Dish Network

We’re not sure about how Phil Falcone feels about bitcoins. We’re certainly not as sure about his feelings on matters cryptocurrent as we are on his opinions re: the FCC and Charlie Ergen. And we’re not sure that the latter’s embrace of bitcoins will affect Phil’s opinion, but it certainly cannot help. Read more »

The former hedge fund manager and aspiring 4G magnate’s technically-inept lawyers suggest that his arch-enemy may have been stretching the truth a bit about when he began to consider investing his daughter’s trust fund in LightSquared bonds. Read more »

The Dish Network chief and Phil Falcone bête noire is not as big a fan of the TWC-Comcast marriage as John Paulson. But if it goes through, he’d just like to remind everyone that it would then be totally unfair not to let him have his way with DirecTV. Read more »

  • 08 Oct 2013 at 1:45 PM

Two Can Play At This Game, Charlie Ergen

A couple of weeks ago, some LightSquared creditors who may or may not be Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen but who definitely want Charlie Ergen to buy LightSquared got someone who doesn’t like Charlie Ergen kicked off the committee that will consider Charlie Ergen’s bid. Well, some people who don’t like Charlie Ergen but own a few shares in his company now want a couple of people who do like Charlie Ergen thrown off of Dish’s committee handling the bid for LightSquared, for the same reason that Charlie Ergen or Charlie Ergen’s allies wanted the person who doesn’t like Charlie Ergen off the LightSquared committee. And none of them are Phil Falcone! Got it? Read more »

The hedge funds that LightSquared owes money to, notably Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen’s personal hedge fund, are quite eager to force LightSquared to accept Dish’s bid for its assets. This would have the salutary effect of (a) ensuring that they all make a huge profit on debt they paid pennies for, (b) humiliating and possibly bankrupting Phil Falcone, and (c) giving Dish the extra spectrum it wants (while also making Charlie Ergen even richer).

So imagine their surprise when LightSquared named one of the many people who have had rough dealings with Charlie Ergen in the past to the special committee that will handle the auction of the aforementioned assets. Well, they have told a bankruptcy judge, this kind of stacking the deck simply won’t do. It might keep Charlie Ergen’s careful stacking of the deck from working. Read more »

Hint: He may have joined the vast conspiracy against Phil Falcone. Read more »

Presumably someone is working on a book about the LightSquared saga though so far this is all that I can find on Amazon. But the twists and turns of Phil Falcone’s efforts to build a relatively non-plane-crashing wireless communications network, the dizzying highs and subsequent definitive lows of his relationship with the FCC, LightSquared’s bankruptcy, its ramifications for Falcone’s hedge fund, and the fight to gain control of its spectrum in bankruptcy, are the very definition of excitement in business dealings, which is to say that they’re a bunch of guys sitting in offices and sending emails to each other but, like, angry emails.1

The latest is that Falcone’s hedge fund Harbinger is suing Charles Ergen and Ergen’s EchoStar Corporation and Dish Network for doing naughty things to muck up LightSquared’s bankruptcy process. This is praise from the master; you might recall then-SEC enforcement director Robert Khuzami saying last year that Falcone’s own gated-fund-borrowing-and-short-squeezing shenanigans “read like the final exam in a graduate school course in how to operate a hedge fund unlawfully.” My take at the time was that those shenanigans seemed (1) definitively nasty but (2) not so definitively illegal, and I guess I’ll go with the same answer for Ergen’s manipulations? Man, Fraud Graduate School is easy.

The best thing to do is to assume that everything in Harbinger’s complaint is true, because the story is better that way. If you do, then the story goes: Read more »

Charlie Ergen stands to make quite a bit of money if he succeeds in prying LightSquared’s spectrum from Phil Falcone’s cold, hockey-hardened hands. Fancy that. Read more »