By Francesco Guerrera in New York 2010-03-16

Did Dick Fuld, the former chief executive of Lehman Brothers, know about the “accounting gimmick” that enabled the firm to shift billions of dollars secretly off its balance sheet quarter after quarter?

Anton Valukas, the court-appointed examiner, concluded that there was sufficient evidence to support a claim that Mr Fuld and other executives breached their fiduciary duties by “allowing and certifying the filing of financial statements that omitted or misrepresented material information”.

He also said there was “credible evidence” to support a claim that Mr Fuld’s failure to decide to disclose the transactions was “grossly negligent or demonstrated a conscious disregard of his duties”.

Mr Fuld’s lawyer said the Lehman chief had no knowledge of “Repo 105”, a device that allowed Lehman to move assets off balance sheet to flatter its results at the end of the quarter. The lawyer added: “Nor did Lehman’s senior finance officers, legal counsel or Ernst & Young raise any concerns about the use of Repo 105 with Mr Fuld.”

Mr Valukas’s report, however, focuses on two instances during which Repo 105 was discussed by Lehman’s top executives.

First, on March 27 2008, Bart McDade, then Lehman’s “balance sheet” tsar, e-mailed materials to Mr Fuld and others for a meeting the following day. The attachments included an agenda with topics such as “Repo 105/108” [Repo 108 was a similar device] and a presentation detailing that Lehman had used Repo 105 to move $49bn (€35.6bn, £32.3bn) off its balance sheet in the first quarter of 2008. The examiner said that Mr Fuld’s lawyer told him that Mr Fuld did not use a computer and did not “have the ability to open attachments” on his BlackBerry. Mr Fuld did not attend the March 28 meeting because he had other calls to make.

The second meeting took place in June 2008 between Mr McDade, who had been promoted to the roles of president and chief operating officer, and Mr Fuld. Mr McDade told the examiner he had walked Mr Fuld through a presentation that showed Lehman had been using Repo 105 to the tune of billions of dollars in the previous three quarters. Mr McDade also recalled that he had recommended to Mr Fuld that the use of Repo 105 be curbed.

The executive said that Mr Fuld asked him: “Is it doable? Is it necessary? If so . . . go do it,” according to the report.

Mr McDade’s conclusion was that Mr Fuld “was familiar with the term ‘Repo 105’ ” and “knew about the accounting of Repo 105”, Mr Valukas writes.

证据显示:雷曼前CEO是会计作假知情人
英国《金融时报》 弗朗西斯科•格雷拉 纽约报道 2010-03-16

凭借一种“会计花招”,雷曼兄弟(Lehman Brothers)得以暗中一个季度接着一个季度地把数十亿美元转移出资产负债表。该公司前首席执行官迪克•富尔德(Dick Fuld)当时是否知道这个花招?

法院指派的检查人员安东•瓦卢卡斯(Anton Valukas)得出结论称,有足够证据支持以下主张:富尔德和其他高管因“允许和认可提交遗漏重大信息或错误陈述重大信息的财务报表”,而违背了自己的受托责任。

他还表示,有“可靠证据”支持一项主张:富尔德未能做出决定披露有关交易,这是“严重疏忽,或表明他有意无视自身责任”。

富尔德的律师表示,这位雷曼前首席执行官对“回购105”(Repo 105)一无所知。回购105是一种能让雷曼把资产转移出资产负债表、从而在季度末粉饰该公司财报的手段。这位律师补充称:“雷曼的高级财务人员、法律顾问以及安永(Ernst & Young),也未就回购105的使用向富尔德提请过任何关注。”

然而,瓦卢卡斯的报告却聚焦在两件事情上——这两件事发生时,雷曼的最高管理层曾对回购105进行了讨论。

第一件事发生在2008年3月27日。当时掌管雷曼“资产负债表”的巴特•麦克达德(Bart McDade),用电子邮件向富尔德等人发送了为随后一天会议准备的会议材料。邮件附件包括一份议程,主题诸如“回购105与回购108”(回购108是一种类似的手段);还包括一份详细介绍雷曼如何在2008年第一季度使用回购105把490亿美元转移出资产负债表的演示文稿。这位检查人员表示,富尔德的律师告诉他:富尔德当时并未使用电脑,也不“懂得如何打开他黑莓手机(BlackBerry)中的附件”。富尔德没有出席3月28日的会议,因为他有其它电话要打。

第二件事发生在2008年6月,富尔德与已晋升为总裁兼首席营运官的麦克达德进行了一次二人会谈。麦克达德告诉检查人员,他当时让富尔德浏览了一份展示雷曼在此前三个季度里一直使用回购105转移数十亿美元的演示文稿。麦克达德还回忆称,他曾建议富尔德对回购105的使用加以限制。

报告提到,这位雷曼前高管称富尔德问他:“这么做是否可行、是否有必要?如果是的话……那就去做吧。”

瓦卢卡斯写道,麦克达德的结论是:富尔德“熟知‘回购105’这个词”,也“了解回购105的会计手法”。

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