Nemo me impune lacessit

No one provokes me with impunity


No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Article 1, Section 9, Constitution of the United States

If this is the law of the land...why in a republic (little r) and as republicans, do we allow mere POLITICIANS to the right to use a "title of office" for the rest of their lives as if it were de facto a patent of nobility. Because, as republicans, this should NOT be the case...just saying...

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Change: One Man Alters Bankruptcy Proceedings

Nate Thoma, a self taught Scottrader, in a 20 minute speech  to Delaware Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Walrath was able to change the course of a "routine" bankruptcy proceeding.  His speech and the 33 pages of evidence (though much of it was ruled inadmissible) was enough to convince the judge to investigate how large hedge funds were edging out small investors. 
Mr. Thoma's court appearance added new drama to an already contentious case, which began when the U.S. government seized the bank in September 2008. The court-ordered probe riled hedge-fund managers, who said they did nothing wrong, and made Mr. Thoma a folk hero among Washington Mutual's legions of small investors.
His transformation from small-time investor to activist shareholder began following the seizure of Washington Mutual. Mr. Thoma's shareholding in the bank was wiped out. He spent weeks in front of his Scottrade account, trying to figure out how to recoup money he had lost.

"I started looking at the capital structure, and I saw an opportunity to make back my investment," Mr. Thoma said. He bought trust preferred securities, a hybrid of debt and equity, which rank above common and preferred shares. That enabled him to essentially jump ahead in line for any money distributed from the bank's estate.

It also put him in the same pool as Appaloosa, Aurelius, Centerbridge and Owl Creek, which were snapping up the same securities.

Those securities were quoted at around one cent in November 2008, when Mr. Thoma first started buying—they are now at 16 cents—but they rarely traded and were hard to buy through his online brokerage account.

In the following months, Mr. Thoma bought in lots of 500 or 1,000 units. But he noticed other investors were occasionally able to buy them in much larger amounts, at one point as many as six million units in a day.
Mr. Thoma suspected the buying was being made by hedge funds, which already owned the bank's bonds. Owning large chunks of both classes of securities would help them control the bankruptcy's course, he figured. While this practice is standard in most bankruptcies, in the case of Washington Mutual, the hedge funds' strategies affected thousands of retail investors, who still owned the bank's securities.
In his December objection, Mr. Thoma said he thought it was unfair that hedge funds were able to eventually negotiate on behalf of trust preferred holders, seeing as they were also bondholders and involved in settlement talks. He questioned whether they were acting in all of the preferred holders' best interests.
It is possible to take on mamoth trading houses, if you're knowledgable on the subject.  I just hope this man prevails in fighting these somewhat unethical practices, that end up screwing "the little guy."


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