Lehman Bros document trove online: childish hubris, laughable idiocy from today's Senior Policy Advisor at US Treasury

Barry sez, "How awesome is this treasure trove of emails, documents, files et. all placed online by the NY Fed? Some of the emails between Lehman execs are laughable — naive, silly, hubristic, childish. But my favorite piece simply has to be the Morgan Stanley research report from June 30 2008 “Overweight Rating” on Lehman Brothers — 'Bruised, Not Broken, Poised for Profitability'. 60 days later, Lehman Brothers filed what was then the largest bankruptcy in the United States. This is (literally) what the category 'Really Really Bad Call' was invented for. Who was the author of this steaming piece of shit, and where is he today? Why, he is Patrick Pinschmidt, and he is a Senior Policy Advisor at U.S. Treasury Department! (You could not make up stuff this un-fucking-believable even if you tried)."

The Lehman Bankruptcy Docs (Buy LEH!) ()


  1. I know you didn’t know this, but for medical reasons I’m not allowed to read the word Lehman or Brothers. Thank you.

    1. To avoid wallowing too deeply in fanatasies of cutting a swathe through a bunch of these fucks on a chainsaw rampage, I find it helpful to remind myself there’s little if any room for free will in causality.

      1.  They were pre-determined to destroy our economy while becoming filthy rich?

        Your fantasy is valid. Society dictates that we use prison cells and not chainsaws, but I’m willing to settle for that.

        1. Have you any evidence the initial perturbations of the Big Bang isn’t the root cause of this bastardry? Cause I don’t. Do you imagine for a moment that if it was you looking out of one of these pricks’ eyes, with their genes and environment, you’d have acted any differently? You wouldn’t be you.

          In light of that, I think it’s far more productive to consider altering the structures that enable and incentivise such epic cunthood, rather than expecting/hoping that any sort of post hoc deterrence can be worth a damn, or that it’s possible to ensure that folks who rise to the top of an industry that’s essentially a parasitic scam are beyond temptation.

  2. You could make up stuff that unbelievable.

    Except no one would believe such hamfisted and cliche fiction.

    This reality wouldn’t pass as a 4th grade short story.

    1. So… truth isn’t stranger than fiction; it’s simply more poorly written than fiction.

  3. I must laugh, or else i would be hiding under my bed for fear of the next insanity Wall Street may come up with.

  4. And, somehow it gets worse: (from the guy’s LinkedIn profile)

    Financial Markets Policy Advisor: Congressional Oversight Panel
    Senior financial markets advisor to independent oversight panel mandated by U.S. Congress to review the current state of financial markets (!!!!!!) and the regulatory system in conjunction with oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

    Send someone to survey the disaster who was completely blind to it. Send in the clowns, indeed.

  5. Nice find Cory.  I used to work for a couple telecom trade associations (essentially lobbyists).  Then I worked for an investment bank as a sell side analyst.  None of this surprises me.  This is normal.  One fellow analyst told me that a sell side analyst is the equivalent of a marketing pamphleteer for stocks, and that a stock report is obsolete the second it’s published.  And he wasn’t being cynical. It’s just a shrewd observation.  

    These are generally intelligent people shaped by unwise institutional arrangements to do stupid things.  There’s also individual agency involved as the people who go into this work are extremely ambitious and often prone to bend the rules to achieve  fairly hollow ends like put a bunch of zeros behind their bank account balance.  Or they go to a great school and the norm is to go into these types of jobs or they need such jobs to pay off absurdly high school loans.  And then they’re shaped by the shitty norms of their employers.  Maybe they deserve laughter and scorn, but then they also deserve pity because it’s a horrible life all and all.  These people work like slaves and often treat each other like shit along the way.  Most burn up their youth for nothing.  Only a small few make the big bucks and they’re rewarded with a shitty quality of life for their “responsibilities”.  I remember one lunch with a trader who said that trading totally destroyed his attention span.  He could no longer read books.

    1. I understand your sympathy, but I’m afraid it still reads as “pity me, for I sold my soul to become wealthy”.

      EDIT: That was snarkier than I intended. In the end I guess the point is that those entering this branch, as intelligent as they may be, are the antithesis of most happy mutants here. They may not have realised the cost to their souls when they started down the road, and many are chewed up and spat out. That is why we should try not to go down that road in the first place.

  6. I used to work at a place in CT, and some of these clowns would stop by every couple months to meet with my boss. We were to respect them. That included yielding our desks so they could check their fantasy football scores and make weekend plans, while our actual profit making took second place.


  7. After watching “Inside Job” recently, my blood boiled all over again. It’s not just the hubris, graft, and downright stealing; or the selling short of average American’s life savings; or the TARP funds that go right to the bonuses of Wall Streeters.
    It’s that these same guys are still at the helm.  Geithner, Paulson, et al. can EAT MY ASS. And Obama should be ashamed that he lets them anywhere near our money.

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