Tuesday, July 07, 2009

CNBC Interview with Bryan Marsal, CEO of Lehman Brothers Holdings

by Bill McBride on 7/07/2009 06:32:00 PM

This is an interesting interview from early this morning with Bryan Marsal, CEO of Lehman Brothers Holdings, who is unwinding Lehman Brothers ... especially at the 18 minute mark:

One of my partners said yesterday that we are going to call this phase the "extend and pretend" phase in our economy. Which is you extend someone's maturity - because they are going to default - and you pretend that business will come back or that leverage factor is going to come back.

Then we'll enter phase two, which he said is the request to extend or "amend".

Then "send". In other words send the keys.

That is the phases we are in right now. Everyone is trying to buy time, as opposed to dealing with the leverage, they are trying to buy time. Whether you are a banker or a company, they are all trying to buy time. I don't see the leverage coming back, and I don't see the consumption of good and services coming back.

Bryan Marsal, CEO of Lehman Brothers Holdings.
This applies to all kinds of debt - extend and pretend - that sounds like most of the residential loan modifications! But eventually many of those same loans will reach the "send" phase.

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