Lehman loses its shirt

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Lehman just declared the largest loss in its 160 year history.  Even analysts who had been expecting a big bath were shocked.  The stock value nearly halved in trading this morning.  (Side note:  if you doubt insider trading takes place, look at what happened yesterday.  Clearly a number of people got a hint of those numbers in advance.)  The company announced that its spinning off art of its operations to raise cash.  Nonetheless, don't be surprised if they turn up at treasury's door soon, asking for a handout to stave off a liquidity crisis.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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