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Nevada Recoups $50 Million From Bankrupt Lehman Brothers

It was the toast of Wall Street for years, but the collapse of financial firm Lehman Brothers six years ago, which was triggered by home mortgage defaults, helped usher in the worst recession in more than 60 years.

Lehman’s bankruptcy also cost Nevada a $50 million investment it made with the firm. Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall purchased $50 million worth of A-rated bonds from Lehman in 2007.

But when the financial crisis resulted in Lehman’s 2008 bankruptcy, many investment portfolios were devastated. Some municipalities and states sold off their Lehman investments. But Marshall didn’t. And after Lehman’s collapse, she vowed to get the state’s money back.

On Wednesday, Marshall, who is the Democratic candidate for secretary of state, announced the $50 million had been recovered.

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Nevada sold its share of the bonds for $10 million in July, according to the treasurer’s office. The state recovered $13.6 million from Lehman’s estate during the firm’s bankruptcy. Marshall explained the rest will come from interest income accrued from the bonds over the last six years.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that if the state had sold the Lehman-backed bonds during the depths of the recession, it would have recovered only $5 million, or 10 cents on the dollar.

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Rick Phillips, president and chief investment officer with FTN Financial Main Street Advisors

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