A new book argues that not only was the doomed investment firm way overexposed to risky assets and beleaguered by bad management, but it also made the wrong choice when it was requested to help out LTCM ten years earlier. From a review:
Bear had been the only big firm that refused to help out Long-Term Capital Management, a hedge fund that came close to the brink in 1998. Some wondered if this was the reason Hank Paulson, then treasury secretary and a former boss of Goldman Sachs, insisted on Bear being sold for a mere $2 per share (though this was later quintupled after shareholders revolted). There were certainly many on Wall Street, including a fair few at the firm itself, who felt Bear had it coming.