venerdì 4 novembre 2011
Investors want "secrecy" lifted in BofA MBS deal
Thu Nov 3, 2011 6:29pm EDT
* Dispute over confidential documents, negotiations
* Case awaits possible appeal on jurisdiction
* Judge sets Nov. 17 for start of sharing information
By Karen Freifeld
NEW YORK, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Investors want to lift the "shroud of secrecy" over the proposed $8.5 billion settlement of Bank of America Corp's mortgage-backed securities liability in the coming weeks, a lawyer said on Wednesday.
Dan Reilly, a Colorado lawyer representing American International Group Inc , told a New York federal judge that some investors want negotiations and documents over the deal to be made available to parties who have an interest.
"We want to come back to you and ask you to find it's not confidential," Reilly told U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley in Manhattan at a hearing for the judge to set a Nov. 17 date to start evidence gathering and schedule arguments.
Reilly said that Bank of New York Mellon Corp , the trustee for hundreds of pools of mortgage-backed securities covered in the agreement, had asked the judge to withold substantive rulings until an appeal is heard.
"A shroud of secrecy is being pushed back by asking you not to rule on anything," he said.
Bank of New York Mellon says that the months-long negotiations that led to the proposed agreement were not secret as some investors contend. They include Walnut Place, which removed the case from state court to federal court, seeking to have it supervised under federal class action law.
Representatives of Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of America and the Gibbs Bruns law firm for 22 institutional investors who are part of the deal, all declined to comment on Thursday.
The settlement would resolve uncertainty for Bank of America over potential liabilities tied to pools of soured loans sold to investors by Countrywide Financial Corp, the mortgage lender it bought in 2008.
Countrywide was the largest U.S. mortgage lender before being taken over by BofA, a disastrous purchase analysts say has effectively cost more than $30 billion after accounting for lawsuits and writedowns.
A number of investors have objected to the proposed settlement, which Bank of New York Mellon Corp presented to a state judge in June for approval.
On Oct. 19, Pauley ruled the case belonged in federal court. Bank of New York Mellon is seeking to appeal that decision.
The cases are re: The Bank of New York Mellon, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 651786/2011; and The Bank of New York Mellon et al v. Walnut Place LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-05988.
U.S. SEC Probing Olympus Payments to U.S. Broker, NYT Says
By James Kraus, Bloomberg, - Oct 28, 2011 10:14 AM GMT+0200
U.S. authorities including the Securities and Exchange Commission are intensifying a probe of payments by Olympus Corp. (7733) to a U.S. broker as part a broader investigation into $687 million in payouts by the company, the New York Times reported.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened its case two weeks and the inquiry has since spread to multiple federal law enforcement agencies, the newspaper said, citing people briefed on the inquiries.
They include federal prosecutors in Manhattan as well as the SEC, which has begun an inquiry into the defunct brokerage firm Axes America, the Times said. The SEC declined to comment, the newspaper said.
The inquiry may focus on whether the fees paid by Olympus were kickbacks to company officials involved in the arrangements, the Times said. Until now, the inquiry was mainly aimed at determining if money laundering or other illicit transactions were involved in the payments, the newspaper said.
Markets mustn't learn about our gold transactions, Bank of England says
Submitted by cpowell on Thu, 2011-11-03 21:42. Section: Documentation
5:44p ET Thusrday, November 3, 2011
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Denying a recent freedom-of-information request from a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Bank of England has insisted on secrecy for its swapping and leasing of gold from the national reserves.
Replying on October 24 to GATA supporter James Bern, who sought a more precise accounting of the British gold reserves, Bank of England spokeswoman Jackie Keating wrote that the gold swap and leasing information is "market sensitive" and its disclosure "would allow enquirers to find out what gold transactions have been taking place." This, the bank's spokesman wrote, would impair the interests of both the British government and the bank's "private customers," to whom the bank "owes a duty of confidentiality."
The statement thus confirms that the Bank of England is surreptitiously active in the gold market on behalf of both the British government and the bank's "private customers" and that the interest of British citizens in knowing how their government is meddling in supposedly free markets is quite secondary.
Thanks to our friend Bern, it thus has been demonstrated again that there is plenty of financial journalism to be done simply by pressing central banks with questions about their surreptitious activity in the gold market. Who will be the first mainstream financial journalist to attempt this and to have enough resentment about being shut out of the public's business that he publishes a news story about it? Is there such a mainstream financial journalist willing to risk his invitation to a few very nice Christmas parties and his access to highly placed official sources?
The Bank of England's reply to Bern has been posted at GATA's Internet site here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
by Greg Palast
After some tense discussion (Penguin was partly owned by Gaddafi, so you can imagine...), my publisher has given me the unusual right to give all my readers, for no charge, the entire first chapter of my new book Vultures’ Picnic.
Even if you don't get the book, I really want you to read the first chapter.
Never before, in my decades as an investigator, have I taken you with me undercover, on the hunt into the lives, secret files, shopping bags and back rooms of the cruel and whacky One Percent. And, for the first time, I've decided to let you in on Greg Palast, to open up my life and the inside of my operation, without censorship or BS.
In Chapter One, you will first encounter
- the MI6 agent who carried the bribes for British Petroleum and the Kalashnikovs;
- the billionaire's ex-trophy wife ready to burn the bed and open the files;
- the Radioactive Brick from address unknown, with documentation of a massive fraud by Tokyo Electric Power, arriving ten months before Fukushima melted;
- the secret memo of Treasury Secretary Geithner waiting for the go-ahead from Goldman Sachs and Citibank;
- the CIA spook turned billionaire with a score to settle and a devastating document from Kazakhstan;
- and a punch in the face just before an appearance on Amy Goodman's show.
Chapter One takes you from a stake-out at dawn in New York, to the King of Mardi Gras to a shopping spree with a short dictator in Geneva, to suicide and murder in a Native Village in Alaska that is a key to the Deepwater Horizon investigation.
Vultures’ Picnic is the sum of my life and work getting even with the One-Percent, the cruelty merchants posing as captains of industry. I go after these guys because for me, it's personal. I admit, it's revenge. You should know why.
I’ve been called America’s top investigative reporter and the funniest. I admit, the book has as many laughs as it has tears—because the ultra-rich whom I track across the globe are clowns—except with really terrific shoes and bodyguards.
So, just step into the Vultures’ Picnic circus tent for a few pages. Download it. I think you'll want the rest of the tale (I don't eat the whale until Chapter Three, or get caught with my pants off in Ms. Jamaica's room until Chapter 9 or encounter The Hamsah in Africa until....)
Read the chapter, and if you want a copy of the book, you can pre-order it or donate $60 and I will send you a personally signed copy. The book hits the stores on November 14.
This is full frontal Palast, for good or bad.
If you can handle Goldfinger, you can survive the rest.
Greg Palast is the author of Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores, which will be released on November 14 by Penguin USA.
Pre-order it now!
For more information about Palast's brand new book and his book-signing events in your city, go to www.VulturesPicnic.org
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