COMMENTARY: DODD-FRANK'S "ORDERLY LIQUIDATION" IS OUT OF ORDER
The Dodd-Frank Act continues to undermine economic growth and the rule of law by injecting immense uncertainty into our economy, according to a Wall Street Journal commentary yesterday by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson (R). Oklahoma, South Carolina and Michigan last week joined a federal lawsuit against the Dodd-Frank Act to uphold property rights and checks and balances. Pruitt and Wilson's commentary focused on Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act, which gives the Treasury secretary and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. unprecedented authority to "liquidate" financial companies. "This grants immense power to a handful of unelected federal bureaucrats, empowering them to pick winners and losers among a liquidated company's investors. This arrangement destroys rights long protected by bankruptcy law," according to Pruitt and Wilson. Read the full commentary.
CFPB FACING TEST OF "AGGRESSIVE ABILITY TO INVESTIGATE"
Lawyers who follow actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are closely watching a petition by mortgage lender PHH Corp., which filed the first-ever challenge to a CFPB civil investigative demand, the Legal Times reported yesterday. PHH's petition called the agency's request for information "overly broad and unduly burdensome." Last week, CFPB Director Richard Cordray denied the petition and ordered the company to produce all relevant documents within 21 days. The dispute arose from an investigation to determine whether mortgage lenders and private mortgage insurance providers engaged in "unlawful acts or practices in connection with residential mortgage loans," as the CFPB put it in its "Notification of Purpose" that agency lawyers served on PHH on May 22. In its petition, PHH complained that the CFPB failed to state the nature of the conduct at issue, as required by Dodd-Frank. "The failure of the CFPB to properly apprise PHH of the nature of its investigation prejudices PHH's ability to formulate appropriate objections," PHH counsel Mitchel Kider and David Souders of Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider wrote. Cordray responded that an initial civil investigative demand may be "crafted broadly because the enforcement team needs to be thorough and comprehensive about its inquiries into possible violations of law that harm consumers." Read more.
GOV. BROWN SIGNS CALIFORNIA FORECLOSURE PREVENTION LEGISLATION
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has completed work on a package of foreclosure-prevention bills aimed at preventing future real estate and mortgage foreclosure problems, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday. The governor on Tuesday signed into law S.B. 1474 by State Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), giving the attorney general authority to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate and issue indictments for alleged financial crimes, including mortgage fraud. Also signed on Tuesday were Assembly Bill 1950 by Assemblyman Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles), which extends from one to three years the legal statute of limitations for prosecuting mortgage-related crimes, and A.B. 2610 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), which provides guarantees to renters that they can stay longer in foreclosed properties purchased by new owners. Read more.
ANALYSIS: STUDENT DEBT STRETCHES TO NEARLY 20 PERCENT OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS
With college enrollment growing, student debt has stretched to a record number of U.S. households — nearly 1 in 5 — according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, the Associated Press reported today. Pew found that 22.4 million households, or 19 percent, had college debt in 2010. That is double the share in 1989 and up from 15 percent in 2007, just prior to the recession — representing the biggest three-year increase in student debt in more than two decades. The increase was driven by higher tuition costs as well as rising college enrollment during the economic downturn. The biggest jumps occurred in households at the two extremes of the income distribution. More well-off families are digging deeper into their pockets to pay for costly private colleges, while lower-income people in search of higher-wage jobs are enrolling in community colleges, public universities and other schools as a way to boost their resumes. Read more.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS ACTIVITY SLUMPS TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE HEIGHT OF FINANCIAL CRISIS
Global mergers and acquisitions slumped this quarter to a level not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis amid increasing concern that the economic recovery is deteriorating, Bloomberg News reported today. Companies have announced $446 billion of takeovers since June 30, the smallest amount since the third quarter of 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Acquisitions are now on pace to drop 15 percent in 2012 to $2 trillion, the lowest in three years. Cross-border takeovers have accounted for about half of all announced deals this year. This quarter’s slowdown has been most pronounced in Europe, where takeovers accounted for about $92 billion, or 21 percent, of global activity, the continent's lowest share since 2010. The Americas accounted for $248 billion of transactions, and there were $104.5 billion of transactions in the Asia-Pacific region. Read more.
LATEST ABI PODCAST EXAMINES RESEARCH ON THE USE OF KERPS IN BANKRUPT FIRMS
ABI Resident Scholar Susan Hauser talks with Profs. Vidhan K. Goyal of the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) and Wei Wang of the Queen's School of Business about their controversial paper, "Provision of Management Incentives in Bankrupt Firms." Profs. Goyal and Wang examine the use of key employee retention plans (KERPs) in bankrupt firms and discuss how the results of their empirical research do not support the common view that retention bonus plans enrich managers at the expense of creditors. Click here to listen.
NEW ABI PUBLICATION EXAMINES BANKRUPTCY'S EFFECTS ON MANUFACTURING SUPPLY CHAINS
Now available for pre-order in the ABI Bookstore, Interrupted! Understanding Bankruptcy's Effects on Manufacturing Supply Chains explores the issues that arise when suppliers are unable to make deliveries of promised parts due to financial problems. When the authors of this manual set out to update ABI's Auto Supplier Insolvencies & Bankruptcies manual (ABI, 2006), they realized that supply chain issues had moved far beyond the scope of just financially troubled auto suppliers. This comprehensive manual unravels the sometimes-knotty intersection of the Uniform Commercial Code and the Bankruptcy Code, and includes special sections on cross-border matters in Canada, Germany and Mexico. Also included is a detailed discussion of relevant case law such as Delphi Corp. and Plastech Engineered Products, as well as sample agreements that outline common protections against supply chain disruptions. Click here to pre-order your copy today!
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR STEVEN GOLICK, A COLLEAGUE AND ABI LEADER
Our friend Steven Golick (Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto) is facing a medical crisis. He has been diagnosed with a serious brain tumor, requiring complex surgery and treatment. Steven’s spirits are very strong and he and his family remain optimistic, but he can use our support. A prominent international restructuring attorney and an ABI member since 1994, Steven is also a founding member of the ABI house band, the Indubitable Equivalents. Because the band is important to Steven, his fellow band-mates have organized a new Blog site for Steven's friends and colleagues to show their love and support at this critical time. Please click on this link to share your thoughts with many others, and post as often as you'd like.
FREE REGISTRATION, LIMITED SPOTS FOR THE ABI/BLOOMBERG DISTRESSED LENDING CONFERENCE ON OCT. 16!
The ABI Secured Credit Committee and Bloomberg Law are co-hosting a Distressed Lending Conference on October 16 at Bloomberg Headquarters in New York. Leading experts in the industry will discuss recent developments in distressed lending, the future of the European distressed market and the state of the U.S. credit markets, including prospects for corporate defaults and whether and how the European financial crisis will affect the U.S. credit markets. If you are a leader in the distressed lending industry, you do not want to miss this conference! Registration is free. Spaces are limited and seats are filling fast. Click here to register.
MEMBERS WILL NOT WANT TO MISS ABI'S PROGRAM AT NCBJ'S ANNUAL MEETING ON OCT. 26
Members planning to attend the 86th Annual NCBJ Annual Conference in San Diego from Oct. 24-27 will not want to miss the exciting line-up scheduled for the ABI program track on Oct. 26. In addition to roundtable discussions on the hottest consumer and business bankruptcy topics, ABI will be hosting a ticketed luncheon that will feature the presentation of the 7th Annual Judge William L. Norton, Jr. Judicial Excellence Award and entertainment by Apollo Robbins, a sleight-of hand artist, security consultant and self-described gentleman thief. Click here to register for the Conference.
To view the list of ABI programs on Oct. 26 and the full NCBJ Annual Conference schedule, please click here.
ABI's Chapter 11 Reform Commission will also be holding a public hearing on Oct. 26 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. PT at the San Diego Marriott. Interested parties have the opportunity to submit testimony at the hearing. For further information, please contact ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano at [email protected]
LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: LEWIS BROTHERS BAKERIES INC. V. INTERSTATE BRANDS CORP. (IN RE INTERSTATE BAKERIES CORP.; 8TH CIR.)
Summarized by William Joanis of JoanisLaw
Following the Countryman test for an executory contract (whether obligations remain on both sides so underperformed that the failure of either party to complete performance of those obligations would constitute a material breach excusing the performance of the other), the Eighth Circuit ruled that the obligations remaining on a license agreement entered into as part of the sale of a business was an executory contract. The Eighth Circuit distinguished the Third Circuit decision In Re Exide Technologies, 607 F.3d 957 (3rd Cir. 2010) on the basis of the obligation of the non-debtor to maintain quality standards. The dissent argued that the license agreement was but a part of a sale that had occurred years previously and the remaining obligations were not material, as the sale had been substantially consummated.
There are more than 600 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: THE CURE FOR THE BANKING INDUSTRY: WHY DODD-FRANK IS NO HELP
The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post describes how the law radically expands the power of the Fed and banking regulators, and gives the institutions that created the crisis more ability to cause bigger problems in the future.
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
Bankruptcy courts should adopt formal loss mitigation procedures to facilitate the negotiation of residential mortgage modifications for consumer debtors.
Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.
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Bloomberg Law's video podcasts feature top experts speaking about current bankruptcy topics. The podcasts are available via Bloomberg Law's YouTube channel so that you can access the programs from your computer or device of your choice! Click here to view the Bloomberg Law video podcasts.
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