On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is described as in most instances the debtor remains in control of its business operations as a debtor in possession, and is subject to the oversight and jurisdiction of the court. A short summary of how Lehman Brothers could possibly have gone broke, is they hid $50 billion off their books, when it all was borrowed money. They wanted to hide it all to show they were not as dependent on borrowing money as much as they really were. Most of the executive people of office and even the auditing company knew of the misdeeds. Ernst & Young, the auditing company manipulated the books by using accounting trick “Repo 105”. Repo 105 is an accounting trick in which a company classifies a short-term loan as a sale and subsequently uses the cash proceeds from said sale to reduce its liabilities. In the repo market, companies are able to gain access to the excess funds of other firms for short periods in exchange for collateral (usually a bond). The company that borrows the funds will promise to pay back the short-term loan with a small amount of interest and the collateral typically never changes hands. This is what allows firms to record the incoming cash as a sale; the collateral is assumed to have been "sold off" and bought back later.Repo 105 made headlines following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It was reported that Lehman accountants used the accounting maneuver to pay down $50 billion in liabilities to reduce leverage on their balance sheet before earnings were announced. This made it look like Lehman was much less reliant on debt than it actually was. By using this trick, Lehman’s balance sheets and their income statements were understated by a lot in the liabilities they owed and the fake revenue they reported was overstated.
Lehman was able to hide their false debt for a while. It was around 2005 that the debt became a problem, it was just growing larger and larger till the company could not handle it anymore. Lehman Brothers used accounting sleight