Black Monday and champagne?

Two major events today: Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, and Bank of America went live on Backshop.

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September 15, 2008 – Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy today.

In 2000, I sold my first company (GateCapital) to Lehman Brothers. My partner, Jim Kehoe, ran a $5 billion primary servicing portfolio for them consisting of the assets that brought the company down — land development loans, condo construction loans, commercial developments, and even some traditional first mortgages. My experience with the firm was always positive and we were always treated fairly. A good firm with good people and, at least a few years ago, good real estate positions. They will be missed, and I am sorry to see them go.

Oh, and the Dow dropped 500 points, Merrill Lynch conducted a fire sale to Bank of America, AIG is going down the tubes because they insured all these bonds, and who knows what else is coming. So why did the entire company (at least those of us in Sausalito) hop on our boat, pop some champagne, and drink the afternoon away at Sam’s Anchor Café in Tiburon?

Because Bank of America went live on Backshop today!

Enterprise software roll outs are never easy. However, when you roll out a brand new risk management system for mortgaged backed securities in a money center bank during the worst credit crisis in a long time, the project gains a lot more focus and attention. The Backshop team within Bank of America managed all the internal approvals, and we made sure all the functionality was there for the users. As of today, Backshop is the system of record for the capital markets group at the Bank.

This represents a key date for because having one of the major survivors and primary issuers using the standard makes wide spread adoption a little more possible. …

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