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Lehman Recovery Seen as Justifying $2 Billion Bankruptcy

Harvey Miller, the lawyer guiding Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. through the biggest-ever U.S. bankruptcy, sipped a cappuccino at a tourist-filled cafe near Manhattan’s Central Park and reflected on how his client’s collapse five years ago went from unthinkable to inevitable.

Lehman’s demise “ignited a worldwide conflagration that almost brought down the global financial system,” said Miller, who filed the Chapter 11 petition at 2 a.m. on Sept. 15, 2008, in New York after the bank failed to win U.S. government aid or attract a buyer. “The consequences were unknown.”