October 18, 2009
[efoods]Zero Hedge recently highlighted the TPG raid on CDOs. This action puts into focus the alarming trend of the undermining of creditor rights. When even the Courts are in on the gang bang, what hope do we have?
The battlefield: CDOs, mortgages, corporate debt
The players: hedge funds, management teams, elected officials, lobbyists, unions
The weapons: loopholes, new precedents, bankruptcy court, political pressure
The Chrysler debacle was stink enough, but the trend of collateral tampering is an outright stench today. Property rights have allowed the U.S. to flourish. They are bedrock of our economy. They allow facilitate the spread of credit and economic growth that some other countries cannot match.
In Chrysler we saw legal precedent created where a *secured creditor* received less on its contracted collateral than unsecured creditors. In one fell swoop, we saw fiduciaries abscond, “disinterested” advisors incented to rubber-stamp, and the Courts join in on the rubber stamping party (more on this later). Most importantly, we witnessed a government that not only sanctioned this egregious behavior but astonishingly pushed for it. The Government actually labeled those who filed objections to the deal as “terrorists” (you can’t make this up). The Government actually vetoed Chrysler’s offer to give secured creditors additional consideration. Our lawmakers were so involved that Chrysler’s own attorneys tried to block discovery of their communications with Washington (the attorney’s clients were Chrysler, not Washington). We must never forget Obama’s alleged threat of using the “White House Press Core” to weaken what little opposition remained (who exactly were the terrorists?).