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 »
An “awkward position,” maybe. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t reap all of the rewards of his maybe-shady-but-probably-not-illegal move to buy half of LightSquared’s debt, and any (either of the, really) independent directors who disagree can hit the road. Read more »
The light streaming into the hotel room blinded Wilbur. Or at least she thought it was a hotel room. She didn’t actually know where she was, or what time it was, or who the guy passed out next to her was. The only thing she knew for sure was that she had a pounding headache and that there was something sticking to the back of her knee. She reached down and peeled it off– a greasy crumpled up wrapper that judging by the smell once held a Taco Bell Gordita. Not that she could remember eating one, let alone doing so laying in bed next to a guy with a barbed wired tattoo inked around his arm, and then writing “If found call 555-9768 and ask for Phil” down his back with a tube of lipstick, though it was clearly her handwriting, her color, and her artistic sensibility in the stick figure drawings next to the note.
The phone on the nightstand lit up. Wilbur let it ring through. It lit up again. Who could possibly calling? Who knew she or man-of-unknown-origin were here? It lit up again. On the third ring she picked up.
“Good afternoon!” a too chipper voice said on the other line. “This is your wake-up call.”
“I asked for a wake-up call?” From the looks of things she knew she certainly needed a wake up call, but not the kind that phoned you from the front desk, the kind that said splashed cold water on your face and said, “Wake up and take stock of your life lady you are in a hotel room with a guy with a barbed wire tattoo laying in a bed surrounded, literally, by trash, from Taco Bell. You don’t know what city or state you’re in and while you’re mercifully fully clothed and don’t have to contemplate what the spawn of this night of wrongs might look like, it appears somewhere in your travels you acquired a Credence Clearwater shirt that you turned into a crop top.”
“Why yes ma’am you did.”
“What time is it?”
“12:37PM on the dot, the exact time you asked us to call.”
“Do you know why I asked for that time?”
“I wasn’t working when you checked in ma’am but let me check the notes. Let me see, it says here you told Bobby ‘Must be up by 12:37, no earlier, not later, have business to tend to. Do not fuck me on this Bobert. Are you writing this down Bobert? Make sure you’re writing this down.’”
“Jesus fucking Christ,” Wilbur muttered under her breath.
“Sorry ma’m I didn’t catch that.”
24 hours earlier Read more »
Phil Falcone’s Ban From The Securities Industry Not So Much A Ban As It Is A Blessing, Says Phil FalconeBy Bess Levin
“I believe putting these issues behind me now is the best course of action for me and our investors,” Falcone said in a statement. The fallen hedgie said the deal will allow him to focus on his publicly traded entity, Harbinger Group, and his wireless venture LightSquared, which is struggling to emerge from bankruptcy. [NYP, earlier]
Once the Harbinger founder got a taste of how good it felt to serve someone papers, he just couldn’t stop. This morning it was the entire GPS industry; tomorrow, anyone who sold their LightSquared debt to Charlie Ergen, these guys, for not winning the Stanley Cup, and maybe the SEC, in some sort of countersuit. Which, if you were looking into the not too distant future, might go down something like this:
[Somewhere in midtown.]
Phil Falcone, to someone on the other line. It’s not clear who it is, but we get the impression she has hooves: Have you seen this American Express bill?! I told you we need to be cutting BACK, not spending MORE right now. [pauses to listen to Unknown Caller's response.] Well maybe I don’t care if Barney’s had a mumu that was speaking to you. [pauses to listen to Unknown Caller's response, with increasing impatience.] Well maybe I don’t care if you needed a pick-me-up, I told you we can’t be borrowing from the fund anymore. [deafening shrieking on the other end of the phone.] I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. I’m just really stressed these days…
[A knock at the door.] 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.