Cramer: Good Riddance to the Lehman CFO

Callan undid years of trust in just a few months.
Publish date:

When CFOs get fired, I get panicky. But I am not going to get panicky over the firing of this CFO at

Lehman Brothers


. Erin Callan was put out there as if she knew the numbers and knew the business and knew the answers, and it turns out she undid decades worth of trust in Dick Fuld in a matter of just a few months.

Thus Lehman, which was able to stem a similar slide in 1998 because we had a "In Fuld We Trust" situation, instead began to look a lot like


-- it seemed Fuld had checked out and Callan was running the joint.

This has tragic consequences for the firm, because it allowed every single line item that was disclosed to be questioned, and it allowed hedge funds to walk all over the firm because the longs got no answers, or nothing substantive.

Brothers Grim

var config = new Array(); config<BRACKET>"videoId"</BRACKET> = 1604855477; config<BRACKET>"playerTag"</BRACKET> = "TSCM Embedded Video Player"; config<BRACKET>"autoStart"</BRACKET> = false; config<BRACKET>"preloadBackColor"</BRACKET> = "#FFFFFF"; config<BRACKET>"useOverlayMenu"</BRACKET> = "false"; config<BRACKET>"width"</BRACKET> = 265; config<BRACKET>"height"</BRACKET> = 255; config<BRACKET>"playerId"</BRACKET> = 1243645856; createExperience(config, 8);

In the end, we wanted Fuld, he folded, and we got this mess.

Earlier in this decade, when it looked like


(JPM) - Get Report

was in trouble, when the stock traded to $16 in 2001, Dina Dublon, then the CFO of JPMorgan, called me in to show me why the bank wasn't insolvent. She allowed me to have as much as five hours of her time to question her to prove to my satisfaction that JPM wasn't in a jam. She wasn't a dazzler or a face person; she was simply a whiz who knew the answers. It was all public stuff, I just needed someone to walk me through it.

I came away from the meeting telling people JPM was in good shape. She was confident, so I was confident.

Callan inspired no confidence. She was no Dublon. More important, she made me feel that Fuld wasn't engaged.

Apparently he is.

Let's hope it is not too late for this great firm.

At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.

Jim Cramer writes about all the stock trades in his charitable trust for in Action Alerts Plus. Recent stocks he's traded in this account include Deere (DE) - Get Report, Yamana Gold (AUY) - Get Report and Trinity Industries (TRN) - Get Report.

Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of He contributes daily market commentary for's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for and, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for

Action Alerts PLUS. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" weeknights on CNBC. To order Cramer's newest book -- "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer),"

click here. Click

here to order "Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich," click

here to order "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click

here to get "You Got Screwed!" and click

here for Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict." While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback and invites you to send comments by

clicking here. has a revenue-sharing relationship with under which it receives a portion of the revenue from purchases by customers directed there from