Bankruptcy Headlines

U.S. Judge Rules RadioShack IP Auction Was Fair

A bankruptcy judge cleared the way for RadioShack Corp. to sell its brand name and customer data to a Standard General affiliate for about $26 million, rejecting a competing bidder's claim that the auction process was unfair, Reuters reported yesterday. Separately, RadioShack resolved objections to the sale from several state attorneys general who were concerned the deal could threaten consumers' privacy. Those matters were the last major hurdles to the bankrupt electronics chain's plan to sell its intellectual property to General Wireless, the same Standard General affiliate that acquired 1,743 RadioShack stores in March. Hon. <b>Brendan Shannon</b> said that RadioShack had the right to alter bidding procedures in reliance on its business judgment. A RadioShack lawyer said the two-day auction had grown tense, and the company felt bidders might walk away if incremental bidding dragged on.

Senate Has a $66 Billion Gift for U.S. Banks

A Senate proposal to raise the level at which banks are deemed systemically important could help free up as much as $66 billion in capital at 11 lenders and allow for increased shareholder payouts, Bloomberg reported today. If lawmakers approve the most extensive rewrite of the Dodd-Frank Act, it would remove an obstacle to returning capital for firms such as American Express Co., which has the largest percentage buffer over required minimums, and Capital One Financial Corp., which would have the most additional capital on a dollar basis. The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled Thursday to debate a bill that would exclude banks with less than $500 billion of assets from being automatically designated as systemically important financial institutions. If the measure becomes law and the Federal Reserve adopts similar limits in its annual stress test, regional and specialty-finance lenders could be freed from some of the toughest and most costly regulatory burdens. Thirty-one banks, including foreign firms with U.S. units, are currently designated as systemically important and must undergo stress tests measuring their capacity to withstand economic shocks. The Fed subjects those same firms to a second round of tests — not required by Dodd-Frank — that assess their ability to boost shareholder payouts and have resulted in them holding additional capital on top of minimums set by international regulators. The biggest 11 would have $66 billion in capital above their required minimums, which is based on the companies’ first-quarter regulatory filings. 

A Debt-Ratings Rift Rattles Chicago

The world’s two largest ratings firms are divided in their view of Chicago’s fiscal health as the city grapples with a $20 billion pension hole, a potential preview of battles expected to break out around the U.S. as retirement obligations mount, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Moody’s Investors Service lowered Chicago’s bonds to junk status last week while rival Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services settled on an investment-grade A-minus rating.  As recently as five years ago, both firms gave Chicago the same grade of double-A-minus. Chicago represents the most prominent example yet of how diverging views of bulging pension obligations can have huge ramifications for financially strapped cities. The split views are befuddling investors and the bearish grades could lead to higher borrowing costs, difficulties refinancing debt and new doubts about navigating the $3.7 trillion municipal-debt market. Other cities with big pension problems, such as Atlanta and Pittsburgh, have yet to show sizable grading disparities, but the frequency of ratings rifts could accelerate in coming years as cities wrestle with how to solve a collective $1.2 trillion pension funding shortfall.

Five Big Banks Agree to Pay to Settle Regulatory Charges

Five of the world’s largest banks have agreed to pay more than $5 billion in fines to settle charges made by regulatory agencies and the Justice Department that the banks had acted in concert to manipulate international interest and foreign currency exchange rates, The Washington Post reported yesterday. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said that the banks had engaged in “brazenly illegal behavior … on a near-daily basis.” She added that the deal showed that the government “intends to vigorously prosecute all those who tilt the economic system in their favor [and] who subvert our marketplaces.” The scale of the price-fixing scandal is hard to grasp, yet it touched, imperceptibly, almost every company and individual in the financial markets. By tweaking global benchmarks used to set foreign exchange and interest rates, the banks extracted billions of dollars of extra profits by altering rates. Critics complained that the Justice Department had failed to prosecute any additional individuals. Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Citigroup will plead guilty to conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. currency and euros, authorities said. 

Miner Cliffs Seeks Creditor Protection for More Canadian Iron Ore Assets

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. said that it was seeking court protection from creditors of its Wabush iron ore mine and related assets in Eastern Canada, four months after it sought similar protection for its other Canadian iron ore assets, Reuters reported yesterday. The U.S.-based iron ore and coal miner said that it had concluded that a "more comprehensive restructuring and sale process" would result if it was able to include the Wabush group under the same creditor protection it obtained in January for its larger Bloom Lake iron ore assets in Quebec Superior Court. It would also allow Cliffs a more "streamlined exit" from Eastern Canada, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In January, Cliffs became the third major U.S. company in six months to seek creditor protection for its Canadian arm to try to isolate losses and protect shareholders.

ABI’s outstanding consumer bankruptcy program returns this fall to the Chicago area. This day-long educational conference is devoted entirely to the consumer bankruptcy professional and will focus on current issues affecting debtors and creditors in consumer cases. Faculty members include Bankruptcy Judges Janet S. Baer, Catherine J. Furay, Mary P. Gorman and Eugene R. Wedoff, along with experienced local chapter 7 and 13 consumer attorneys and panel trustees. We look forward to seeing you at the Jenner & Block Conference Center on October 12!

Earn up to 7.5/9 hours of CLE/CPE credit, including 1 hour of ethics!

 

 

 

 

Conference Address

Notice: Attendee information is not meant to be used for mass mailings, invitations, bulk emails, e-mail harvesting or any other commercial purpose. Personal or contact information on this list is intended solely for personal use and should not be duplicated, reproduced or distributed to a third party If you are interested in opting out of inclusion of either printed or online attendee lists, please send an email to meetings@abiworld.org.

Commission Recommendations on Resolving Court Splits:

Coming Soon to a Judicial Opinion Near You

 

 

PROGRAM

3:00-4:30 p.m. ET

RECEPTION

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. ET

 

REGISTRATION FEES

$95.00 for Program and Reception

$50.00 for Reception Only

$75.00 for Live Webstream Only

 

SPEAKERS

Hon. Dennis R. Dow

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (W.D. Mo.); Kansas City

Hon. Bruce A. Harwood

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. N.H.); Manchester

Hon. Barbara J. Houser

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Tex.); Dallas

Hon. C. Ray Mullins

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Ga.); Atlanta

Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Ill.); Chicago

 

Description:

 

ABI's Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 identified more than 30 splits in case law on important issues. Such a split of authority results in delay, increased litigation costs and above all, uncertainty -- imposing a kind of "ambiguity tax" on the system, as one witness put it in testimony before the Commission. The recommendations contained in the Commission's final report, in many cases, can be implemented by judicial opinion at the bankruptcy court or court of appeals level, without need for action by Congress.
This program featuring some of the most experienced and thoughtful judges on the bench today, will assess the Commission recommendations, and identify some that might be effected soon.

 

Continuing Education Credit:

 

ABI will seek 1.5 hours of general CLE credit in 60-minute-hour states and 1.5 hours of credit in 50-minute-hour states. CLE-Approved States: ABI’s live webinars and teleconferences ordinarily receive CLE credit in AL, CA, DE, GA, IL, MN, NE, NH, NJ, NY (approved jurisdiction policy), PA, TN and TX. ABI will obtain approval in additional states. ABI does not seek direct accreditation of live webinars in KS and OH. Credit hours granted are subject to approval from each state, which may not be determined prior to the program.

 

 

 

 

 

Conference Address

Notice: Attendee information is not meant to be used for mass mailings, invitations, bulk emails, e-mail harvesting or any other commercial purpose. Personal or contact information on this list is intended solely for personal use and should not be duplicated, reproduced or distributed to a third party If you are interested in opting out of inclusion of either printed or online attendee lists, please send an email to meetings@abiworld.org.

Register Here for the Consumer Track.

 

 

 

 

Conference Address

Notice: Attendee information is not meant to be used for mass mailings, invitations, bulk emails, e-mail harvesting or any other commercial purpose. Personal or contact information on this list is intended solely for personal use and should not be duplicated, reproduced or distributed to a third party If you are interested in opting out of inclusion of either printed or online attendee lists, please send an email to meetings@abiworld.org.

Join ABI, Georgetown University Law and 17 bankruptcy judges on October 9, 2015, for another exciting Views from the Bench! One of ABI and Georgetown University CLE’s best conferences, Bankruptcy 2015: Views from the Bench provides a unique opportunity for bankruptcy practitioners to convene with bankruptcy judges for a full day of outstanding CLE and networking opportunities. This year's feature is a presentation by Prof. Kenneth N. Klee on the 2015 Supreme Court term. Klee is the author of Bankruptcy and the Supreme Court 1801-2014, published in 2015. Several panels will elicit the judges' views on recommendations from the Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11. The conference also features small group lunchtime break-out sessions with the morning topics’ judges and speakers, creating an intimate learning environment. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

 

Conference Address

Notice: Attendee information is not meant to be used for mass mailings, invitations, bulk emails, e-mail harvesting or any other commercial purpose. Personal or contact information on this list is intended solely for personal use and should not be duplicated, reproduced or distributed to a third party If you are interested in opting out of inclusion of either printed or online attendee lists, please send an email to meetings@abiworld.org.

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