UPDATE: 12:22PM EST: CONFIRMED!
From Jonathan Weil:
The letter is authentic. You can find it here:
Courtesy of Whitney Tilson:
Below is either a very interesting document or a very clever hoax (it was sent to my anonymously). It’s a letter/press release, apparently retrieved via a Freedom of Information Act request) from Dick Fuld dated March 28, 2008, announcing that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) (BRK.B) had agreed to invest $3.5 billion into Lehman with an interest rate of 7.5% and warrants convertible at $54 (a 40% premium to the share price of $38.57) into 16% of the company.
I tend to think it’s real because it’s been disclosed that Buffett and Fuld spoke that day (see WSJ article from 3/11/10), so it’s not a stretch to think that Fuld (or one of his people) might have drafted a letter announcing the deal.
Wow, would I love to rewind the tape of history and see how things would have played out had Buffett made this investment. Lehman might not have gone bankrupt, in part because of the money, but more importantly because the Buffett halo would have made the loss of confidence/run on the bank that took Lehman under less likely.
Full document below: