MELTDOWN

How Lehman Brothers Collapsed

A new report offers new insight into how Lehman Brothers fell into mortal peril at the start of the financial crisis, and the details aren't pretty. The 2,200 page report by a court-appointed examiner describes an accounting trick known as "Repo 105" that the company used to hide some $50 billion in assets from its balance sheet for two quarters. According to the examiner, the creative accounting could open up Lehman's executives to lawsuits as shareholders can use them to show they were deceived by the company. Lehman's collapse is widely credited with helping trigger the financial meltdown in the Fall of 2008 when it declared for bankruptcy.