Billionaire developer Sheldon Solow, who built the tony Nine West 57th tower in New York City, appears to be the biggest individual loser in the Libor scandal in the U.S.—at least so far. He claims that bankers’ malfeasance in the scandal cost him half $1 billion.
But D.C. litigator Michael Hausfeld, who is representing investors in one of the leading Libor cases, says that Solow’s financial loss is just a hint of what’s to come.
“It’s a drop in the bucket, unfortunately,” says the attorney, who is chairman of Hausfeld LLP. “You’re dealing in a market that’s in the hundreds of trillions.”
He expects more such suits–large money suits affecting high net worth people–to be filed. When asked if he knew of other cases like Solow’s, Hausfeld said “Not yet.”
“He lost half a billion. That’s real money,” says attorney Anthony Michael Sabino, of Sabino & Sabino in Mineola, New York. “I would think that if he’s out there, on the radar, there’s another nine affluent individuals or companies that had a similar problem, but did not sue because there was behind-the-scenes talks and settlements. There might have been threats.”
Solow sued Citibank, Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Credit Suisse in February, alleging that their manipulation of the Libor rate resulted in the wrongful seizure of his bond portfolio. His is the largest case affecting an individual plaintiff, and also the first Libor case to put an exact dollar figure on the financial losses.