-dressing.” A colleague replied: “I see…so it’s legally do-able but doesn’t look good when we actually do it? Does the rest of the street do it?” One of Fuld’s top lieutenants, chief operating officer Bart McDade, referred to Repo 105 as “another drug we’re on”. A US law firm didn’t like the look of the practice, so Lehman turned to Britain’s very own Linklaters, which duly signed it off as lawful. London-based auditor Ernst & Young concurred, taking “virtually no action” when a Lehman whistle-blower, Matthew Lee, raised a red flag.