Barclays Gets a Big Lift from Lehman

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Lehman Brothers may have rattled the global economy with its collapse last fall, but it seems to be doing a bang-up job under Barclays‘ umbrella: The firm, or a piece of the firm, was a major source of Barclays’ overall profits for the first quarter. In fact, Lehman appears set to hold the torch for the British bank as losses and write-downs are expected to pile up in other Barclays units. Barclays said in a statement announcing the first-quarter results that the acquisition of Lehman resulted in a “transformational change” in Barclays Capital, its investment banking unit, whose profit before tax and write-downs was “very substantially ahead of last year,” more than quadrupling to 907 million pounds, or $1.36 billion.

That is roughly two-thirds of the entire company’s total pretax profits of 1.37 billion pounds. It is hard to break out how much of that profit came directly from Lehman, but the American unit seemed to have generated a large chunk of cash: The part of Barclays’ investment bank that predated Lehman had to contend with billions of dollars in write-downs on the troubled assets it acquired during the boom years.




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