NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Wednesday said the court-appointed examiner of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc LEHMQ.PK could release his report to the public in full, including all supporting documents.
At a hearing in U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan, Judge James Peck overruled an objection from CME Group Inc (CME.O), parent of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which sought to keep some information about bids in an auction of Lehman’s futures holdings secret.
“From the court’s perspective the claims of confidentiality are weak relative to the public’s right to know,” Peck said.
CME Group, with the support of the futures industry, had sought to keep confidential information about buyers of Lehman’s former futures and options positions in a special auction conducted by CME in the midst of Lehman’s 2008 collapse.
A CME Group attorney said in court on Wednesday that disclosing the information could discourage future bidders from participating in auctions, since futures markets transactions are based on a certain expected anonymity.
The judge, however, dismissed the concerns as “potential future harm to events that may never occur,” when he told the examiner the full report could be released.
An attorney for the examiner said the complete unredacted version of the examiner’s report as well as hundreds of supporting documents could be published later on Wednesday, since the documents would take only about five to eight hours to upload.
Following a more than year-long investigation, Lehman’s examiner Anton Valukas released an initial version of the report on March 11, which revealed certain accounting gimmicks may have led to the investment bank’s collapse.
The case is In re: Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-13555.
Reporting by Emily Chasan, editing by Maureen Bavdek