Daily Archives: July 15, 2013

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SFO in the dock with Libor probe

SFO in the dock with Libor probe

A year after launching an investigation into the rigging of the Libor interest rate benchmark, the Serious Fraud Office has brought its first prosecution. But City lawyers say that with a number of high-profile failures over the past two decades the SFO is also facing scrutiny.

Since launching the investigation the agency has been handed £3.5m by the Treasury for 2012-2013 to fund the case, and the number of staff working on it has been doubled to 60. According to its website, more funding is expected in this financial year.

Rod Fletcher, a dispute resolution partner at Herbert Smith Freehills who has acted several times against the SFO, said: “The unique thing about the SFO when it started was that it combined lawyers, accountants and investigators in one building. It was intended to be the major spearhead for investigating and prosecuting fraud. Over the years, it has had some successes but also major failures. Some of the biggest failures have been Maxwell, BAE and Tchenguiz.”

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Wells Fargo files biggest foreclosure this year in South Florida

Wells Fargo files biggest foreclosure this year in South Florida

In the largest foreclosure in South Florida so far this year, Wells Fargo Bank wants to seize the Renaissance Commons commercial project in Boynton Beach.

The bank (NYSE: WFC) filed a foreclosure lawsuit on July 2 against Boynton Development Associates II, along with managing members Anthony Comparato,Carl E. Klepper Jr. and Robert D’Angelo. They are with Compson Associates in Boca Raton.

Officials with Compson Associates couldn’t be reached for comment.

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Fidelity National Discloses FTC Investigation Into Lender Processing Services Acquisition

Fidelity National Discloses FTC Investigation Into Lender Processing Services Acquisition

In connection with the pending acquisition (the “Acquisition”) of Lender Processing Services, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“LPS”) by Fidelity National Financial, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“FNF”), FNF received on July 12, 2013, a request for additional information and documentary material, often referred to as a “Second Request”, from the United States Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) in connection with the FTC’s Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (the “HSR Act”) regulatory review of the Acquisition. The effect of the Second Request is to extend the waiting period imposed by the HSR Act until 30 days after FNF and LPS have substantially complied with the Second Request, unless that period is extended voluntarily by the parties or terminated sooner by the FTC. FNF has been working, and will continue to work, cooperatively with the FTC and continues to expect the Acquisition to close in the fourth quarter of 2013. Completion of the Acquisition remains subject to approval by FNF and LPS stockholders, approvals from applicable federal and state regulators and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Important Information Will be Filed with the SEC FNF plans to file with the SEC a Registration Statement on Form S-4 in connection with the transaction. FNF and LPS plan to file with the SEC and mail to their respective stockholders a Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus in connection with the transaction. The Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus will contain important information about FNF, LPS, the transaction and related matters. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT AND THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS CAREFULLY WHEN THEY ARE AVAILABLE. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by FNF and LPS through the web site maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov or by phone, email or written request by contacting the investor relations department of FNF or LPS at the following:

FNF LPS 601 Riverside Avenue 601 Riverside Avenue Jacksonville, FL 32204 Jacksonville, FL 32204 Attention: Investor Relations Attention: Investor Relations: 904-854-8100 904-854-5100 dkmurphy@fnf.com nancy.murphy@lpsvcs.com

Read more: http://www.benzinga.com/news/13/07/3749991/fidelity-national-discloses-ftc-investigation-into-lender-processing-services#ixzz2Z4mmEkq0

MOST AMERICANS STILL DON’T KNOW THAT FEDERAL RESERVE BANKS ARE PRIVATE CORPORATIONS

by WashingtonsBlog

The country’s most powerful “agency” – the Federal Reserve – is actually no more federal than Federal Express.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1928:

Instrumentalities like the national banks or the federal reserve banks, in which there are private interests, are not departments of the government. They are private corporations in which the government has an interest.

The long-time Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee (Charles McFadden) said on June 10, 1932:

Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies ….

The Fed itself admitted (via Bloomberg):

While the Fed’s Washington-based Board of Governors is a federal agency subject to theFreedom of Information Act and other government rules, the New York Fed and other regional banks maintain they are separate institutions, owned by their member banks, and not subject to federal restrictions.

For that reason, the New York Fed alleged in the lawsuit brought by Bloomberg to force the Fed to reveal some information about its loans – Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 08-CV-9595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan) – that it was not subject to Federal Freedom of Information Act.

As Bloomberg reported in a separate article:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York … runs most of the lending programs. Most documents relevant to [a freedom of information lawsuit filed by Bloomberg news] are at the New York Fed, which isn’t subject to FOIA law [a law which applies to Federal agencies], according to the central bank. The Board of Governors has 231 pages of documents, to which it is denying access under an exemption for trade secrets.

San Francisco Federal Reserve research analyst David Lang confirmed in 2011:

[Question]: “I had a really quick question, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco specifically, is that formed as a private corporation itself?”

David Lang: “Ah yes it is actually. yes our state chartered banks, banks under a charter share that and we pay a dividend on those shares.”

 

The senior counsel for the Federal Reserve confirmed in a court hearing in the Bloomberg lawsuit that the Federal Reserve Banks are “independent corporations”, which are “not agencies”, are “privately held”, and have “private boards of directors”.

 

And Federal Reserve law enforcement officers agree.

Postscript:  The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) – which is the “Central Banks’ Central Bank” – is, in turn, owned by the Fed and other central banks:

The BIS is a closed organization owned by the 55 central banks. The heads of these central banks travel to the Basel headquarters once every two months, and the General Meeting, the BIS’s supreme executive body, takes place once a year.