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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 20, 2010

STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL LOOKING AT HEDGE FUNDS HANDLING OF TRUCKING COMPANY REORGANIZATION

Andrew Cockbun, Counterpunch - Goldman and others on Wall Street sought to ruin the big trucking company YRCW over Christmas by sabotaging a debt reorganization while betting on the firm's default and demise - thus eliminating 30,000 jobs . . . The Teamsters mobilized successfully and forced the offending parties to back off. "We got out of our position in a hurry," one hedge find trader told me later, figuratively mopping his brow, "we didn't want a bunch of angry Teamsters showing up at our door."

However, while threatening to mount pickets at the premises of various institutions, Teamster President James Hoffa also contacted the attorneys general of various states, outlining the scheme then underway to bankrupt the firm. "We respectfully urge you," wrote Hoffa on December 22, "to look closely at these financial firms' questionable promotion of CDSs for YRCW bonds. CDSs, of course, are essentially insurance products that need strong oversight. However, the CDS issuers are not required to conform to the strict requirements of insurance regulations. We believe almost none of these regulations were followed here. As indicated, these financial firms' injection of CDSs into YRCW's bond exchange offer seems calculated to manipulate and collapse YRCW stock and bond prices, destroy attempts to save a large U.S. trucking company, and to otherwise defraud various stakeholders by creating an incentive for bond holders and others to promote the Company's failure."

Counterpunch has now learned that at least some of the state law enforcement officials contacted by the union are moving to take action. Officials in Pennsylvania, Alabama and New Jersey have taken the matter seriously enough to institute further investigation. New Jersey has called in the SEC, Pennsylvania has put the state Securities Commission on the case, and Alabama is mulling a criminal prosecution.


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