NEWS AND ANALYSIS
LISTEN TO ABI’S TELECONFERENCE EXPLORING CHAPTER 9 TRENDS, MUNICIPAL FINANCE PREDICTIONS FOR 2013
ABI held a media teleconference today featuring experts explaining the history of chapter 9 bankruptcy, lessons learned from chapter 9 cases in 2012 and what the financial landscape for municipalities looks like in 2013. Speakers on the teleconference include:
• Hon. Christopher M. Klein is the Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of California (Sacramento) and presides over the chapter 9 case of Stockton, Calif., the largest city to file.
• Juliet M. Moringiello of Widener University School of Law (Harrisburg, Pa.) is a former ABI Resident Scholar (Spring 2010 semester).
• Patrick Darby of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP (Birmingham, Ala.) is a co-author of ABI’s recently released Second Edition of Municipalities in Peril: The ABI Guide to Chapter 9.
• Natalie Cohen of Wells Fargo Securities, LLC (New York) is well-known for her studies and articles about municipal credit risk and bond defaults.
• ABI Resident Scholar Prof. C. Scott Pryor of the Regent University School of Law (Virginia Beach, Va.) is the moderator for the program.
Click here to listen to a full replay of the teleconference.
For further insight and analysis of chapter 9 bankruptcy, order the Second Edition of Municipalities in Peril: The ABI Guide to Chapter 9. Click here to purchase.
WITH TAX ADVANTAGES LOOKING SHAKY, PRIVATE EQUITY SEEKS A NEW PATH
As the government grapples with the country's fiscal woes, the private-equity industry is grudgingly facing a new reality: Its long-held tax advantages are likely to disappear, according to a report yesterday in the New York Times DealBook blog. For years, private equity has quashed efforts to raise taxes on so-called carried-interest income, the profits partners receive as part of their compensation. Those earnings are considered capital gains, so they are taxed at a much lower rate than ordinary income. While few concede defeat publicly, the industry is rethinking its endgame. Rather than trying to stop the changes outright, lawyers and executives behind the scenes are trying to minimize the hit if it happens. In the current budget debate, tax deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable donations are on the table, along with potential cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Read more.
COMMENTARY: TAKEAWAYS FROM ZELL'S TRIBUNE FIASCO
As Tribune Co. emerges from its four-year bankruptcy tour, the deal that put it there is widely recognized as a fiasco that consumed billions of dollars, claimed thousands of jobs and degraded one of Chicago's most important institutions, according to a commentary in Crain's Chicago Business on Saturday. However, some lessons can be drawn from Sam Zell's $8.2 billion leveraged buyout in 2007 and its aftermath. Deference can be deadly, according to the commentary, as the crisis that sent Tribune directors scrambling to find a savior did not appear overnight. The company's stock had been dead in the water for years as the Internet eroded its business model. A more-engaged board would have acted sooner to scare up shareholder returns and prepare the company for a digital future. Wall Street worshiped Zell, whose real estate deals triggered geysers of banking fees. The multibillionaire's Tribune bid looked like another bonanza to Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Merrill Lynch. But loan losses ran into the billions when Tribune tumbled into a bankruptcy reorganization that left lenders with equity stakes in a company worth far less than the amount they advanced to fund the deal. The central conceit of Zell's takeover was that a real estate magnate with no experience in newspapers or television could solve problems confounding career media executives. But Zell's plan was pretty much the same as Tribune's: hoping things get better soon. Neither he nor the radio executives he installed to run Tribune understood the forces reshaping the media industry. Read the full commentary.
NEW SECURITIES LAWS AIM TO HELP START-UPS RAISE CAPITAL
New U.S. securities laws intended to help startup companies raise money are poised to benefit real estate investors as well, allowing individuals to buy stakes in offices and other commercial buildings once off limits to them, Bloomberg News reported today. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act will ease restrictions on investments in closely held companies, including those set up to own commercial property, by people making less than $200,000 a year and with a net worth of less than $1 million. Before the law’s passage, such firms could market and sell shares to individuals who exceed those levels, known as accredited investors. The law, which changed parts of the Securities Act of 1933, will allow non-accredited investors to put $2,000 a year or 5 percent of their income or net worth -- whatever amount is greatest -- into closely held ventures. While the law went into effect in April 2012, property investors are not able to take advantage of it yet because proposed investor-safeguard rules are still being worked on by the SEC. The commission missed its own end-of-the-year deadline for drafting the regulations. Read more.
PROFILE: TREASURY SECRETARY NOMINEE VALUES SOCIAL SAFETY NET, COMPROMISE
While Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew's history aggressively advocates on behalf of programs that protect the poor, he has also been willing to make unpopular compromises out of a belief that the nation must have its financial books in order, according to a profile in today's Washington Post. Some conservatives say he has a blind obsession with providing government benefits, without care for the nation's overall finances. Some liberals say he has too often forfeited his principles in search of bipartisan deals. No senators other than Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) have come out against Lew's nomination to date, and prospects are favorable for Lew being confirmed by the Senate. Read more.
CURRENT ISSUES FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS IN BANKRUPTCY CASES AT ABI'S 31ST ANNUAL SPRING MEETING
The 2013 Annual Spring Meeting, to be held April 18-21, 2013, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., features a roster of the best national speakers, while the depth and scope of topics offer something for everyone. Specifically, four concurrent workshops will cover various “tracks,” including programs for attorneys in commercial cases, a track for restructuring professionals, a track of professional development programming and a track dealing solely with consumer issues. More than 16 hours of CLE/CPE is offered in some states, along with ethics credit totaling 3 hours, making the cost only about $50 per credit. In addition, committee sessions will drill down on other topics to provide you with the most practical and varied CLE/CPE experience ever. Sessions include:
• 17th Annual Great Debates
• Mediation: An Irrational Approach to a Rational Result
• Creditors’ Committees and the Role of Indenture Trustees and Related Issues
• The Individual Conundrum: Chapter 7, 11 or 13?
• The Power to Veto Bankruptcy Sales
• Real Estate Issues in Health Care Restructurings
• Law Firm Bankruptcies
• How to Be a Successful Expert
• The Ethical Compass: Multiple Ethical Schemes Applicable to Financial Advisors
• Chapter 9s, Nonprofits and Other Nontraditional Restructuring Processes
• And much more!
The Spring Meeting will also feature a field hearing of the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, a report from the ABI Ethics Task Force, a luncheon panel discussion moderated by Bill Rochelle of Bloomberg News, and a Final Night Gala Dinner featuring a concert by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts!
ABI LIVE WEBINAR: REVISITING RADLAX AND HALL – NEW LEGAL AND PRACTICAL IMPACT OF THE DECISIONS
See why this was the top-rated panel at the ABI Winter Leadership Conference last month! Join the expert panel on Feb. 19 from 12:00-1:15pm EST as the summarize and discuss the legal impact and practical implications of the Supreme Court’s 2012 decisions in Radlax and Hall. Participants include:
• Susan M. Freeman of Lewis and Roca LLP (Phoenix)
• Adam A. Lewis of Morrison & Foerster LLP (San Francisco)
• Prof. Charles J. Tabb of the University of Illinois College of Law (Champaign, Ill.)
• Eric E. Walker of Perkins Coie LLP (Chicago)
Click here to register!
LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: MASSACHUSETTS DEPT. OF UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE V. OPK BIOTECH LLC (IN RE PBBPC INC.; 1ST CIR.)
Summarized by Hale Yazicioglu, Bartlett Hackett Feinberg P.C.
The First Circuit BAP, adopting the expansive definition of “interest” in § 363(f) of the Bankruptcy Code, held that “interest” in § 363(f) includes all obligations that may flow from ownership of property, including the right to tax the purchaser of the debtor’s assets at the same high rate imposed on the debtor. The First Circuit BAP first evaluated its jurisdiction on appeal and found that the bankruptcy court order approving the stipulation entered into between the parties effectively terminated the litigation, and therefore was a final judgment from which the parties could appeal to the BAP.
There are more than 700 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: TAX REFUNDS IN BANKRUPTCY
The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A new post examines issues surrounding tax refunds and bankruptcy filings.
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'S INDUBITABLE EQUIVALENTS: TELL US A TUNE AND WE'LL SING YOU THAT SONG!
ABI's Indubitable Equivalents need your help: Tell us your favorite Rock and Roll tune - that elusive classic that takes you back, makes your feet tap, your head bang, and your horns come out! If we pick your song, you get widespread promotion by the band and you'll receive a free CD of IE’s greatest hits!
To enter, log onto www.abiband.com or “like” the Band’s Facebook page.
The fine print: No purchase necessary. You can enter as many times as you want. Multiple winners will be selected. Winners will be announced on the IE website and on Facebook. Entry deadline: January 31.
ABI Quick Poll
After Stern, bankruptcy courts do not have the constitutional authority to enter final judgments on fraudulent conveyance claims.
Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.
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