Banks

john-pierpont-morganEd. note: This is a weekly column by Elie Mystal, Managing Editor of Above the Law Redline, wrapping up the week that was in law and finance. Elie is not a practicing attorney, and anything he says that you listen to can and will be used against you.

So we’re all having fun today with J.P. Morgan, lawyers at Mayer Brown and Simpson Thacher, and their collective $1.5 billion error. The Second Circuit ruled that creditors to the old General Motors may be entitled to $1.5 billion based on a legal mistake in old JPM loan documents.

It might seem weird to use this story as an example in favor of gigantic legal fees, but as you look at how this error happened, you’ll see my point.

JPM loaned GM money as part of a $300 million synthetic loan. Unrelated to that, JPM also financed part of $1.5 billion loan to GM. When GM paid off the first loan, it needed to release JPM’s interest in GM property used to secure the $300 million.

I’m bored already. Evidently, so were lawyers at Mayer Brown. A senior partner delegated part of the task to an associate, who delegated some of the research to a paralegal. The paralegal was unfamiliar with the transaction, probably because he was a paralegal and people spend more time housebreaking their dogs than they spend explaining to a paralegal why they are being asked to do any particular task. The paralegal put in the wrong term because, whatever, he made a mistake researching something no lawyer knows off the top of his head.

From there, the associate copied the mistake into the documents sent to the senior partner without checking the paralegal’s research. The partner send the docs to JPM’s outside counsel without checking the associate’s research. Outside counsel Simpston Thacher didn’t double check or catch the error. Nobody at Mayer Brown, Simpson Thacher, or in-house at GM or JPM caught the mistake. Richard Gere shoved a gerbil up his ass. I know because I read it somewhere. Read more »

dimon_blankfeinTheir performance reviews must have gone really well. Read more »

  • 22 Jan 2015 at 5:19 PM
  • Banks

Citigroup Is Not Going To Fail Another Stress Test

Couldn't possibly look more excited.

Couldn’t possibly look more excited.

What’s more, Mike Corbat has some other goodies for his shareholders in the works as well. Read more »

morganstanleyThe kind you can use to buy stuff today, rather than the look-but-don’t-touch-until-we-tell-you variety the firm was partial to several years back. Read more »

lloyd blankfein gary cohnDon’t want to get anyone upset over nothing or be unnecessarily alarmist but there is a slight possibility that shitty earnings may translate to shitty bonuses. Read more »

  • 16 Jan 2015 at 1:25 PM
  • Banks

Horrific Bank Quarterlies Not Funny Anymore

BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES!

BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES!

So the clowns over at Citigroup had another underwhelming performance? What else is new? Brian Moynihan still look like his favorite Irish setter was just flattened by an asphalt roller? Yawn. JPMorgan Chase still being held upside-down by the Justice Department until all of its profits (and then some) fall out? Unfortunate, but not unexpected.

Goldman Sachs taking a 7.1% drop on fixed-income, currency and commodity trading? Now it’s fucking serious. Read more »

Get pat on the back from Prince Alwaleed? Check!Earlier today, Citigroup chief Mike Corbat told analysts that the bank has made “significant progress on our top priorities.” Said priorities do not appear to include boosting profits and revenues or trading, but may include paying as much as possible on legal matters. Read more »