Inside the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, time was running out to answer a question that would change Wall Street forever.
At issue that September, six years ago, was whether the Fed could save a major investment bank whose failure might threaten the entire economy.
The firm was Lehman Brothers. And the answer for some inside the Fed was yes, the government could bail out Lehman, according to new accounts by Fed officials who were there at the time.
Those teams had provisionally concluded that Lehman might, in fact, be a candidate for rescue, but members of those teams said they never briefed Mr. Geithner, who said he did not know of the results.