Why the Feds let Lehman go

09/16/2008 | CNNMoney

In March, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury helped Bear Stearns stave off bankruptcy and engineered a takeover by JPMorgan Chase. During the weekend, the government did not offer similar help to Lehman Brothers and its potential buyers, leading Lehman to file for bankruptcy. The government's response to the two seemingly similar situations was different partly because circumstances changed and also because a collapse of Bear Stearns would have threatened the financial system as a whole.

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