One of my nuggets of wisdom to bankruptcy/reorganization clients is if you’re going to get stuck with a secured position in bankruptcy, try and make sure you’re one of the little guys. The reason is smaller creditors in an existing secured class are often in the best position to cause trouble when a [somewhat] agreed-upon restructuring plan is taking shape. The bigger creditors (assuming they’re not legally ahead of you in line) don’t usually like trouble – they’re more apt to cave to various demands. I’ve seen a lot of small creditors get paid off (i.e. paid out in full) because the folks running the creditors’ committee just didn’t want to deal with their contentiousness.
Three of Chrysler’s secured creditors are mounting a fresh attempt to thwart the carmaker’s Chapter 11 reorganisation on the grounds that it violates their legal rights and the US government’s authority under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
The three – all Indiana state pension funds – are among a group of 46 creditors that had appeared to back away this month from efforts to derail the process under which a “new” Chrysler would emerge from bankruptcy protection by July 1. The new entity would be owned by a union healthcare trust, the US government and Italy’s Fiat.
Chrysler, with backing from the US Treasury, had offered its secured creditors just under 30 cents on the dollar to settle claims totalling $6.9bn. Four big banks, holding the bulk of the claims, accepted the offer following political pressure from Washington.
In the Chrysler case, being a big guy actually meant taking an equity position after subordinate claims, with aid from the government, bent them over a barrel and stepped in front. It doesn’t surprise me that a small creditor within the secured class is now kicking and screaming. And it won’t surprise me if we find out later the major holders put them up to it.
I’m just disappointed this tactic is now out in the open.
MG signing off (to figure out where my bankruptcy play book went)
Apple to introduce more affordable Macs – it’s always those pesky ‘sources’ you have to wonder about. Unless Apple drops their prices by 50% or more (and without handicapping existing systems), I don’t think they are going to make any significant market share gains in this economic environment.
Twitter’s reach is limited – It’s part of the meme that Twitter can’t keep users on board. Part of this may result from Twitter syntax (i.e. direct message versus replies versus retweets) being a little tough to grasp, or it may just be that Oprah hasn’t started pumping the service full of feel-good self-helpedness yet.
Comcast is cranking up the cash flow – And I’ll tell you how. My Comcast internet is down today, and when I called tech support they offered to send support out. Great…except they also said it’ll cost me $27, unless I want to pay money for ‘service assurance.’ So I’m supposed to a monthly rate for broadband, and pay extra to keep the service up? The moment I mentioned pro-rating my bill for all the time service is down, the tone changed.
Chrysler is headed for bankruptcy – Last minute negotiations with creditors don’t pan out, but thankfully the government sweetener (i.e. more taxpayer dollars) doesn’t pan out either.
Continuing US jobless claims at fresh record high – The meme tossed around here is that things are turning around because new claims for unemployment have slowed. Can’t go into the numerous factors that may have caused that, because I hardly trust the government estimates to begin with. What I can say is that the powers that be have a lot of motivation to convince you to spend, even if it does mean stretching the truth.