Paulson - ‘Wrong’ to blame UK for the collapse of Lehman Brothers

22 February 2010

Henry ‘Hank’ Paulson has said he was wrong to blame the collapse of Lehman Brothers on the UK and its chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling.

The former US treasury secretary made the comments during a speech in New York, the Times reported.

In his new book, On the Brink, Mr Paulson blamed the failure of the ailing financial institution on the chancellor and UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA).

He stated that the regulator’s unwillingness to give its approval to the acquisition of the bank by Barclays led to its collapse.

When he discovered that the FSA would not allow the sale to go-ahead, he said: “The British screwed us.”

However, Mr Paulson is reported to have admitted that he regrets blaming the UK for Lehman’s collapse.

The politician is quoted by the Times as saying: “It was frustration. But I don’t know if the situation had been reversed and I was the British, I don’t know how I would have acted. You can’t walk in another person’s shoes, so I shouldn’t criticise them. I did, but I shouldn’t have.”

Mr Paulson previously worked as the chief executive of Goldman Sachs before taking on the role of US treasury secretary.

By Jim Ottewill

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