Is this JPMorgan Lehman thing a big deal? I mean the thing where JPMorgan used Lehman customer segregated securities as collateral for financing Lehman, allowing Lehman to overextend itself by a bit more than it otherwise would have, in pretty clear violation of the Commodities Exchange Act, although also maybe by accident? And where the CFTC fined them $20 million in a negotiated settlement today?
I don’t know. On a monetary basis, no – the fine is pocket change to JPMorgan, though it’s pretty big for the CFTC. And the misconduct also seems to be relative pocket change; in September 2008 the relevant mis-credited account was $330mm, vs. like $639bn of assets at Lehman, so 5bps of extra leverage, tiny yaaaay.*
On the other hand, though, there are some obvious things to get worked up about here, if that makes you happy. Here are three, in roughly ascending order: Read more »
“We are proud to announce Lehman’s exit from chapter 11 and entrance into the final stage of this process — distributions to creditors. Our objective remains to provide the best results possible for creditors — by continuing to strategically position assets to produce strong values, to pursue the resolution of disputed claims and other matters in litigation, and to manage expenses in line with the asset disposition process,” said John Suckow, who is managing director with bankruptcy adviser Alvarez & Marsal and Lehman’s president and COO. Suckow also thanked Lehman employees for working “diligently” since the bank’s collapse in September 2008 to reach the milestone. [NYP]
When we last checked in with Erin Callan, post-Lehman life was going pretty well for the retired CFO. It included living in East Hampton in the house she bought for $3.9 million in 2005, dating firefighter Anthony Montella, who she met in high school at St. Francis Prep, taking spin classes at Ride the Zone, where her instructor said she’s “the best student in the class” and just generally looking happy and “better than ever,” likely a result of 1) getting laid on the reg and 2) the fact that she’s been working on her ass, an effort that has apparently not gone unappreciated. While it’s been forever since we heard from Dick Fuld’s former gal-pal, she apparently had a pretty good excuse for not keeping in touch– girlfriend was busy planning her wedding! The nuptials took place in November at 620 Loft and Garden at Rockefeller Center and included white calla lilies and Callan’s dogs. Left off the guest list? Not a problem- Dealbook has “reviewed” photos posted online by the event’s photographers and will make you feel like you were right there. Read more »
“This crisis has the potential to be a lot worse than Lehman Brothers,” said George Soros, the hedge fund investor, citing the lack of an authoritative pan-European body to handle a banking crisis of this severity. “That is why the problem is so serious. You need a crisis to create the political will for Europe to create such an authority, but there is still no understanding as to what the authority will do.” [NYT]
While today’s Lehman lawsuit ruling is of most interest to those directly involved (Dick Fuld, Erin Callan, certain firefighters, UBS, Ernst & Young), it also contains a little item that may interest those involved in the structured notes business. Read more »
Knowing what happened next, some people thought that was kind of fucked up of them. And so a team of spoilsports including among other luminaries the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee sued Fuld, Callan, Joe Gregory, and a bunch of enablers like Ernst & Young (Lehman’s auditors) and UBS (who underwrote a lot of Lehman structured note offerings).
Today a federal court ruled on a motion to dismiss. It’s mostly bad news for Fuld, Callan & co., as the court let the lawsuit proceed on most of the important claims, including claims that Lehman misrepresented its net leverage using “Repo 105” transactions, lied about its “strong risk management culture with regard to the setting of risk limits” by repeatedly exceeding those limits, and misrepresented its credit-risk concentration in real estate.
But some bits of the ruling should make the ex-Lehman crowd happy: Read more »
Remember Lehman Brothers? Bank that went under in 2008? Had some maybe questionable business going on with its balance sheet? The SEC has been trying its darndest for a while now to prove the company and its senior staff, led by a guy named Dick, violated securities laws but in over two years have come up with nothing and are pretty tuckered out. The Commission knows some people will be pretty ticked off if no lawsuits are ever brought against Richard Fuld and his backup dancers, which is why they’ve come up with an alternative that they think is nearly as good. No civil actions but instead- tell them what you think of this- Lehman Brothers is publicly rebuked? That’ll send a message, eh? Read more »