ABI MEDIA TELECONFERENCE EXAMINES LESSONS LEARNED FROM LEHMAN’S CHAPTER 11
ABI held a media teleconference today looking at the Lehman chapter 11 filing, the lessons learned from it five years later and what the future holds for distressed large financial institutions. An audio archive of the teleconference will be posted soon on ABI.org, and its availability will be announced via social media (Twitter: twitter.abi.org; Facebook: facebook.abi.org). Key figures in the case who spoke on today's teleconference included:
- Bankruptcy Judge James Peck (S.D.N.Y.; New York) presided over the Lehman Brothers chapter 11 case.
- Harvey Miller of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (New York) was the lead debtor attorney for Lehman Brothers.
- Dennis Dunne of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (New York) represented unsecured creditors in the Lehman case.
- Bryan Marsal of Alvarez and Marsal (New York) served as Lehman's Chief Executive Officer after it filed for chapter 11 until 2012.
- Chris Kiplock of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP (New York) worked with the team of attorneys representing trustee James W. Giddens in liquidating Lehman Brothers.
The moderator for the program was ABI Fall Resident Scholar Kara Bruce of Toledo University School of Law. Be sure to check ABI's feeds on Twitter or Facebook for the availability of the teleconference audio archive!
ANALYSIS: VOLCKER RULE TO CURB BANK TRADING PROVES HARD TO WRITE
Three years after first proposing that banks be prevented from making market bets with their own money, Paul Volcker's rule remains unfinished, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The Volcker rule, a centerpiece of the sweeping overhaul of financial regulation known as Dodd-Frank, is an attempt to protect the financial system from risk. The rule looks to prohibit banks from making investment bets with their own money, but it has proved difficult to apply. Five years after cratering financial firms ignited a global crisis, and three years after Dodd-Frank outlined the Volcker rule as a central part of the government response, the rule languishes unfinished and unenforced, mired in policy tangles and infighting among five separate agencies whose job is to produce the fine print. Read more. (Subscription required.)
COMMENTARY: FIVE YEARS LATER, FINANCIAL LESSONS NOT LEARNED
Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of the fateful day that investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, signaling the start of a frightening financial meltdown, but we are still missing some of the lessons drawn out by the crisis, according to a commentary in yesterday's Wall Street Journal by Prof. Alan Blinder of Princeton University. Years of disgraceful financial shenanigans in the 2000s, some illegal but many just immoral, brought on the Great Recession with virtually no help from any co-conspirators, according to Blinder. Congress and President Obama reacted comparatively weakly with the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which Blinder said certainly did not seek to remake the U.S. financial system. A supporter of Dodd-Frank, Blinder has found that the law now seems to be withering on the regulatory vine. Far from being tamed, the financial beast has gotten its mojo back, according to Blinder. Read the full commentary. (Subscription required.)
ANALYSIS: SEC TRIES TO REBUILD ITS REPUTATION
The Securities and Exchange Commission is ending its push to punish financial-crisis misconduct in the same way it started -- with a new chairman vowing that Wall Street's top cop will be tougher in the future, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis today. In 2009, at the depths of the recession, Mary Schapiro took the reins at the SEC, promising to "move aggressively to reinvigorate enforcement" at the agency. She created teams to target various types of alleged misconduct, including one focused on the complicated mortgage bonds that helped set off a global financial panic. The agency has filed civil charges against 138 firms and individuals for alleged misconduct just before or during the crisis, according to the analysis, and it received $2.7 billion in fines, repayment of ill-gotten gains and other penalties. But some of the SEC's highest-profile probes of top Wall Street executives have stalled and are being dropped. In April, former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White took the reins as SEC chairman with a simple enforcement motto: "You have to be tough." She tossed out the SEC enforcement policy that allowed almost all defendants to settle cases without admitting wrongdoing. In August, hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone became the first example of this new approach when he and his firm, Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, admitted to manipulating bond prices and improperly borrowing money from a fund. The policy shift comes as the SEC turns the page on its financial crisis work. New investigations into misconduct linked to the meltdown have slowed to a trickle, and a statute-of-limitations deadline is looming for many cases, which will generally restrict the sanctions that the SEC can enforce for misconduct that is more than five years old. Read more. (Subscription required.)
U.S. FORECLOSURE FILINGS DROP 34 PERCENT AS PROPERTY PRICES RISE
RealtyTrac issued a report showing that foreclosure filings fell 34 percent in the U.S. last month as first-time defaults dropped to the lowest level in almost eight years and rising home prices made it easier for distressed owners to sell, Bloomberg News reported today. Default, auction and repossession filings totaled 128,560 in August, with one in 1,019 U.S. households receiving a notice, the Irvine, Calif.-based data seller said today in a report. It was the 35th consecutive month in which total notices declined on an annual basis, with foreclosure starts plunging 44 percent, RealtyTrac said. Increasing buyer demand and climbing property values are helping some troubled borrowers refinance or sell rather than lose their homes to foreclosure. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities rose 12.1 percent in June from a year earlier. Last month, foreclosure starts totaled 55,775, the lowest level since December 2005, and fell on a year-over-year basis in 38 states, RealtyTrac said. Read more.
LATEST ABI PODCAST EXPLORES BANKRUPTCY'S CORPORATE TAX IMPLICATIONS
ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Kara Bruce speaks with Prof. Diane Lourdes Dick of Seattle University School of Law about how companies in chapter 11, such as Solyndra and WaMu, preserve valuable tax attributes through holding companies. Prof. Dick discusses her current research looking into how stakeholders of financially distressed firms exploit various loopholes in chapter 11 to transfer value outside of bankruptcy's distributional norms. Click here to listen to the podcast.
NEW ABILIVE WEBINAR OCT. 3: THE INTERSECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND BANKRUPTCY: KODAK, NORTEL AND OTHER CASES
IP experts will shed light on the mysteries of understanding IP law and navigating the often puzzling sales processes, drawing from their experiences in Nortel, Kodak and other important cases, in an abiLIVE webinar on Oct. 3 from 1:00-2:15 p.m. ET. Speakers will include David Berten (Global IP Law Group, LLC; Chicago), Pauline K. Morgan (Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP; Wilmington, Del.), Cassandra M. Porter (Lowenstein Sandler LLP; Roseland, N.J.), Kelly Beaudin Stapleton (Alvarez & Marsal; New York) and Christopher Burton Wick (Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP; Cleveland). To register, click here.
RECORDING AVAILABLE OF THE ABILIVE WEBINAR EXAMINING THE NEW U.S. TRUSTEE FEE GUIDELINES!
If you were not able to join ABI's recent well-attended abiLIVE webinar examining the U.S. Trustee Fee Guidelines for chapter 11 cases filed on or after Nov. 1, a recording of the program is now available for downloading! A panel of experts, including Clifford J. White, the director of the U.S. Trustee Program, discussed some of the ways the new guidelines could change day-to-day operations in firms, issues relating to the new market rate benchmarks, and how these changes might alter insolvency practice. The 90-minute recording is available for the special ABI member price of $75 and can be purchased here.
ABI GOLF TOUR UNDERWAY; LAST STOP FOR 2013 IS WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IN DECEMBER
The 7th and final stop for the 2013 ABI Golf Tour is on Dec. 5 at the Trump National Golf Club, held in conjunction with ABI’s Winter Leadership Conference. Final scoring to win the Great American Cup sponsored by Great American Group is based on your top three scores from the seven ABI events. See the Tour page for details and course descriptions. The ABI Golf Tour combines networking with fun competition, as golfers "play their own ball." Including your handicap means everyone has an equal chance to compete for the glory of being crowned ABI's top golfer of 2013! A 22-handicapper won the tour event at July’s Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop. There's no charge to register or participate in the Tour.
NEW CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: MORRIS AVIATION LLC V. DIAMOND AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES INC. (6TH CIR.)
Summarized by Mike Debbeler of Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP
The Sixth Circuit ruled that the airplane manufacturer's opinion of the "quality and reliability" of components was not a fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation where the component manufacturer filed bankruptcy and voided warranties on components shortly after plaintiff purchased the airplane from the manufacturer. The airplane manufacturer's mere opinion as to component manufacturer's financial health did not form the basis of a misrepresentation claim.
There are more than 1,000 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.
NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: HOW HAS THE FINANCIAL SECTOR CHANGED SINCE THE LEHMAN FILING?
The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks more than 80 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post explores how the financial sector has changed since the Lehman Brothers chapter 11 filing on Sept. 15, 2008.
Be sure to check the site several times each day; any time a contributing blog posts a new story, a link to the story will appear on the top. If you have a blog that deals with bankruptcy, or know of a good blog that should be part of the Bankruptcy Exchange, please contact the ABI Web team.
ABI Quick Poll
Success fees for financial advisors should be prohibited.
Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.
INSOL International is a worldwide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialize in turnaround and insolvency. There are currently 43 member associations worldwide with more than 9,000 professionals participating as members of INSOL International. As a member association of INSOL, ABI's members receive a discounted subscription rate. See ABI's enrollment page for details.