Friday, May 29, 2009

Lazard's Lehman-Related Expense Detail

Bankruptcy court fee applications always make for a fun read: the hundreds of thousands of dollars in Seamless Web orders, the same analyst ordering dinner 3 times a night, the $200 car service bills (with pick up and drop off address detail), the hotel minibar and porn Payperview bills, the occasional $5,000 one way airplane trip: all your dirty underwear for the world to see. As a good example I present the most recent expense detail application filed by Lazard in connection with the firm's work done in the Lehman bankruptcy case. Of course, in this case it is merely the creditors who are footing the bill. As such the material is at best fit for Page 6.

Zero Hedge will be focused much more on the expense detail statements for firms such as Capstone and Greenhill, who are advising Chrysler and getting paid by the U.S. taxpayers, and also on whoever the financial advisors for Government Motors end up being: any transgressions will be promptly noted and disclosed for public ridicule.

And in addition to the other, more mundane and traditional expense-code violations where associates back fill a dinner at Nobu by adding on 20 different non-present people who at $30 per the maximum, comfortably allowing the staffer to impress his date with the $200 tip, the following more serious item is actually quite interesting: maybe someone can explain just what Lazard was doing on July 24 and 28th subcontracting a consulting project with E&Y called "Take Pub Bnk Private." Is there a way to get just a little more clairity on what this "project" entailed, who ordered it and, most relevantly, who shut it down?

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