The Bundesbank has reported that the effects of the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse will be minimal for central banks in the eurozone. Patience in unloading legacy assets has paid off, the institution announced.
On Wednesday, Germany's Bundesbank announced that eurozone central banks stood a good chance of getting off lightly after the spectacular 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse, which plunged global financial markets into a deep crisis.
Acting as a financial agent for other eurozone central banks, the Bundesbank announced that it had almost completely dealt with legacy assets stemming from former business operations with Lehman.
"The Lehman issue is not completely over and done with," Bundesbank CEO Joachim Nagel said in a statement in Frankfurt. "But the biggest hurdles have certainly been cleared."
Waiting for the right moment
When Lehman Brothers crashed, its liabilities towards eurozone central banks amounted to 8.5 billion euros ($11.4 billion). Lost interest payments and other factors saw the figure swell to 9.3 billion euros in the process.
The Bundesbank reported, however, that it had so far secured 7.4 billion euros through the sale of highly complicated asset-backed securities (ABS), financial bills backed by loans, leases or receivables against assets. It had also received 768 million euros from insolvency proceedings in the US and Germany, with more money expected to arrive soon.
Chief Executive Joachim Nagel said that it had paid off not to get rid of any legacy assets right after the Lehman disaster, but rather to wait a few years before getting a better deal by selling them to professional investors such as hedge funds and private equity companies.
hg/mkg (dpa, Reuters)