Monthly Archives: July 2015

Simpson Thacher, JPMorgan Sued Over $1.5 Billion GM Loan

Law360, New York (July 31, 2015, 11:45 AM ET) — JPMorgan Chase Bank NA and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP were slapped with a pair of suits Thursday by putative classes of more than 400 lenders in New York federal court, claiming they negligently authorized the termination of security interest in a $1.5 billion bankruptcy loan to General Motors LLC.

(Credit: AP) JPMorgan served as the administrative agent on the 2006 loan to GM and had an obligation to the syndicate of lenders to maintain and monitor the loan collateral. But in 2008, the bank and…

Law360

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Bank of America to let shareholders vote on whether Moynihan should be both CEO and chairman

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) has decided to give shareholders a say in whether Brian Moynihan should have both the CEO and chairman titles.

In 2009, BofA shareholders voted to have different people in the CEO and chairman roles. The vote resulted in then-CEO Ken Lewis being ousted from the chairmanship role. He resigned as CEO later that year.

Five years later, the bank’s board overruled shareholders and gave CEO Brian Moynihan the chairman title. The board defended its decision by saying the shareholders’ earlier vote was made in a “different era” and noting that other big banks have the same person serving as both chairman and CEO.

Read on.

Economics 101: Wal-Mart Hikes Minimum Wages, Prepares To Fire 1000

Zerohedge:

Please remember, these people are our neighbors and friends. You have a skill that will be very much in need when this goes down. You are experts in the job market and you know what it takes to get hired. This is a time for us to step up and do what we can to help.”

The quote above is from an internal memo sent to employees of Northwest Arkansas recruiting firm Cameron Smith & Associates and references an expected wave of layoffs at WalMart’s home office in Bentonville.

The memo was obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, who spoke with Cameron Smith himself via e-mail.

“The last time Walmart had a large layoff (800 plus), we were unprepared and overwhelmed with phone calls, emails, resumes and walk-ins,” Smith told the paper, referring to a series of cuts at WalMart in 2009. The next round of layoffs are just around the corner and could affect as many as 1,000 employees Smith contends, citing conversations with company insiders.

As those who follow the retailer closely are no doubt aware, context is key here.

Deutsche Bank : seeks transcripts left out of Libor probe after software glitch

Deutsche Bank is seeking to recover internal electronic chat transcripts that were left out of disclosures to regulators during a probe into interest-rate rigging.

The lender told regulators in May that a software glitch caused one of its chat systems to fail to archive files as far back as 2005, according to people briefed on the matter who asked not to be identified because the recovery process isn’t complete.

The New York Department of Financial Services, the state’s banking regulator, is investigating the matter, one of the people said.

Read on.

Deutsche Bank to freeze executive bonuses – sources

Deutsche Bank is freezing 2015 cash bonuses for current and former management board members while German regulator BaFin reviews the bank’s role in an interest rate manipulation scandal, two people familiar with the matter said.

Deutsche Bank has been hit with over 9 billion euros ($9.8 billion) in fines and settlements in the past three years, including a record $2.5 billion settlement with U.S. authorities for its involvement in manipulating the Libor benchmark interest rate.

The bonus freeze affects all members of the management board except new Chief Executive John Cryan, new Chief Financial Officer Marcus Schenck and new retail bank head Christian Sewing, one of the people said, adding that the move would also hit former top managers entitled to 2015 cash bonuses.

Read on.

Former GOP Sen. Phil Gramm: “It Was an Outrage” That “Exploited” AT&T CEO Got Only $75 Million at Retirement

Phil Gramm, a former three-term Republican senator from Texas who once ran the Senate Banking Committee, told the House Financial Services Committee yesterday that “it was an outrage” that his friend Edward Whitacre, the CEO of AT&T, only got “$75 million” when he retired in 2007.

“If there’s ever been an exploited worker” it was Whitacre, said Gramm, testifying on the fifth anniversary of passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. Gramm appeared genuinely aggrieved by Whitacre’s shabby treatment and literally pounded the table while speaking.

Whitacre actually received a retirement package totaling $158 million.

Gramm attributed public anger at CEOs like Whitacre to “the one form of bigotry that is still allowed in America,” which is “bigotry against the successful.”

Read on.

Secret Memo Reveals US Was Aware Of Americans Killing Zimbabwe Lions; Only Concern Was Getting Caught

Hat tip to Zerohedge:

Presenting “QUIET DIPLOMACY” SUSPENDS ELEPHANT HUNTING IN NATIONAL PARKS – FOR NOW” – a Confidential memo sent on October 23, 2008 by the current US ambassador to Zimbabwe, James D. Mcgee, to the CIA, and released by Wikileaks.

In it we read that, as usual, there is none more culpable of the recent event in Zimbabwe, which incidentally is and has been quite permitted by the local authorities as long as everyone’s palms are appropriately greased, than the US government, which years ago was fully aware that Americans were killing lions in Hwange National Park, but that its concern was not with the dead animals – no matter how hard the administration tries to feign empathy for the beheaded lion here and now – but with Americans getting caught in the act. As has just happened.

But first, here is some background on how legal local poaching, whether it is for lions or elephants is. From the formerly classified memo:

Meeting with poloff and conoff on October 10, Bown said that it was unclear “how legal” these hunting operations were, since it appeared the hunters had permits issued by Parks to kill the animals, despite the provision in the National Parks Act that prohibits commercial hunting.  The photographic safari operators indicated Parks had given several local and South African hunting companies concessions to kill elephants in Hwange if they met specific criteria: (1) total ivory weight less than 30 pounds, (2) young/adolescent males, (3) isolated areas (i.e. away from watering holes and main roads), and (4) controlled by Parks staff.  Parks has never publicly stated these criteria or explained the operation.  Frustrated photographic safari operators weighed and photographed many of the tusks at the Park’s ivory store in Hwange and found that many were over 30 pounds each.  In one case, an operator claimed an American hunter killed an elephant with tusks weighing over 120 pounds. Photos also show some elephants were killed very near main roads and close to watering holes.  In at least one reported case, a vehicle drove around the animal before the hunter killed it at close range.  In emails to Mtsambiwa and Nhema, safari operators decried the unethical hunting both in terms of the detrimental ecological impact and the negative impact it would have on their own businesses.

… the safari operators also  reported that some of the hunting guides had been issued hundreds of hunting permits for elephants in Hwange and other national parks in mid-to-late August.  Normally, hunting permits are offered in an auction to all professional hunting guides.  In contrast, Bown said these recent permits were issued through a non-transparent process to professional hunters of ill-repute, including some South African operators.