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Bubble trouble: Ex-Lehman Japan chief looks back for lessons

Human greed inflates economic bubbles, says Akio Katsuragi

The Lehman Brothers building in New York on Sept. 15, 2008 and Akio Katsuragi, who was president of the bank's Japanese arm at the time. (Source photos by Reuters and Satoko Kawasaki)

TOKYO -- On Sept. 15, 2008, in Tokyo's Roppongi district, Akio Katsuragi, then president of Lehman Brothers Japan, met Hiroshi Nakaso, who was director-general of the financial markets unit in the country's central bank.

At the venue, the International House of Japan, Katsuragi said to Nakaso, "I heard that we will be purchased by [British bank] Barclays." Nakaso denied that, saying it was not what he'd been told by the U.S. Federal Reserve, and instead advised Katsuragi to begin bankruptcy procedures.

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