The Times‘ Terry Pristin this morning covers how risky real estate deals helped topple Lehman Brothers. These deals included the investment bank’s involvement with Tishman Speyer in last year’s $22.2 billion acquisition of apartment landlord Archstone-Smith:
[T]he deal … was not the only high-risk commercial deal that Lehman sealed weeks, and even months, after ratings agencies warned the real estate industry that underwriting standards had become too lax and rental growth projections too robust.
Lehman didn’t slow down. In fact, the bank developed a reputation as one of the more prolific lenders in commercial real estate deals. One investor described Lehman as "the real estate A.T.M."