Monday, September 15, 2008

SIPC and LEH bankruptcy


From the SIPC website.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - September 15, 2008 – The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund authorized by Congress to help investors at failed brokerage firms, issued the following statement this morning in relation to reports about the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.

SIPC President Stephen Harbeck said: “SIPC has not initiated a liquidation proceeding against the broker-dealer Lehman Brothers Inc. and we do not currently anticipate doing so. As of this morning, it appears that all customer cash, stocks and other securities are accounted for.

It is important to understand that the holdings of broker-dealer Lehman Brothers Inc., would not be directly impacted by a bankruptcy filing at the separate entity Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.

Should the situation at Lehman Brothers Inc. change in some material way not now anticipated by SIPC and regulators, we will, of course, intervene as necessary to protect the cash and securities of customers. However, I want to underscore that such an action is considered unlikely at this time.

SIPC is working closely with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to monitor the situation at Lehman Brothers Inc.

The Securities Investor Protection Corporation remains vigilant and committed to our core mission: When a brokerage firm is closed due to bankruptcy or other financial difficulties and customer assets are missing, SIPC steps in as quickly as possible and, within certain limits, works to return customers' cash, stock and other securities. Without SIPC, investors at financially troubled brokerage firms might lose their securities or money forever or wait for years while their assets are tied up in court."

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