The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Sideways: Dick Fuld – my part in his downfall

As the 10th anniversary of the failure of Lehman Brothers arrives, I have been asked to share my reminiscences of when I realized a global credit crisis was looming and why so many senior financial figures ignored my warnings.


In the early summer of 2007 I was by the pool at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona, recovering from an all-night session at the casino after a securitization conference, when none other than JPMorgan investment bank head Bill Winters came into view.

“Bill!” I said. “What are you doing here? Surely you aren’t mixing with the nerds who put together the synthetic collateralized debt obligations that will soon undermine the global economy?”

Winters smiled ruefully. “I’m afraid so. Jamie Dimon personally told me to increase our share of CDO revenues and claims I’m spending too much time in the London office having new suits fitted,” he said. 

“Bill, old friend,” I replied. “Mark my words: 15 months from now – probably at the end of the second week of September 2008 – this whole thing will blow up. If you can get JPMorgan out of CDOs in time, Jamie Dimon will thank you in the end. Or he might not, knowing Jamie, but you should still cut your exposure.”

A young Deutsche Bank trader who had attended the conference was listening to our conversation.

“You mean I should start putting together derivatives trades that pay off if mortgage-backed CDOs collapse in value?” he asked.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree