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Greece Strikingly Similar to Lehman, Says Its CEO
CNBC.com | June 16, 2011 | 01:25 PM EDT

The executive in charge of restructuring Lehman Brothers sees some "striking" similarities between his company and Greece , he told CNBC Thursday.

"If I was advising Greece right now, if I was advising the various countries in the European Union, I would be telling them to do their contingency planning, prepare a liquidity plan to withstand the storm," said Brian Marsal, Lehman's CEO and co-chief executive of turnaround firm Alvarez & Marsal North America.

Lehman's was the largest U.S. bankruptcy in 2008, at the time the biggest investment bank to collapse since Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1990.

"I would expect the Germans mean what they’re saying" when they take a hard line on the Greek debt situation, just as then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson "really meant it in the case of Lehman," Marsal said.

However, he added, just as Paulson decided after Lehman failed that "he couldn’t take the systemic risk problem," so the Germans "after Greece goes down will change their mind and will provide assurances for the other countries in southern Europe."

In the end, he said, "the financial consequences or the economic consequences are going to bring people back to reality."

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