Banks’ Off-Balance-Sheet Risks Come Under Basel Scrutiny
Banks are set to face a broad international leverage limit that will catch off-balance sheet risks and prevent them from hiding their debt, according to the head of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
The Basel group is seeking to put a ceiling on indebtedness that will prove robust no matter how complicated a bank’s business model, Stefan Ingves, its chairman, said in an interview.
U.S. Said to Plan Lawsuit Over North Carolina Voting Law
Attorney General Eric Holder will announce a lawsuit today challenging voting restrictions adopted by North Carolina after the Supreme Court struck down a core provision of the U.S.Voting Rights Act, said a person briefed on the plans.
The lawsuit, which the person said Holder will announce at a Justice Department news conference, follows a similar government action against voting laws and election districts in Texas — a move criticized by state officials.
Billionaire Cuban Goes to Trial in SEC’s Mamma.com Case
Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, faces trial over U.S. regulators’ claims he engaged in insider trading when he sold his stake in a Canadian Internet search company nine years ago.
The Securities and Exchange Commission in 2008 accused Cuban of acting on confidential information when he unloaded his 600,000 shares of Mamma.com four years earlier, just before it announced a private placement of shares.
BP Fights to Shrink Gulf Spill Estimate to Cap Verdict
BP Plc (BP/), seeking to reduce potential water pollution fines of as much as $18 billion, will try to convince a judge that less oil spilled in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster than the U.S. claims and that it capped the deep-sea gusher as quickly as possible.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, who will decide the trial set to begin today, is already weighing whether the company’s actions in causing the April 20, 2010, blowout and subsequent spill reached the level of gross negligence, which would trigger higher fines and punitive damages.
Old GM Cuts Nova Scotia Debt Claims to $1.55 Billion
Motors Liquidation Co., a trust for creditors of General Motors Co.’s old assets, cut $2.67 billion in claims to $1.55 billion in an out-of-court agreement.
Terms of the settlement reached yesterday include the reduction of a $1.61 billion claim from Green Hunt Wedlake Inc. to $477 million, as well as a distribution of some General Motors stock to holders of debt issued by a Canadian unit in 2003, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The noteholders will be allowed a $1.07 billion unsecured claim.
GateHouse Files for Bankruptcy as Part of Fortress Plan
GateHouse Media Inc. (GHSE), the community newspaper publisher overseen by the co-chairman of Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG), filed for bankruptcy after creditors approved a prepackaged plan of reorganization.
GateHouse, based in Fairport, New York, listed assets of $433.7 million and debt of $1.3 billion in a Chapter 11 petition filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
‘White Widow’ at Large as Governments Bungle Cooperation
Kenyan investigators knew two years ago that they wanted to question Samantha Lewthwaite, the 29-year-old widow of one of the suicide bombers who struck the London transit system in 2005.
They ran into her for the first time that December, while probing a foiled attack on tourist sites in Mombasa, when she convinced them she was a tourist. Within days, investigators realized their mistake, a prosecutor said.
Ex-RBS Trader Fired Over Libor-Rigging Sues for Unfair Dismissal
A former Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc trader sued the lender over his firing for alleged misconduct related to manipulation of benchmark interest rates.
Simon Green, who traded derivatives tied to short-term moves in interest rates in dollars and euros, filed an unfair dismissal suit, according to documents from a London employment tribunal. He was let go in March, weeks after the Edinburgh-based bank paid $612 million to settle with regulators probing its attempts to rig the London interbank offered rate.
GM Suppliers in Japan Guilty in $5 Billion Cartel Case
Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (6503), Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd. and seven other Japanese companies agreed to plead guilty and pay a total of $740 million in fines for a price-fixing conspiracy targeting automakers that included General Motors Co. (GM) and Ford Motor Co. (F)
Chrysler Group LLC and Toyota Motor Corp. were also among car companies operating in the U.S. that faced inflated costs on more than $5 billion of parts, affecting prices on at least 25 million vehicles, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a news conference yesterday in Washington.
Stockton to Unveil Plan Including Cuts for Creditors
Stockton, California, is scheduled to unveil a bankruptcy exit plan today that may call for raising sales tax, cutting employee benefits and imposing cuts on creditors who are owed more than $350 million.
Should city officials approve the proposal as early as Oct. 3, it would be submitted to the federal judge in Sacramento overseeing the bankruptcy, Stockton’s lead bankruptcy attorney, Marc A. Levinson, said in an e-mail.
Dainippon, Google, Apple, Dogfish: Intellectual Property
Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. (4506)’s Sunovion won an appeals court ruling that Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.’s generic version of the sleep aid Lunesta would infringe a patent that expires next year.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said yesterday the trial judge erred in ruling the Dr. Reddy’s version didn’t infringe the patent, which covers eszopiclone, the active ingredient in Lunesta. The opinion was posted on the court’s website.
Electronic Arts Settles Athletes’ Suit, Cancels Game
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) agreed to settle a lawsuit by student athletes over use of their images in video games, and canceled its college football title for next year because the accord doesn’t resolve all legal issues.
The second-largest U.S. video-game publisher is evaluating “the future of the franchise” after the National Collegiate Athletic Association and some regional athletic conferences withdrew their support for the game, the Redwood City, California-based company said yesterday in a statement.
Rights Lawyer Allred Joins N.Y. Bar: Business of Law
Civil-rights lawyer Gloria Allred, known for handling high-profile cases involving women’s issues, joined the New York State bar.
“I look forward to asserting, protecting and vindicating the legal rights of women and minorities in New York and assisting them in their right to enjoy equal protection under the law,” Allred said in a statement.
Obama Meeting With India’s Singh to Cover Defense, Trade
President Barack Obama will be seeking to advance defense cooperation and a deal for U.S. companies to sell nuclear power technology when he meets at the White House today with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The agenda for the leaders of the world’s largest economy and the world’s second most-populous nation also includes discussion of a bilateral investment treaty, smoothing trade tensions and climate change.
NSA Spying Defended by Lawmakers Citing Misperceptions
While the Senate intelligence committee’s top Democrat and Republican favor legislation that would leave U.S. spy programs intact, some lawmakers want to ban some Internet and phone records collection — and are asking whether other data were swept up too.
During a committee hearing yesterday, U.S. intelligence officials were questioned by one of the leading skeptics of National Security Agency surveillance programs about whether the agency captured mobile phone location data on Americans.
U.K. Prosecutors Said to Plan More Libor Charges in October
U.K. prosecutors may bring another round of charges against traders and brokers linked to the Libor scandal as soon as next month, according to lawyers familiar with the investigation, now in its fifth year.
The Serious Fraud Office will probably file the additional charges as soon as Oct. 21, when a court hearing is scheduled for three men who have already been arrested in the U.K. probe, said the lawyers, who asked not to be identified because prosecutors’ plans haven’t been made public. About six people may be charged with conspiring to rig the benchmark interest rate, the lawyers said.
Visa, Starbucks, SeaWorld, Largan: Intellectual Property
By Victoria Slind-Flor – Sep 26, 2013 7:02 AM ET Visa Inc. (V) and MasterCard Inc. (MA) won a tentative court ruling they don’t infringe a patent owned by SmartMetric Inc., a technology development company that seeks $13.4 billion in damages. U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald issued his tentative ruling yesterday at a hearing [...]
Birmingham City Owner to Testify in Money Laundering Case
Carson Yeung, the owner of English soccer team Birmingham City on trial for money laundering, will testify next month in a reversal of an earlier decision not to take the stand.
District Court Judge Douglas Yau today allowed the Hong Kong businessman’s application to reopen his defense after it had earlier rested. The trial will resume Oct. 15.
Messi in Court Shows Tax Collectors Set to Pursue Star Athletes
Lionel Messi, one of soccer’s biggest stars, has gotten rich by avoiding tackles on the field — and taxes off it.
On a recent evening in Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, Messi scored the first goal for European powerhouse Barcelona with a feint that left the goalie sprawling. The Argentina native added two more goals in the first half, leading his team to victory over Valencia. High in the stands, a radio commentator shouted, “Leo, Leo, Leo Messi: the king of football!”
Skadden Arps, Crowell, McDermott Will: Business of Law
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised Stryker Corp. (SYK), the second-largest seller of orthopedic devices, on its agreement to buy Mako Surgical Corp. (MAKO) for $1.65 billion. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Foley & Lardner LLP advised Mako.
The Skadden team includes partners Charles W. Mulaney, Jr. and Richard C. Witzel, Jr.mergers and acquisitions; Ian John and Clifford Aronson, antitrust; Joseph Yaffe, executive compensation and benefits; Maxwell Miller, tax; Matthew Zisk, and Bruce Goldner, intellectual property and technology;