Lawyers for Lehman Are Seeking Records From Hedge Funds and Goldman

By Julie Creswell|NewYorkTimes

It is the Wall Street version of the grassy knoll.

Nearly two years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, some on Wall Street still wonder whether a handful of the nation’s most powerful hedge funds conspired to push the 158-year-old financial giant into bankruptcy while making big profits for themselves.

Now, in search of a smoking gun, a law firm hired by the estate of Lehman Brothers Holdings has demanded trading records, e-mail and other correspondence for all of 2008 from a collection of prominent hedge funds and the venerable Goldman Sachs.

The firms named in the inquiry make up a Who’s Who of the hedge fund world, and include SAC Capital Advisors, run by Steven A. Cohen; Greenlight Capital, managed by David Einhorn; the Citadel Investment Group, led by Kenneth C. Griffin; and Och-Ziff Capital Management, whose chief executive is Daniel Och.

At a hearing on Wednesday of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the investigative panel appointed by Congress, Lehman’s former chief executive, Richard S. Fuld Jr., is expected to field questions on the role hedge fund investors might have played in Lehman’s failure, according to people involved with the proceedings who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Separately, these people said, commission members are expected to press JPMorgan Chase’s chief risk officer, Barry L. Zubrow, about whether the bank was too aggressive in demanding that Lehman post collateral on loans just before Lehman collapsed.

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