In what will likely end the hopes and dreams of many air travellers hoping to pick up the latest crystal-encrusted iphone cufflinks, upright sleeper, hiccup stick, or dog dung vacuum; Commercial Bankruptcy Investor reports that the companies behind the SkyMall catalogs has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This news comes as Xhibit - SkyMall's parent company - sees its stock price collapse and December's news that Southwest Airlines (which accounted for at least 7% of SkyMall's sales) would no longer distribute the catalogs. On the bright side, any liquidation is great for those looking to pick up a Diamond Jubilee Queen and Corgi statuette or a Doll-House styled cat litter...
Earlier today, in addition to insult and injury, what everyone - and especially GTAT's shareholders - got was nothing short of a slap in the face, when the company argued it could not reveal why it filed for bankruptcy and asked a court to keep crucial documents sealed, something even Reuters dubbed a highly unusual move that may keep investors in the dark about its unexpected, and very spectacular implosion.
- Obama orders U.S. airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State (Reuters)
- Obama Relying on Mideast Allies to Counter Islamic State (BBG)
- Scotland Nationalists Claim U.K. Oil in 40-Year Campaign (BBG)
- Scottish Polls Embolden Catalans Pushing Rajoy for Vote (BBG)
- Royal Bank of Scotland: RBS will leave Scotland if voters back independence (Guardian)
- Most Hedge-Fund Managers Are Overpaid, Unigestion Says (BBG)
- China Inflation Softens to Four-Month Low (WSJ)
- Munger Hosts Groupies, Mocks Wall Street, Praises Buffett (BBG)
After tens of millions in legal fees, a river of negative press, and ripple effects to other local municipalities, we have U-turned and are back to where we started.
When it comes to the opinions of financial pundits and "experts", most can be chucked into the garbage heap of groupthink and consensus. However, one person whose opinion stands out is Elliott Management's Paul Singer. One of the most successful hedge fund managers has consistently stood against the grain of conventional wisdom over the past three decades and been handsomely reward, which is why his opinion is certainly one worth noting. Singer, together with Martin Wolf and several other panelists will be speaking at 45 minutes past the hour on a panel discussing one of the most pressing topics nearly 6 years after the Bear Stearns collapse: "Are Markets Safer Now." Watch their thoughts on the matter in the session live below.
Bitcoin Catches Attention Of Goldman Sachs (And Walmart, And Cisco): Goldman Director Joins Bitcoin StartupSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/28/2013 11:14 -0500
When Bitcoin fans were hoping for fast track adoption by the mainstream, catching the attention of the all-seeing eye of Sauron Goldman Sachs was probably low on their list of action items. Yet that is precisely what they got with the arrival of a Goldman Sachs board member Michele Burns, who recently joined the board of Boston-based Bitcoin payment processing system startup Circle Internet Financial. As Fortune reports "Circle launched earlier this year, and was founded by Jeremy Allaire, who has led other Internet start-ups, but recently has become a Bitcoin evangelist. The company got $9 million in funding from a number of venture capitalist firms. Jim Breyer, a partner at Accel and an early backer of Facebook (FB), is also on Circle's board, as is Raj Date, who recently left a top post at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Circle declined to comment about Burns. Two sources with knowledge of her move confirmed it."
Rebellious Fed head Lacker fired at “implicit guarantees” to bail out bank creditors. Covered liabilities, the size of US GDP.
"We see Detroit as the “coming attraction” to a significant number of municipal insolvencies in the months and years to come."
First it was the JCPetanic, then the JCPanic, then it became the JCPandemonium, and moments ago, the situation at the doomed retailer was downgraded once again, this time simply to JCPathetic, as the cash-burning, slow motion circus crash lurches from farce to farce, the latest news being that in a long overdue move, Bill Ackman has thrown in the towel on JCPenney and has resigned from the board. Does this mean Ackman will next be offloading his nearly 40 million JCP shares next, and just who will buy them if that is the case, we shall find out shortly. Also, maybe the company can provide an update on what is really important: its nearly (or maybe it is now more than) $2 million per day cash burn rate.
Here’s what happens next...
"Both before and after the appointment of an emergency manager, many talented individuals have put enormous energy into attempting to avoid this outcome. I knew from the outset that it would be difficult to reverse 60 years of decline in which promises were made that did not reflect the reality of the ability to deliver on those promises. I very much hoped those efforts would succeed without resorting to bankruptcy. Unfortunately, they have not. We must face the fact that the City cannot and is not paying its debts as they become due, and is insolvent..... I know we share a concern for the public employees who gave years of service to the City and now fear for their financial future in retirement, and I am confident that all of the City's creditors will be treated fairly in this process. "
Richard D. Snyder Governor, State of Michigan
Dare 'Ye Test the Analysis To Ascertain It's Virility? Madness, I say! Sheer, Utter Madness! In other words - SYSTEMIC RISK is here, NOW!
A mere nine months after we first discussed the inevitability of Stockton, CA.'s bankruptcy, a judge has ordered today that the city will now become the most populous in the US to be declared bankrupt.
- *STOCKTON CREDITORS DIDN'T NEGOTIATE IN GOOD FAITH, JUDGE SAYS
Creditors are pushing to get the city out of bankruptcy but the judge states that "by any measure" the city was insolvent. So, in summary, yeah, it was broke years ago, it still is broke - despite the best efforts by the Central Planning Reserve to reflate the same housing bubble that was the primary reason for the city's insolvency in the first place. Only this time, it's official!
When you hear Republican politicians pointing figures at Jon Corzine for his “alleged” acts of fraud in the MF Global collapse, ask them why they changed the bankruptcy code in 2005 to allow such acts of fraud to go unpunished.
As the one year anniversary of the MF Global Bankruptcy is upon us, the WSJ has now joined the NY Times in writing a ‘woe is me’ piece on behalf of Jon Corzine. The WSJ continues bemoaning the pitiable situation of “restlessness and frustration” of the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, former Governor of New Jersey, and former Senator from New Jersey who apparently isn’t content with being “confident about the likelihood that he will avoid any criminal charges related to MF Global.” Corzine is still estimated to be worth several hundred million dollars despite presiding over the failure of the largest non-bank commodity broker where $1.6 billion in customer money was stolen. I cry for him, I really do... Trying to portray Corzine as being focused on mundane things like finding a job rather than worried about doing jail time for his obvious crimes appears to be another prong of Corzine’s attorneys’ use of the Chewbacca Defense, along with saying that the fraud charges “Make No Sense,” because the money “Vaporized” and he had no motive since he had a de minimis portion of his net worth invested in MF Global stock. However, proving Corzine committed fraud and perjury would be relatively simple for any motivated prosecutor. Since the Department of Justice clearly is not motivated to prosecute Corzine after he bundled $500,000+ in campaign contributions to their boss, I provide this quick and easy guide for any ambitious state prosecutor to bring charges themselves: