It may seem like a minor distinction between Reuters story and those of the FT, LAT, and Bloomberg, but the emphasis is important. Lehman was bankrupt. The government didn’t “push” it down, as Fuld’s self-serving spin would have it. It saw the calamity that resulted from letting it go and then decided it couldn’t let the others go down, too.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.