Who won the Bank of America / Fannie feud? I want the answer to be “all of us,” but I guess it isn’t. Unlike Bank of America’s multi-front battle of deviousness with MBIA, which has spawned some genuine entertainment, BofA’s battle with Fannie has been conducted almost entirely in the boring trenches of actually flinging […]
Here’s a little nugget that should make the handful of remaining Wall Street Occupiers’ heads explode:
It’s easy to make fun of the SEC for wanting to sue Netflix over a Facebook post. Netflix, Facebook, and the SEC are all a little funny, and bring them all together and you get a delightful orgy of hip-five-years-ago clumsiness. Also, like, olds, get over yourselves, everyone is on Facebook, why should I call […]
This New York Attorney General lawsuit against Credit Suisse is mostly the same as all the other lawsuits by all the other regulators against all the other banks. Here is a summary, based on the complaint: Some mortgage originators made crappy loans, because that was the style at the time. They sold them to Credit […]
What’s good about the dismissal of Hank Greenberg’s AIG lawsuit today is that there’s all this roiling weirdness under the basic story of: The government seized AIG because it was garbage, AIG shareholder, ex-CEO, and general fanboy Hank Greenberg sued the government for destroying the valuable valuable value of his AIG stock, and he lost. […]
The SEC settled cases today with JPMorgan and Credit Suisse over “misleading investors in offerings of residential mortgage-backed securities” for a total of about $400 million, which the SEC plans to hand out to those misled investors. There’s been a lot of this sort of thing recently, so here’s a quick cheat sheet on who […]
Remember Christine Mancision? To recap, she’s the hedge fund investor relations lady who, back in October 2009, sued both the Hyatt Morristown and James Graeber, for an incident that took place on the evening of November 22, 2008, that incident being Graeber approaching her on the dance floor of his sister’s wedding, grabbing her arm, taking her for a spin, and then “flinging” her off to the side, causing Mancision to make a hard crash landing on her wrist, which was “bent the complete opposite way” when she stood up. Her injuries were so extensive that they required surgery, a metal plate and three screws (as well as “eight months of grueling rehabilitation”) and while she blames Graeber first and foremost, she also believes the Hyatt played a part in overserving the guy when he was, she says, “visibly intoxicated,” and therefore added “fuel to the fire” in Graeber’s dancing feet. Unfortunately for Mancision, Judge Robert Sweet has ruled that while she can go after Graeber for what happened that night, she cannot collect damages from the hotel, because there is not enough evidence to prove that the Hyatt served her dancing partner alcohol “when he was in a visibly intoxicated state” or that he was drunk at all at any point during the ceremony or reception, a conclusion he came to in part based on:
The fact that only one person claims Graeber missed walking his mom down the aisle because he was out getting bombed and lost track of time.
At her deposition, Mancision described how Henige told her that he had heard from Beley that Graeber was late to the wedding ceremony because he had been drinking and missed being able to walk his mother down the aisle. Graeber disputes any allegation that he was late or that one of his duties at the wedding was to walk his mother down the aisle…Mary Beley née Graeber, the bride, and Beley, the groom, have stated that Graeber was not late to the wedding.
The fact that Graeber was not overheard asking Mancision, “May I dave this hance?” nor was he seen knocking over three bridesmaids in an attempt to catch the bouquet or shouting “NEXT!” 10 seconds into each speech.
Mary Beley née Graeber, the bride, and Beley, the groom, have stated that…at not time during the proceedings was his speech slurred or was the smell of alcohol detected on his breath and he was neither rowdy nor noisy nor were his eyes red.
The fact that Graeber was not sent to bed early by the hotel staff, unlike some people.
Emir Kobak, the Director of Banquets at the Hyatt, testified that Hyatt bartenders are trained to alert the Banquet Captain if a guest is having too many drinks, and that all bartenders attend alcohol awareness training every six months. Banquet Captain’s Report reflects that Hyatt’s policy as to excessive drinking was enforced at the wedding reception, that a female guest was cut off from the bar (and given water and coffee and was escorted to her room) and that the servers were directed not to serve shots notwithstanding some guests were requesting them.
Some other details from that fateful night the judge threw in for our benefit:
The suggestion there may have been some foot fetishists among the guests.
Following dinner, Mancision and Henige, along with a few of his co-workers, proceeded to the dance floor where they danced in a group for about 15-20 minutes. Mancision was wearing shoes which had a 3-3.25 inch heel, although at least one witness descried the shoes as tall 4.5 inch stiletto shoes which were so “stunning” that they were a topic of conversation among guests.
Graeber testified that, after he had been on the dance floor for about two songs, he and Holn were approached by a group of five to six women, including Mancision, who indicated by gestures and non-verbal conduct that they wanted to dance with Graeber and Holn.
And it’s going to fire you without pay over them, realize they did so in error, not feel bad about it and tell you to shoot HR a cover letter and résumé if you’d like the opportunity to try and get your old job back.
Paul Boudwin knows what we’re talking about.
Boudwin’s ordeal began in July 2011, when the bank was reviewing its employment records to ensure it complied with new federal rules that, among other things, require a criminal background check for anyone who works at a mortgage originator. When he was hired by the bank in 2006, Boudwin disclosed what he says was a legal misunderstanding from his college days. He and his best friend ate breakfast at a Denny’s in Scottsdale, Ariz., near the Arizona State University campus. The place was a student hangout, and after they finished their meal, they mingled with other friends for a while. Each assumed the other had paid the check. When they left the restaurant an hour or so later, a manager confronted them outside, accused them of walking the check and called the police. They were arrested, paid a $50 fine and the $20 tab, tip included. The charge was later dismissed. “There was no intent for not paying for an omelet,” Boudwin said.
When Bank of America’s review last year turned up the information about the omelet incident that Boudwin disclosed when he was hired, it set off a bureaucratic process impervious to reason. In a letter included in the lawsuit, the bank said the charge amounted to a “disqualifying conviction” under the law, which prohibits anyone convicted of an offense involving dishonesty or breach of trust from working at a financial institution. Boudwin submitted court records showing the charges were dismissed. Bank officials assured him the matter would be sorted out, and the bank even filed for a waiver from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on his behalf, court records show. However, the bank said because of the new rules, Boudwin couldn’t continue to work during the six to nine months it might take to get the waiver. He was put on an unpaid leave of absence, and his Wharton trip was canceled. He was told he would receive his back pay and bonus when he was reinstated, he said. In late February of this year, his boss called. Boudwin thought his ordeal was over and the FDIC had granted the waiver. Instead, his boss told him he was being fired. The bank was tired of waiting, he said his boss told him. Two weeks later, the FDIC granted the waiver, but Bank of America refused to reinstate Boudwin to his old position. He was welcome to reapply, but his seniority, bonus and back pay would be lost.
Unfortunately for Bank of America, Boudwin decided that appealing as that sounded, he’d prefer to win the money owed to him in court, and filed suit against BofA last week. Will his case set a precedent for financial service employees wrongfully fired over misunderstandings at Denny’s, IHOP, OHOP, and local diners everywhere? Stay tuned.
Financial product salespeople, if they know what’s good for them, should be thankful for car dealers. Not used car dealers, either, new car dealers: because of the world’s familiarity with their business model, if you sell a client a product at 100 and then tell them the next day that it’s worth 95, you have […]
A probably important and genuinely difficult question is: all that Libor stuff, did it affect your mortgage? Probably important in that in expectation (1) you have a mortgage and (2) honestly you don’t really care about what banks do otherwise1 so you need to know how mad to get at them. Genuinely difficult at least […]
In 2008, Fursa Strategic Alternatives, an asset management firm run by Massapequa resident William F. Harley III, informed investors that it would be closing its doors and returning everyone’s money. As some money managers can likely attest though, making the decision to close up shop (and writing people to say as much), doesn’t mean you’re emotionally ready to do so. Harley, for example, couldn’t shake the feeling that he was put on this earth to be an investor and, god damn it, he was going to invest until the day he died. So he did what any rational human being in his position would, and decided to just, you know, hang on to his clients’ money for a while. Of course, the pesky little varmints kept calling, so he had to disconnect the phones and to avoid an awkward confrontation wherein they appeared at the firm’s building demanding their cash in person, he moved HQ into the basement of one of his other businesses, a Hooters restaurant. That got people off his tail for a while but, unfortunately, they popped up again and this time are taking legal action.
The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation filed the lawsuit last month in the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County, Pa. It has since been moved to federal court in the western district of Pennsylvania. The charity said in its lawsuit that William F. Harley III continued operating Fursa Strategic Alternatives from the basement of a Hooters restaurant on Long Island after saying in 2008 the fund would close and the charity’s money would be returned. Federal filings show Fursa in January was the largest investor in lingerie company Frederick’s of Hollywood Group. A spokesman for Harley said lawyers for the fund sought unsuccessfully to contact the charity last year. Harley could not be reached for comment at his home Wednesday…The lawsuit points to Fursa’s investment in Frederick’s of Hollywood as evidence the company continued operating instead of returning its money. Fursa Alternative Strategies owns 46 percent of Frederick’s, according to the company’s proxy statement.
While a spokesman for Harley has not denied most of the allegations, he does take issue with claim that Fursa has any sort of legitimate set-up at any of his four Hooters, telling Newsday that he “occasionally has business meetings at them, but doesn’t run an office there.”
One thing that most people probably agree on is that having their instant messages, e-mails, and phone calls end up court would be cause for at least a little embarrassment. Everyone’s thrown in an emoticon they aren’t proud of, some of us have used company time to chat with significant others about undergarments, and the vast majority of workers have spent a not insignificant amount of the workday talking shit about their superiors. Of course, the humiliation gets ratcheted up a notch in the case of people who ‘haha’ (and in extreme circumstances “hahahah’) their own jokes* which, just for example, involve habitual Libor manipulation. Tan Chi Min knows what we’re talking about:
“Nice Libor,” Tan said in an April 2, 2008, instant message with traders including Neil Danziger, who also was fired by RBS, and David Pieri. “Our six-month fixing moved the entire fixing, hahahah.”
And while having such an exchange become public would be tremendously awkward for most, you know what’s really ‘hahaha’ about this whole thing is that 1) Tan was the one who wanted people to read the above, which was submitted as part of a 231-page affidavit earlier this month and 2) He’s trying to use it as evidence that he didn’t deserve to be fired.
The conversations among traders at RBS and firms including Deutsche Bank AG illustrate how the risk of abuse was embedded in the process for setting Libor, the benchmark for more than $300 trillion of securities worldwide……Tan, the bank’s former Singapore-based head of delta trading for Asia, [is] suing Britain’s third-biggest lender by assets for wrongful dismissal after being fired last year for allegedly trying to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor.
Tan, who ‘allegedly‘ tried to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, also included this conversations as part of his defense:
“What’s the call on Libor,” Jezri Mohideen, then the bank’s head of yen products in Singapore, asked Danziger in an Aug. 21, 2007, chat.
“Where would you like it, Libor that is,” Danziger asked, according to a transcript included in Tan’s filings.
“Mixed feelings, but mostly I’d like it all lower so the world starts to make a little sense,” another trader responded.
“The whole HF world will be kissing you instead of calling me if Libor move lower,” Tan said, referring to hedge funds.
“OK, I will move the curve down 1 basis point, maybe more if I can,” Danziger replied.
In another conversation on March 27, 2008, Tan called for RBS to raise its Libor submission, saying an earlier lower figure the bank submitted may have cost his team 200,000 pounds.
“We need to bump it way up high, highest among all if possible,” Tan said.
Tan also asked for a high submission in an Aug. 20, 2007, instant message to Scott Nygaard, global head of RBS’s treasury markets in London.
“We want high fix in 3s,” Tan said in the message. “Neil is the one setting the yen Libor in London now and for this week and next.”
“It’s just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money or lose if opposite,” Tan said on an Aug. 19, 2007, conversation with traders at other banks, including Deutsche Bank’s Mark Wong. “It’s a cartel now in London.”
And this philosophical one, for good measure:
“This whole process would make banks pull out of Libor fixing,” Tan said in a May 16, 2011, chat with money markets trader Andrew Smoler. “Question is what is illegal? If making money if bank fix it to suits its own books are illegal… then no point fixing it right? Cuz there will be days when we will def make money fixing it.”
The defense rests.
*Although actually people who do this probably don’t even have the good sense to be ashamed of themselves.
If you’re Blackstone or KKR, are you on balance pleased or not pleased that Bain Capital’s favorite son is running for president? On the one hand, millions more people now think that they know what “private equity” is – and that they don’t like it – than did a year ago, and that loosely coagulated […]
Citi settled a CDO case for $590 million today, and if you are following along at home you’ll note that that is more than 2x as much as it settled its last CDO case for. There are a number of reasons for that but a big one is: in this case, Citi is in trouble […]
It’s been a while since we checked in with the infinity thrillion dollars of Libor lawsuits, but the Journal has a good roundup today and, yeah, eep, this is sort of interesting: Firms facing the biggest potential payouts, according to Morgan Stanley, based on the financial business they do rather than their assumed culpability, include […]
If someone builds structured credit securities out of some dodgy stuff, and someone else rates those securities AAA for no particularly good reason, and someone else sells those securities to you without reading the offering memo, and you buy those securities without any due diligence since you figure that the structurer and rater and broker […]
Don’t do this: One particular municipal entity had been a customer of Wells Fargo, or a predecessor, since at least 1988. This customer’s investment objectives were safety of principal and income. … Wells Fargo’s internal records for the customer’s account specifically stated that the account should not invest in MBS. In addition, applicable state law […]
Back in June, hedge fund manager Daniel Shak sued his ex-wife, Beth, over assets he claimed she’d hid during the couple’s divorce. Said assets were Beth’s shoes, which Daniel alleged were kept in a “secret room” and were worth approximately $1 million, 35 percent of which he wanted. It was a bit unclear as to why he was going after the footwear collection three years after the two split (though using the proceeds to relaunch his fund was a possibility) but the heart wants what the heart wants. Anyway, today brings just a couple follow-ups on the Shaks, both of which are slightly more exciting for Beth than Dan.
1. He won’t see a single pair of Loubs.
A civil suit brought by poker professional Dan Shak against his ex-wife, fellow poker pro Beth Shak, regarding her extensive shoe collection was dismissed in a court in New York after Mr. Shak advised his attorneys that he didn’t want to pursue the issue any further…the opening arguments apparently doomed the case in the eyes of the male Shak. Ms. Shak testified to Judge Daniele that her shoe fetish grew as a response to repeated denials of emotional attention from Mr. Shak. “I would not call these shoes a collection, I would call them a sickness at a particular point in my life,” Beth Shak testified to Judge Daniele as she recounted how Dan Shak would refuse her attempts at romantic encounters, according to the Post.
“I tried to get him to go to therapy with me, but it just didn’t work,” the Post quotes Ms. Shak as testifying. “I was so unhappy with my marriage that all I did was shop. There was nothing to our relationship…he and I had nothing.” Further into her testimony to the court, Ms. Shak stated that not only did Mr. Shak know about the shoes but even signed off on all the bills as they came before him. After a break following Ms. Shak’s testimony, Mr. Shak apparently had a change of heart regarding the lawsuit. His attorneys informed Judge Daniele that their client wanted to withdraw the case, which Judge Daniele quickly granted. Looking square at Mr. Shak as she dismissed the case, Judge Daniele is quoted by the Post as stating, “Well, thanks for wasting everybody’s time.”
2. She’s going into the shoe business!
Now that that the suit is over, Shak, who has an image of a pair of Louboutons tattooed just below her waist, is concentrating one what’s next — the launch her own line of shoes.
So there’s a law firm called Labaton Sucharow and a big chunk of their business model is: (1) read newspaper, (2) see bank did bad thing, (3) sue bank. This is a great business model because banks just cannot resist doing bad things and courts just cannot resist taking piles of money from shareholders of […]
It’s no surprise that more Liborneriness is coming to a bank near you; with Barclays and UBS already pretty much having admitted wide-ranging Libor manipulation and Deutsche Bank seeming to be next up for a roasting. Maybe some people will go to jail, and certainly some more banks will pay fines, but also certainly those […]
If you knew nothing about Phil Falcone but what you read in the SEC’s assortment of complaints against him today, you would probably conclude that he’s kind of a dick. The loan thing, of course – Falcone borrowed $113mm from Harbinger at the same time he was preventing investors from withdrawing their money – but […]
And as promised, Falcone will be fighting the charges. He wants to “borrow” $113 million from his clients that’s his business and nobody else’s. The defense rests! [Earlier]
And so he’s not paying them on principle, the principle being I suppose “don’t fuck with Carl Icahn”: Carl Icahn says he isn’t paying a bill from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., on principle. … “These guys were hired to keep me from buying the company at $30 and they failed,” Mr. Icahn said in an […]
Oh you can try a lawsuit but, historically speaking, it won’t do shit.
Nasdaq is sending a message to firms weighing lawsuits related to trading losses in Facebook’s initial public offering: winning won’t be easy. The exchange operator believes it is protected by its contracts with members and by its unusual legal status, which is rooted in its dual role as a regulatory body as well as a business that makes money running markets. Exchange officials in recent weeks have pointed out to analysts that Nasdaq has never been successfully sued over a trading error. “When you look at member agreements that people sign, it’s quite explicit that they’re bound by that accommodation policy,” Robert Greifeld, Nasdaq’s chief executive, said last week at a Sandler O’Neill + Partners conference, referring to legal agreements capping the exchange’s payouts linked to system problems…Banks and brokers have estimated they lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to technical problems during Facebook’s May 18 debut.
The glitches forced Nasdaq to delay Facebook’s opening, and left trades involving millions of shares unconfirmed for hours. Amid the chaos, traders were forced to guess their positions and place additional orders based on those estimates. When Nasdaq delivered the results of the trading Friday afternoon, many firms were caught off guard and scrambled to reposition.
According to Greifeld, the last guy who tried to get his money back “trades on the pink sheets now” but take your best shot.
If you want to buy a company you can do it in one of two ways: you can negotiate a merger with the board, put it to a shareholder vote, and if you get above 50% then all the other shareholders are basically forced into the deal and you pay the merger price. Or you […]
Got an unhappy employee (or former employee) on your hands who’s decided to channel his or her anger by penning an Op-Ed in a major publication detailing egregious acts being committed at your firm and/or going to the Feds with allegations of fraud? Not sure how to handle the fallout? Why not take a page from Donald Trump’s playabook? He found himself in a similar situation with regard to Sheena Monnin, a first-year Miss Pennsylvania who “resigned her crown” over the weekend, claiming that the Miss USA pageant is “rigged.” Here’s how Don dealt with the matter and how anyone thinking about taking a more hands-on approach to dealing with disgruntled employees might too:
Threaten to sue.
“We’re going to bring a lawsuit against this girl,” Trump, who co-owns the Miss Universe Organization with NBCUniversal, told NBC’s “Today” show co-anchor Ann Curry on a phone interview; he used similar language in a phoner with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Note that you’ve already conducted a thorough investigation into the employee’s claims and that your internal probe has revealed them to be baseless.
Monnin announced Tuesday on her Facebook page she was turning in her tiara after she: “Witnessed another contestant who said she saw the list of the Top 5 BEFORE THE SHOW EVER STARTED proceed to call out in order who the Top 5 were before they were announced on stage. Apparently the morning of June 3rd she saw a folder lying open to a page that said ‘FINAL SHOW Telecast, June 3, 2012′ and she saw the places for Top 5 already filled in.” “They’ve done an investigation,” Trump said today. “I just found out about it — they just reported to me about five minutes ago. The person that supposedly showed the list totally denies that that ever took place.”
Suggest, by saying outright, that the outburst can chalked up to the fact that this person didn’t receive the promotion she thought she deserved. Make it clear that she was not partner material. Sixth-year VP material at best.
Asked his first impression of Monnin, Trump said, “I saw her there. My impressions were she didn’t have a chance of being in the Top 15 — not even close. And all this is, is a girl who went there, lost, wasn’t in the 15, and she’s angry at the pageant system. Later, he added, “I never felt she had a chance. And all this is is buyer’s remorse.”
It did not take long for plaintiffs’ lawyers to realize that there was good money to be made by complaining about the Facebook IPO – there are at least two class actions against the company and underwriters so far, not to mention other class-action lawsuits against NASDAQ for screwing up trades. The securities-fraud lawsuits are […]
Yesterday we talked a bit about this lawsuit bubbling around where some investors are suing Moody’s and S&P for doing a not so great job rating some asset-backed SIVs called Cheyne and Rhinebridge. I said then that the rating agencies were probably pretty keen to avoid going to trial for negligence, because, well Because … […]