Anomalous Trading Prior to Lehman Brothers' Failure

48 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2014 Last revised: 30 Mar 2016

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 30, 2016


We study price discovery during the liquidity freeze of September 2008, when fundamental values were difficult to be assessed. We find that trading volume and trade size significantly increased two days before the public announcement of Lehman's lethal quarter loss. Nevertheless, informational risk as perceived by liquidity suppliers increased only after the public disclosure of this loss. The price impact of trades was minimal and stock markets kept on working efficiently for Lehman stocks until the insolvency announcement. Price efficiency is on average established after half a second, which could have been exploited by low-latency traders.

Keywords: Price Discovery, Price Impact, Trading Volume, Low-Latency Trading

JEL Classification: G00, G14

Suggested Citation

Gehrig, Thomas and Haas, Marlene, Anomalous Trading Prior to Lehman Brothers' Failure (March 30, 2016). European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Finance Working Paper No. 424/2014, Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Gehrig

University of Vienna ( email )

Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1
Vienna, A-1090

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