Y una brillante explicación de la quiebra de Lehman Brothers:
The run that brought down Lehman Brothers in September 2008 and threatened to bring down much of the rest of the banking industry was a similar phenomenon. Most of Lehman’s capital was short term, and unlike deposits in commercial banks its capital was not federally insured. When it was realized that Lehman was heavily invested in mortgage-backed securities, whose value was plummeting in the wake of the bursting of the housing bubble, the suppliers of Lehman’s short-term capital began withdrawing their capital from Lehman—less because they thought that Lehman’s assets no longer exceeded its liabilities than because they feared that other suppliers of Lehman’s capital thought Lehman was broke and therefore would withdraw their capital as fast as possible and that—a classic bank run—would break Lehman. It was another example of rational herd behavior.
Y de lo que pasó, probablemente, con nuestras Cajas de Ahorro
So why did the sophisticated finance industry finance a housing bubble whose bursting was bound to hurt the industry? There were plenty of warnings that there was a housing bubble; why did the industry ignore them? I think it was another though somewhat more complex example of rational herd behavior. The major assets of a modern financial institution are short-term capital and talented staff, and both are highly mobile assets that the institution will lose if it is less profitable than its competitors, and it will be less profitable if it refuses to make risky mortgage loans. Just as the adjustable-rate mortgagee’s downside risk is truncated by his ability to abandon the home if house prices don’t rise, so the financial institution’s downside risk is truncated by limited liability, which protects shareholders and managers from having to pay their company’s debts out of their own pockets