Repo 105

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Repo 105 is the name of a financing technique that Lehman Brothers used to move around $50 billion in assets off its balance sheet.[1]

Under accounting rules, the assets a bank uses in repo deals stay on the bank's balance sheet. But when Lehman Brothers wanted to make it look like it wasn't borrowing so much money, the company used a special technique to get around this rule. It did repo deals where it took slightly less cash than the asset was worth.[2]

References

  1. Repo105. FT Alphaville.
  2. Repo 105: Lehman's 'Accounting Gimmick' Explained. NPR.