The Giants of Wall Street
Excerpted from From the NY Daily News:
Giants claim defunct firm Lehman Brothers owes team $300M
Big Blue claims the bankrupt investment behemoth owes the team $301.8 million from a complex financing deal for its new stadium in the Meadowlands.
It surfaced in a little-noticed, 238-page claim Giants co-owner John Mara filed in federal Bankruptcy Court on Oct. 17. It contends the team was guaranteed full payment because Lehman defaulted on its obligations.
The team filed a second claim to collect another $401,500 from Lehman to cover half of its $803,000-a-year bill for leasing an on-the-sidelines luxury suite with a bar and space for 24 guests, bankruptcy filings show. A stadium spokeswoman said the luxury suite issue had been "resolved." She refused to provide details...
... "It would be quite unhealthy to hold your breath waiting for the Giants to get paid," said Reggie Middleton, who runs the Boom Bust Blog and was one of the earliest investors to warn of Lehman's impending demise. "They can expect to recover less than 9 cents on the dollar - a lot less - and they'll probably get zilch."
The Giants have a long wait before they can collect. "It could be as long as three or four years," said Lynn LoPucki, a law professor at both Harvard and UCLA and an expert on corporate bankruptcies. "Widows and orphans might qualify for a hardship claim and get paid earlier, but the New York Giants are an unsecured creditor - and they won't be on anybody's list to get paid ahead of schedule."
The flashpoint is the 82,500-seat, open-air new Meadowlands Stadium the Giants and Jets have been jointly building since 2007 on a 40-acre site across the Hudson.Complete with four restaurants, a Hall of Fame, 213 luxury suites, 2,000 video screens and a 300,000-square-foot outdoor plaza for tailgate parties, the stadium, expected to open in the spring of 2010, is budgeted at $1.6 billion.
To fund it, the National Football League loaned the teams $150 million apiece in 2007. The Giants and Jets each snared $650 million bank financing deals, with the Giants buying 40-year bonds from a seemingly healthy Lehman Brothers. Interest on those bonds, paid out until 2047, could be punishing, and the Giants wanted to reduce borrowing costs.
So they entered into a so-called interest rate swap with Lehman, "swapping" interest that could float much higher for fixed interest that would remain moderately priced, court filings indicate...
..."The agreement broke down the day Lehman declared bankruptcy" on Sept. 15, said Middleton, who analyzed the deal at the request of The News. The Giants were suddenly at risk of having to pay over time all the borrowing costs they had expected to save - an amount calculated at $301.8 million - because Lehman defaulted.
I have been crowing about investment bank and commercial bank insolvency for over a year now.
Why didn't Wall Street read my post on Lehman being a yellow lying lemon? See "Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise?" and realize that this post was made on February 20th, when Goldman Sachs had a recommended price of about $55 while this blog warned that Lehman may be done for. This very similar to when I warned about the potential demise of Bear Stearns in January, when the rest of the Street had a "buy" at about $130 per share. See Is this the Breaking of the Bear? We all know how both of these stories ended.
If I am not mistaken, didn't the major rating's agencies have an investment grade rating on Lehman leading up into its bankruptcy? What a damn shame.