091608vulture.jpgAs speculated earlier this morning, U.K-based Barclays has reached an agreement to acquire a large chunk of Lehman Brothers' U.S. operations, which, according to the Financial Times, "perform securities underwriting tasks, provide merger advice to lucrative clients, and conduct trading." Though the cost of the deal is unclear, it's expected to quickly boost Barclays' U.S. presence by enabling the bank to assemble a pre-existing American investment banking business. As for the tainted Lehman Brothers assets, the Journal notes that Barclays could potentially could leave behind Lehman's troubled assets "at the parent level." Shares in Barclays fell 12% in afternoon London trading today, which is consistent with other nosediving UK financial stocks.