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Colombian Activists File Complaint against GM

Group charges maker violated Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

by on Nov.18, 2014

The labor strife at GM's Colombian plant has, in the past, triggered a hunger strike by workers, and now a complaint filed with the U.S. DOJ and SEC.

Labor activists filed a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission, charging General Motors with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying bribes to government officials in Colombia.

The bribery and corruption charges are the latest twist in long-running dispute between GM and Colombian workers, who argue they were injured while working at a GM assembly plant in Bogota, Colombia, and never received anything near adequate compensation.

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In their new complaint, the workers claim their efforts to be compensated properly for their injuries was systematically subverted by Colombian officials, who were bribed by GM employees in Colombia, according to the complaint filed with the DOJ and SEC. (more…)

Car Czar from Wall Street Faces S.E.C. Ban?

Bribes by Democratic contributor Steven Rattner are an issue.

by on Jun.04, 2010

Are you shocked that kickback money played a part in New York politics?

I'm shocked, shocked that money played a part in a Wall Street contract.

A Wall Street financier who was the Obama administration’s Car Czar is apparently fighting a Security and Exchange Commission move to ban him from working in the financial industry for his part in a “pay to play” scheme.

According to numerous press reports, Steven Rattner, who masterminded the Treasury Department bankruptcy filings of General Motors and Chrysler last year, is under investigation by Andrew Cuomo, New York’s ambitious and Democratic attorney general.

Cuomo  looked at his role as part of the Quadrangle Group in a kickback scheme that netted the firm millions of dollars of business from a New York State pension fund.

The problem in trying to sort out this controversy is that the source, or sources, are un-named in the stories claiming that a brouhaha is underway between the Obama Administration, a politically ambitious prosecutor and yet another federal regulatory agency that failed to do its regulatory job.

According to the gossip, the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission wants to ban Rattner from the business for several years because of Quadrangle’s conduct. Rattner resigned his Treasury position shortly after the auto bankruptcies and 363 sales were accomplished, but has since been harshly critical in a series of public appearances  or written pieces of Detroit executives – including Rick Wagoner and Fritz Henderson of GM, who were fired by Treasury as part of the reorganizations that cost taxpayers billions.

Rattner’s former firm, Quadrangle, paid $12 million in fines last spring to settle the charges with state and federal officials. However, Rattner was not part of the plea-bargain deal with Quadrangle, where he was a founding partner-  and where he made millions upon millions – because he, allegedly, resisted the proposed settlement requiring his exile.


Daimler to Drop New York Stock Exchange Listing

Thus ends its American journey.Critics say it pilfered Chrysler.

by on May.14, 2010

Reducing the complexity of financial reporting or limiting its liability in the U.S.?

Daimler AG (DAI) is ending its listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Daimler informed the NYSE by letter today that it would discontinue the listing of its shares, as well as the 8.50% notes due January 18, 2031 of Daimler Finance North America LLC.

Daimler’s primary listing will remain in Frankfurt.

In a statement Daimler said that trading volumes in the United States have been low, and during a twelve month period they amounted to an average of well below 5% of the worldwide trading volume.

Daimler will submit a request for delisting also to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). After the delisting has become effective, Daimler will also apply to the SEC for deregistration of all its securities registered with the SEC and termination of its reporting obligations under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Daimler said it wants to reduce the complexity of financial reporting as well as administrative expenses and fees.

“Daimler continues to place great importance on having an international shareholder base. The trading center for our shares, however, clearly is Frankfurt – and that is also the case for our international investors,” said Bodo Uebber, CFO of Daimler AG.

Last month Daimler agreed to pay more than $180 million in fines to close investigations with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission due to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Moreover, three of Daimler’s subsidiaries resolved charges related to anti-bribery issues. Under the terms of the settlement, Daimler and its subsidiaries will pay $93.6 million in criminal fines and penalties in connection with the DOJ’s investigation, and $91.4 in disgorgement of profits to resolve the SEC’s civil complaint.

Kerkorian’s Own Problems Led to Ford Pullback

Investor could find it tough to return to the auto industry.

by on Mar.06, 2009

Will Kirk Kerkorian's own empire fall?

Will Kirk Kerkorian's own empire fall?

Last fall, the reclusive billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s decision to sell his stake in the Ford Motor Co. was widely viewed as just another symptom of Detroit’s long decline. However, it turns out that Kerkorian was giving up on Ford because his own economic empire was under siege.

Kerkorian isn’t going to have to apply for the expanded unemployment benefits being offered by the Obama administration but the core of holdings, MGM Mirage is now under siege.  The company’s shares have lost 50% of their value in a matter of days, MGM’s credit rating has been slashed, major lenders have halted the supply of money for big projects and rumors are circulating the MGM is now on a glide path into bankruptcy court.

“The downgrade reflects MGM’s draw in the context of the company’s strained liquidity position and the continued expected deterioration of Las Vegas operating trends.” Fitch rating service noted after MGM announced that it borrowed the remaining $842 million left from a $4.5 billion senior revolving portion of its $7 billion credit facility.   “Fitch previously noted that it believes that MGM is unlikely to remain in  compliance with its 7.5 times (x) leverage covenant this year, so fully drawing on the revolver increases the likelihood of a near-term covenant breach,” the report noted.

A breached covenant means lenders can call MGM’s outstanding notes and loans, forcing the company into bankruptcy.