“What did Rocky say? ‘It’s not how hard you hit, but whether you get up after you’ve been knocked down.’ I love Rocky.” Dick Fuld said at a recent speech in New York City, according to Vanity Fair. “It’s about losing and then being lost or losing and learning from that.”
The Vanity Fair piece was a scathing account of Fuld’s first public appearance since the interrogation he faced at the hands of congress in 2008, and he was quick to absolve himself of any wrongdoing pre-recession.
Instead, he pointed the finger at the government.
“[The government] wanted everybody to be able to fulfill their view of the American dream,” he told the crowd of about 1,500 at New York’s Grand Hyatt hotel. “We had low rates, easy access to credit. That led to increased home values, household debt, people borrowed a record amount of money, and as rates went down further, people refinanced, they used their homes and the increased value in their homes as ATM accounts.”
According to the article: “He made no mention of the fact that Wall Street eagerly packaged up risky mortgages and sold them off as higher-yielding investments after paying the rating agencies to label them ‘AAA,’ when, in fact, they were anything but. Indeed, Fuld made no mention of anything Wall Street did wrong in causing the crisis.”
It’s a comparison that won’t likely sit well with mortgage brokers – and anyone dealing with the ramifications of the 2008 economic downturn. Still, that hasn’t stopped Dick Fuld, former head of Lehman brothers from comparing himself to an iconic American character.