RBS Sued by Bankrupt U.K. Student Housing Firm Over Libor

The owner of a bankrupt student housing company sued Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, saying the lender sold hedging products linked to Libor while trying to rig the interest-rate benchmark.

Stuart Wall, owner of Opal Property Group Ltd., added the Libor allegations to an existing lawsuit, according to documents filed at a London court in June and released this month. It’s at least the third U.K. case where bank clients have sought damages based on benchmark manipulation.

Revelations that traders tried to manipulate benchmark interest rates have led to regulatory fines of more than $6 billion and lawsuits from clients and counterparties who say they lost out. RBS agreed to pay about $600 million to U.S. and U.K. regulators over Libor-rigging charges, and was among six financial institutions fined a record 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) by the European Union in December.

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Bank of America seeks to void verdict in $1.27 billion ‘Hustle’ case

(Reuters) – Bank of America Corp on Thursday asked a federal judge to throw out a jury verdict finding it liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit that resulted in a $1.27 billion penalty.

The bank urged U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan to rule for it as a matter of law or order a new trial, arguing that the evidence at trial did not support the jury’s October 2013 verdict.

Bank of America said prosecutors were required at trial to prove that loans originated by Countrywide Financial Corp in a process called “Hustle” that were then sold to government mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not as good as the lender represented.

“The trial evidence, even viewed in the light most favorable to the government, did not prove fraud under this standard,” the bank’s lawyers wrote.

A spokeswoman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office brought the case in 2012, declined comment. Bharara’s office is expected to respond Sept. 18.


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Shockingly, Chris Christie just lied in a press conference about Pando’s pension coverage

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 3.31.54 PMEarlier this year, we published a series of investigative reports by David Sirota, revealing violations of New Jersey’s rules around pension investments.

One of the firms with which the Chris Christie administration agreed an investment deal, Chatham Asset management, subsequently threatened to sue Pando unless we retract our reporting. We continue to stand by our story, and Chatham continues to have not got around to actually suing us.

Meanwhile, the scandal continues to dog Governor Christie. Earlier today, during a press conference in New Jersey, Christie was asked about Sirota’s reporting. His response: “It’s an absolutely inaccurate piece, written by a fired reporter” (video below).

A few corrections, Governor. For one thing, it isn’t one piece, it’s at least half a dozen:

Gov. Christie’s investment chief has major financial ties to firm that got $300M in NJ pension cash

Christie officials gave millions in public funds to VC firm, despite “pay to…

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Silicon Valley favorite Ron Paul secretly paid a state senator $73k to buy his support

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 12.14.06 PMThe free market strikes again!

A former Iowa state senator has pled guilty to receiving (and concealing) a $73,000 payment from Ron Paul, Silicon Valley’s favorite libertarian, to switch his support away from Michele Bachmann in the last presidential election.

Kent Sorenson originally explained his sudden change of heart came because Ron Paul was “the most conservative [candidate] of this group.”  Which is true, if you take “conservative” to mean “most willing to drop 73 grand.”

It’s unclear if, when making an absolute mockery of the democratic process, Ron Paul paid Sorenson’s bribe in evil fiat currency, gold bars, or bitcoin. Either way, true to his new candidate’s principals, Sorenson decided the evil federal government — in the form of the Federal Election Commission — had no business snooping about in his financial affairs. Unfortunately, the FEC saw things slightly differently.

According to Courthouse News:

 Kent Sorenson, 42, of Milo, Iowa, pleaded guilty Wednesday to…

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BofA unit in Japan ordered to pay $140M over bad bonds

The Tokyo High Court has ordered the Japanese brokerage unit of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) to pay 14.5 billion yen, or about $140 million, to compensate for losses stemming from a 2007 bond transaction, according to Bloomberg.


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Deutsche Bank : UK watchdog fines Deutsche Bank $8 million for reporting errors

Britain’s financial regulator has fined Deutsche Bank AG 4.7 million pounds ($8 million) for wrongly reporting certain market transactions for nearly six years.

The Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement on Thursday the bank failed to accurately report all the contract-for-difference (CFD) equity swaps, totalling 29 million, it executed between November 2007 and April 2013.

CFDs allow a buyer to trade on movements in a market price without actually owning the underlying asset. Such trades must be reported to a regulator under European Union law.

“We have repeatedly highlighted the importance of accurate transaction reporting and taken enforcement action against a number of firms,” Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement at the FCA, said.


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HSBC, Nomura lose bid to avoid U.S. agency’s mortgage lawsuits

A U.S. regulator can proceed with lawsuits accusing HSBC Holdings Plc (>> HSBC Holdings plc) and Nomura Holdings Inc (>> Nomura Holdings, Inc.)of misleading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into buying mortgage-backed securities that later turned toxic, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan clears the way for HSBC to face trial Sept. 29 in a case by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that the bank has estimated could expose it to $1.6 billion (964.7 million pounds) in liability.

FHFA launched 18 lawsuits in 2011 over about $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities. HSBC, Nomura and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (>> Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc) are the remaining banks being sued by the regulator.


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