* Judge reinstates fraud claim against Credit SuisseOct 13 (Reuters) - Ambac Assurance Corp won a bid to reinstate a fraudulent inducement claim against a unit of Credit Suisse Securities over a 2007 mortgage-backed securities transaction Ambac insured.Ambac sued for what it called “pervasive and material misrepresentations” in the mortgage-backed security transaction pooling over 2,000 residential mortgage loans that Credit Suisse underwrote and its affiliate, DLJ Mortgage Capital Inc, sponsored.Credit Suisse may not have had a duty to disclose certain information but New York state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich said in a decision filed Thursday that the issue is “fact-intensive” and declined to dismiss the fraudulent inducement claim “at this time.”In March 2007, New York-based Ambac issued a policy insuring payment of the principal and interest due under the $175 million securitization of 2,563 adjustable-rate home equity lines of credit.Ambac claimed that Credit Suisse misrepresented attributes of the loans, applied more lax underwriting guidelines and less due diligence than it had claimed. Ambac also alleged that Credit Suisse said the transaction mirrored a prior securitization while failing to disclose that loan pool was filled with borrowers with little or no ability to repay.Ambac’s suit alleged that loans representing over 33 percent of the original loan balance, or more than $58 million, had defaulted, requiring Ambac to make over $46 million in claim payments.Credit Suisse countered in court papers that “Ambac could have and should have known of the precise issues of which it now complains. Indeed, if the problems with the loans are as rampant and obvious as Ambac now alleges, then even minimal diligence would have uncovered them.”Credit Suisse did not return a call for comment.The case is Ambac Assurance Corporation v. DLJ Mortgage Capital Inc., 60070/2010, New York state Supreme Court (Manhattan).
The vote will end a standoff over the fund, designed to stop the spread of its sovereign debt crisis, which came to a head on Tuesday when a fourth ruling party abstained from a confidence motion Radicova had tied to the EFSF’s expansion and toppled her cabinet.Slovakia’s 5.4 million people, who account for less than 2 percent of the currency bloc’s population and 1 percent of its total output, are the only members not to ratify the plan to increase the EFSF’s powers and fight the spreading debt crisis.Ratification by all 17 euro zone states is needed for the package to go live, and tiny Bratislava’s delay comes even as other leaders wrangle over further steps to protect euro zone banks if Greece defaults on its debts. [ID : nL5E7LC0L7]The governing parties were scheduled to meet in a cabinet session at 0900 GMT to agree on a law that will move a general election originally planned for 2014 to March 10 next year and meet the main demand Smer has made for its support of the issue.They plan to approve that measure when parliament resumes a session at 1300 GMT on Thursday and will later vote either later on Thursday or Friday morning on widening the powers of the EFSF package that euro zone leaders agreed in July.The agreement on Wednesday between Smer and the three governing parties — Radicova’s SDKU, the Christian Democrats, and the centrist Most-Hid — caused the euro and global stocks to rally, reversing a selloff that had gained speed on fears that the measure might not go through.The fourth coalition member, Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), caused the cabinet to collapse by opposing Tuesday’s confidence motion. Its leader, free-marketeer Richard Sulik, argued that as the euro zone’s second poorest member, Slovakia should not have to bail out richer countries like Greece.The package will boost the EFSF to 440 billion euros and give it the ability to buy sovereign bonds to give country’s relief from deteriorating markets, extend emergency lending to countries, and recapitalise banks.Slovakia’s portion in guarantees backing up the EFSF is 7.7 billion — about 11 percent of its annual output. Sulik says that is too much considering Slovak living standards are just 74 percent of EU average, below Greece’s 89 percent.Radicova’s cabinet will remain in office until a new administration is formed. Fico said he would stay in opposition until the March election, but none of the coalition officials have given any details on how they may proceed.Fico, whose Smer party is Slovakia’s most popular party by far with over 40 percent support, has long pledged support for the rescue fund but stayed out of Tuesday’s ratification as a tactical move to topple the government.President Ivan Gasparovic, responsible for appointing the next prime minister — if there is one by the election — has cut short a visit to Asia to deal with the government collapse and was due to return on Thursday. Radicova was due to meet Gasparovic on Friday.Slovaks have been split over the EFSF but latest opinion polls showed more people backed the plan to expand it rather than not.”This coin has two sides — when we are members of the euro zone, we need to take measures the way other countries adopted them, and not distance ourselves,” said Michal Sklenar, 28, a clerk.
When you sign up for services with many retailers, you’re often asked to opt in to marketing programs with the express promise from the company that they will respect your privacy and never sell that information to a third party. So what happens when they go ahead and do that anyway? This is the battle going on right now with the assets from the bankruptcy of Borders. The liquidation of the company involves much more than bargain sales on books and re-leasing real estate. Last week, the defunct chain sold its intellectual property to Barnes & Noble for $13.9 million, and included in that was a ream of customer data. What information do they have? A list of videos, DVDs and books you bought at Borders and Walden Books stores as well as from Borders.com. They have your name, your address, your email, your phone number. They don’t have financial information. For the nearly 50 million people whose names are in the records of Borders stores, you’ve got less than two weeks to exercise your right to have your personal information removed or it will be handed over to Barnes & Noble. That is despite the fact that those customers allowed Borders to use their data with the caveat that the company would never sell it to a third party. Prior to the release of the information, the Federal Trade Commission appealed to the consumer privacy ombudsman appointed by the bankruptcy court, urging that consumers be asked before their information could be sold. “In light of the promises Borders made to its customers, we believe it would be appropriate for Borders to obtain express consent from its customers, specifying the potential purchaser, before it transfers the data,” wrote FTC consumer chief David Vladeck. “The consent process would allow customers to make their own determination as to whether a transfer of their information would be acceptable to them. For consumers who did not consent, their data would be purged.” Instead, the bankruptcy court gave Barnes & Noble the green light to keep all the information and use it to market its products — unless consumers said they wanted their names removed within 15 days of an email notifying them. The deadline in the email from Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch is Oct. 15. The deadline to opt out is Oct. 29 if you are on the customer list but you did not receive the email. “It’s important for you to understand, however, that you have the absolute right to opt-out of having your customer data transferred to Barnes & Noble,” Lynch wrote. To try to get you not to opt-out, Lynch dangled the idea that some “offers” would be forthcoming. But if you do want to have your information destroyed rather than shared with Barnes & Noble, go to this page on the company’s site. The consumer privacy ombudsman in this case, attorney Michael St. Patrick Baxter, said in a court filing this week that Barnes & Noble’s notice to consumers did not go far enough — creating the impression that the company was generously extending a right to opt out rather than being ordered to do so by a judge. And, he said, the bookseller neglected to inform consumers they were having their buying history sold along with their names and contact information. “The Ombudsman believes that this information is both relevant and material to a customer’s decision whether to opt out and have his or her (personal information) purged by Buyer,” he wrote. “The right to opt out is only meaningful if customers are provided with sufficient Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal also weighed in, attacking the very idea that this information could be sold. “Profiting from personal, sometimes sensitive consumer information — illustrated by this regrettable arrangement — is spreading perniciously,” he said in a statement. “This settlement points to a clear and urgent need for stronger and stringent protections for consumer privacy. The settlement reached between Borders and Barnes and Noble is wholly inadequate and unacceptable.” Do you think Barnes & Noble should have been allowed to buy Borders’ customer data? Yes No View Results