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Abigail Hofman: Hindsight is 20/20

It’s a truism that hindsight is 20/20 vision. But those who spot the signals of turning markets are visionaries and those who act on these signals are true geniuses.

by Abigail Hofman

Dick Fuld - Erin Callan - Lehman Brothers - Business class etiquette - Barclays - Real estate

Something about the jut of his chin and his unflinching expression tells me that Dick Fuld is a fighter. Ten years ago, he battled like a demonic sumo wrestler to save Lehman Brothers from the funeral pyre of illiquidity associated with Russia’s domestic bond default and the demise of hedge fund LTCM. The flames fanned Fuld’s feet and apparently he never forgot the experience. Or did he? A mole whispered in 2006 that Lehman had been slow to join the throng of bankers in Moscow because Fuld was cautious about re-entering the Russian market. In March 2007, he changed his mind: Lehman hired Nick Jordan from Deutsche Bank to reignite the firm’s Russian effort. At the time I instinctively felt that this might be a market top. ‘When the Bear meets the Eagle, can any good come of it?’ I wrote.

It’s a truism that hindsight is 20/20 vision.

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