'Fast Money' Recap: Lehman's Former CEO Dick Fuld Speaks, Chips Consolidate

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's been seven years since Lehman Brothers collapsed in a $700 billion bankruptcy and became the poster child of the financial crisis. The CNBC 'Fast Money Halftime' trading panel weighed in on comments that its former CEO Dick Fuld made at micro cap conference as well as the consolidation in the chip industry following Avago Technologies' (AVGO) announced $37 billion buyout bid for Broadcom (BRCM).

Much of the 'Fast Money' show was devoted to Fuld's presentation at the Macrum MicroCap Conference in New York, where he would make his first public appearance since the dark days of the financial crisis. CNBC was able to briefly film his presentation live, before the event organizers took away the cameras.

In discussing the fall of Lehman, Fuld told the attendees at the conference, "it was the perfect storm." He cited a number of events, including the government pushing home ownership through low interest rates, easy access to credit and a record number of mortgage re-financings as contributing to the environment that led to the demise of Lehman and other major financial institutions.

In assessing whether the industry has learned much since the dire days of 2008, 'Fast Money' guest speaker Larry McDonald, head of U.S. Macro Strategies at Societe Generale and former Lehman Brothers vice president, offered his perspective that maybe little has been learned from the financial crisis.

McDonald pointed to record levels of leveraged loans, high-yield bond and investment-grade bonds being issued in record amounts and LBOs being financed with a lot of debt.

"I wanted him to use his brand to tell the world where we are today versus 2007-2008," said McDonald, who authored the book "A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers."

Stephen Weiss, managing partner of Short Hills Capital Partners and a former Lehman Brothers employee who built its equity sales force, characterized Fuld as a good leader who instilled a culture where everyone felt they were rowing in the same direction and competed against other firms, not each other.  

The panel also discussed semiconductor chips, following Avago's buyout offer for Broadcom, the largest chip merger on record.

 "I look across the space and I still think they're cheap," said Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com. "I think that when I look at valuations in the chip space, there is still plenty of upside for many of these names, especially those that fit well or are tied to Apple (AAPL)."

Some of the semiconductor companies that have risen since last week include Analog Devices (ADI), Texas Instruments (TXN) and Nvidia (NVDA).

His brother Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com, also likes the semiconductor sector and invested in Broadcom when it was trading around $25 a share. At that time, he believed the stock would ultimately reach the $55 to $65 level.

Weiss is a fan of Micron Technologies (MU). "It's pretty compelling at these valuation levels. Everybody hates it," Weiss said.

He also observed how it was interesting that Intel (INTC) was up on Thursday, but Altera (ALTR) was down, despite chatter that Intel may be looking to buy the chip company.

"That combination is not completely off the table from what I hear from large shareholders on both sides (of the companies). I think there is more to happen," Weiss said.

As for other stocks and trades, Jon Najarian picked SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) as his top trade in the second half of the day, Pete Najarian stuck with Micron Technologies and Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH). Weiss said he would keep an eye out for China, while everything seems to be about Greece and would buy on the dip.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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