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Lehman Brothers : Bloomberg News

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. prepared to file for bankruptcy after Barclays Plc and Bank of America Corp. abandoned talks to buy the U.S. securities firm and Wall Street prepared for its possible liquidation.

Lehman and its lawyers are getting ready to file the documents for bankruptcy protection tonight, said a person with direct knowledge of the firm’s plans. A final decision hasn’t been made, though none of the other options being considered appeared likely, the person said, declining to be identified because the discussions haven’t been made public.

Barclays, which had emerged as a leading candidate to acquire Lehman, pulled out first, contending it couldn’t obtain guarantees from the government or other Wall Street firms to protect against potential losses on Lehman’s assets. Bank of America withdrew about three hours later, according to a person with knowledge of the talks. Banks and brokers began consolidating trades in which Lehman is involved to minimize the impact of a possible bankruptcy filing tonight.

The U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve have struggled for three days to prevent the investment bank from failing before markets open tomorrow, people familiar with the situation said. With the two most serious bidders out of the picture, Lehman’s options are few.

Lehman Brothers News

September 15, 2008 - Posted by | News | , , , , , , , ,

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