It seems anxiety from the financial crisis is reaching new highs, but the tipping point for one individual came at the Lehman Brothers gym in the midst of the company’s collapse.
While former Lehman CEO Richard Fuld was testifying before the House Oversight Committee Oct. 6, CNBC reported he had been punched in the face at the Lehman Brothers gym after it was announced the firm was going bankrupt. CNBC and Vanity Fair contributor Vicki Ward said Fuld was attacked at the gym on a Sunday following the bankruptcy.
“Frankly, I sat there and listened and I’m with the guy who apparently, the day before Barclays announced they were coming in and Lehman had already filed for bankruptcy, went over to him in the gym and punched him because that’s how I feel when I, you know, when I watched that,” Ward said on the Oct. 6 “Power Lunch.” “I didn’t think he was contrite at all, I thought he was arrogant.”
“From two very senior sources – one incredibly senior source – that he went to the gym after … Lehman was announced as going under. He was on a treadmill with a heart monitor on. Someone was in the corner, pumping iron and he walked over and he knocked him out cold. And frankly after having watched this, I’d have done the same too.”
Ward determined Fuld deserved the beating based on his testimony before the committee.
“I thought he was shameless,” Ward said. “I thought it was appalling. He blamed everyone. He blamed, as you say, ‘naked short sellers’ over and over in case we didn’t get the point, when in fact hedge funds like Harbinger had money locked up in Lehman and was shorting it to try and make the most of the money that they already had. He blamed everybody but himself.”
Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in September 2008 and its assets were later snatched up by the British bank Barclays for $1.35 billion, which included Lehman’s Midtown Manhattan office tower with a $960 million price tag.