NEW YORK (Reuters) –
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc's emergency bankruptcy filing wiped out as much as $75 billion of potential value for creditors, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing an analysis by the bank's restructuring advisers.

A more planned and orderly filing would have allowed Lehman to sell some assets outside of bankruptcy court protection and would have given it time to unwind derivatives positions, according to the analysis by Alvarez & Marsal.

The Journal said it was too early to say how much money Lehman creditors would recover; it said unsecured creditors have asserted they are owed $200 billion.

Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection in September after the U.S. government declined to bail it out and a frantic weekend of negotiations to save the investment bank failed.

The Lehman meltdown touched of a stock market panic and credit crisis and was quickly followed by a government rescue of American International Group Inc, once the world's largest insurer.

Lehman's demise also ignited a wave of fire sales of other giant financial groups such as Wachovia Corp and Merrill Lynch & Co Inc.

Lehman executives were not immediately available to comment on the Journal report.

(Reporting by Juan Lagorio, editing by John Wallace)

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