Is Judge Paul G. Gardephe
letting up on the Bents? Bloomberg reports
today that the judge has permitted the SEC
and Reserve Primary Fund
chairman Bruce Bent Sr.
and his son Bruce Bent II
to present evidence about the U.S. government's role in the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
For the full story on the lawsuit so far and the death of the Primary Fund, see MFWire's timeline.
The Bents, Reserve Management Company
, and their distributor, Resrv Partners
will be allowed to present evidence that confidence in Lehman's finances were based in part on the SEC's oversight of the investment bank under a voluntary regulatory program.
The move seems surprising given that recent efforts by Bent and son to blame the U.S. government for the Reserve Primary Fund
breaking the buck have been thwarted by the U.S. District judge. On Aug. 16, the Wall Street Journal
reported that Bent and son told Gardephe that the jury for the upcoming Oct. 1 trial should be allowed to hear
about the government's refusal to bail out Lehman Brothers.
But Gardephe had responded a month later on Sept. 10 by disallowing Richard Painter from testifying
at the impending trial. The judge ruled that the University of Minnesota law professor's testimony, which would have detailed the panic of the financial crisis and the government's response to the Lehman crisis, would confuse the jury as to the focus of the trial.
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