Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Will Lehman Go To Zero? Today?

Lehman's stock continues its death spiral, down 35% at the moment on little concrete news.  Sure KDB has walked away from the negotiating table, but did people actually believe that this deal was going to happen?  Furthermore, despite all of the rumors bandied about of potential buyers interested in a "hostile takeover," the market is now acting as if KDB was the only viable candidate in the running.  I am inclined to think that something else is behind the stock's free fall.  I am hearing a rumor that the company may pre-announce earnings today and that the news won't be pretty (no surprise to anyone with a pulse.)  I have also heard some speculation that Mr. Paulson's refusal to bailout the preferred investors in Fannie and Freddie was a large hint that the man had reached his limits in terms of offering help to ailing financial institutions.  This is a more plausible explanation for the panic in the stock.  The Fed has given them financing for MBS, the discount window, and term money market funds.  Enough is enough.  If you didn't raise enough capital when you had the chance, don't come crying to the Treasury.  Whatever bargaining chips Mr. Fuld thought he had at the negotiating table grow more threadbare with every downtick in the stock price.  Options volatility and CDS spreads have spiked to crisis levels.  If Mr. Fuld really does have something left up his sleeve, now would be the appropriate time to bust it out.           

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