commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

BP Oil Spill Civil Trial set to begin …..Breaking….Trial delayed for a week….


The Associated Press ‏ @AP  (2/26/12 – 3:36PM)

BREAKING: Gulf oil spill trial delayed, allowing another week for settlement talks, people close to case say -RJJ

The civil trial is set to begin in a New Orleans Courtroom while settlement talks continue….

The Trial could set the civil penalties and percent of responsibilities for the parties involved…

In addition, the outcome of THIS matter could effect other civil suits and a possible criminal investigation by the Justice Department….

An unfair resolution could also spell political trouble in the region for the Administration……

Lawyers involved in the case said settlement talks were continuing through the weekend. Unlike Exxon, which spent two decades fighting damage claims over the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska, BP has been eager to put to rest the entire affair surrounding its ill-fated Macondo exploration well. But while opposing sides often reach agreement on the eve of trials, lawyers familiar with the case said the trial would probably move ahead. “The parties remain significantly far apart,” said one of the lawyers, on the condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing.

Firm numbers were hard to come by, but some sources said that the private plaintiffs group and the Justice Department were each seeking more than $25 billion in civil claims. If the Justice Department decides to file criminal charges, that would be a separate trial.

Possible outcomes

Any settlement by the Justice Department could have political impact if voters see it as not large enough given the size of the spill and of BP, still one of the world’s biggest oil giants. The associate attorney general in charge of negotiations, Thomas J. Perrelli, also oversaw talks that led to the recent $26 billion foreclosure abuse settlement with major banks. Perrelli, a law school acquaintance of President Obama, is leaving the department March 9 after three years as its No. 3 official.

If the trial moves ahead, lawyers for the plaintiffs’ steering committee and the Justice Department are expected to attack BP and rig owner Transocean, saying that their gross negligence and willful misconduct led to the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which caught fire and sankApril 20, 2010, killing 11 people and eventually spilling as much as 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

If found guilty of gross negligence, BP and Transocean could have to pay $4,300 a barrel instead of $1,100 a barrel in federal fines under the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act for oil that was not recaptured. (Under one scenario,BP pays $3.5 billion)


Photo…Washington Post

From Politcaldog101.Com


February 27, 2012 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Ecology, Government, Law, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

Morgan Stanley gets a criminal look over on some of its CDO business…….

This story is  a light shown on something that been going on since 2009, when the SEC asked the US Attorney’s office to sit in on its investigation into Morgan Stanley’s betting against clients  CDO’s*……It is alleged that Morgan Stanley took better performing CDO’s for themselves and only offered investor’s ones with more risk…..

Morgan Stanley is saying they have not be formerly notified by the US Attorney’s Office that they are the target of a specific investigation…..

One should remember that a Justice investigation does not mean a criminal complaint will be filed…..

In other news……

It has been reported that Goldman-Sachs has entered into settlement talks with the SEC in its civil case……

One feature of the Morgan Stanley deals was a structure that could increase the magnitude of the bullish investors’ exposures to the underlying mortgage bonds. This feature, which was disclosed in some offering documents, made it more likely that such investors could lose money if the underlying bonds performed poorly.

Morgan Stanley traders took the more profitable, bearish side of these transactions, according to traders. These positions weren’t disclosed in some deals. It couldn’t be determined how much money Morgan Stanley made with these wagers.

The SEC’s industry-wide civil investigation into Wall Street activities in selling CDOs began in 2009. Beginning earlier this year, prosecutors from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office began showing up to meetings arranged by SEC investigators who were questioning individuals about their firms’ practices, people familiar with the matter said.

There have been several rounds of SEC subpoenas issued in the probe, a person familiar with the matter said.

Last summer, the SEC asked Wall Street firms about any of their clients that were betting against CDOs, the person says. In the fall, Morgan Stanley provided offering documents to the SEC about CDOs, including its Dead Presidents deals. Morgan Stanley and other firms received a subpoena in December 2009 asking about its sale and marketing of CDOs, people familiar with the matter said.

In the past six weeks, a fresh round of SEC subpoenas have asked a smaller number of Wall Street firms for a broad range of information on CDO deals, including prospectuses, offering documents and other data that would include disclosure statements.



Pools of bond-related investments called collateralized-debt obligations…….

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Crime, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , , | 1 Comment

FiveThirtyEight on the SEC going after Goldman-Sachs……

Hale “Bonddad” Stewart over @ FiveThirtyEigth gives us a rundown on the SEC compliant……

First, the document filed by the SEC is a complaint. The purpose of this document is to define the issues for trial. Usually, the person filing the complaint has done a lot of investigation before filing the document — so much so that they can more or less anticipate what the defendant will do.

Then goes over the specifics…..

a) Use of interstate commerce for purpose of fraud or deceit….to wit……..

It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, by the use of any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce or of the mails, or of any facility of any national securities exchange—

He then makes Seven more points……

Then gives this analogy on why the SEC should win the case……

Let me add this personal thought. I have very high hopes that the SEC wins this case. As I mentioned above, they have a good case. But the real reason is best illustrated by a story. This year my wife and I went to opening day at Wrigley Field (which should be a national holiday). While we were walking around the streets that surrounded Wrigley we saw a group of four cops — and I mean cops. All I could think of when I saw these guys was one of them saying to a someone, “don’t make me.” My guess is at least two of them were ex-football players. They were standing in a group talking and basically making their presence quietly felt. At this point I knew nothing bad was going to happen on that street. Why? Because of this group of cops — they would make sure nothing bad happened. In essence, you felt this quiet law enforcement presence on the street. That’s what the SEC needs to do — or more importantly, needs to establish. Right now, there is no law enforcement presence on Wall Street at all. Wall Street needs to know there is a cop on the beat to deal with excesses in the system.

For the whole Post…..and the numerous comments…..

The Dog still thinks Goldman-Sachs will still be proudly standing after this whole thing is all over…for those you who want to read another Goldmen-Sach caper…..

Dig this.…….

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , | 1 Comment