Document Type

Case Study

Case Series

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy

JEL Codes

G01, G28


The Lehman Brothers court-appointed bankruptcy examiner produced a 2,200-page report detailing possible claims that the estate might pursue. The most surprising revelation of the report was that during its last year Lehman had relied heavily on an unusual financing transaction—Repo 105. The examiner concluded that Lehman’s aggressive use of Repo 105 transactions enabled it to remove up to $50 billion of assets from its balance sheet at quarter-end and to manipulate its leverage ratio so that it could report more favorable results. This case considers in-depth Lehman’s questionable use of Repo 105 transactions and its impact.

Date Revised