NYT DealBook, by Andrew Ross Sorkin, August 26, 2008:
Judging by the headlines, you’d think the troubled investment bank would go belly up any day now. In fact, it probably never will.
Lehman may not be too big to fail, but it may be too important to fail. Why? Because Richard S. Fuld Jr., Lehman’s chairman and chief executive, is too important. He is a member of an exclusive club: the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
It’s hard to believe that the Fed would let one of its own fail the way Bear Stearns did. Another member of club Fed, James Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, was handed the deal of a lifetime. Alan D. Schwartz of Bear Stearns? Not a member.
Given Mr. Fuld’s access to Fed chief Ben S. Bernanke and Mr. Bernanke’s man on Wall Street, Timothy F. Geithner, Mr. Fuld is in a much better position than his rivals to keep his firm alive. A prediction: Watch the Fed’s discount window for loans to brokerage firms. It won’t close until Mr. Fuld is out of the woods.