Lehman ignored warnings on lax underwriting standards

09/17/2008 | NYTimes.com

Some of the problems that sent Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy stemmed from its acquisition of Archstone-Smith, a national apartment portfolio. The deal, undertaken with Tishman Speyer, was one of several Lehman closed weeks and months after the ratings industry warned that real estate underwriting standards had become too lax. "Lehman always had a reputation for being one of the most aggressive lenders in the commercial space," said Robert M. White Jr., president of Real Capital Analytics.

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