United Capital Markets has secured 1970's funk party band Earth Wind & Fire as the entertainment for IMN's ABS West 2005 conference scheduled for Feb. 7-10 in Phoenix Arizona. EW&F will perform Tuesday Feb. 8.
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association announced that Jonathan Moulds was elected as chairman of the ISDA. Moulds, head of cross-product strategic trading at Banc of America Securities, replaces Keith Bailey of Merrill Lynch Capital Services, who had served as ISDA chairman since March 2000. Bailey resigned as chairman to meet the demands of his new position as chief operating officer of Merrill Lynch's Houston-based energy trading operation. In addition to the election of Moulds last week, Michele Faissola, global head of rates at Deutsche Bank Securities, was elected vice chairman. Faissola replaces Henning Bruttel of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, who had served as ISDA vice chairman since April 2002.
John Snoble, former chief financial officer at defunct healthcare financier National Century Financial Enterprises, pled guilty Wednesday to federal money laundering charges, according to wire reports. Snoble is the third executive to plead guilty and cooperate fully with prosecutors in the case. Under the deal, Snoble faces up to five years in prison. In late 2004 former compliance officers Sherry Gibson and Brian Stucke (see ASR 12/15/03) pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges, and agreed to cooperate fully with the government investigation. Former CEO Lance Poulson has yet to be charged in the case.
Alex Pashley and Ian Hames recently joined BNP Paribas Securities Services UK Corporate Trust group in London. Pashley joins BNP Paribas from JPMorgan Chase, where he was a vice president within institutional trust services. Hames joins BNP Paribas from HSBC Securities, where he worked as a sales and relationship manager within corporate trust and loan agency. Both report to Head of Global Corporate Trust -Debt Products Philippe Van Looy.
Auto lender CarMax Inc. revised its third quarter earnings estimates Tuesday morning, due to the stronger-than-expected performance of its outstanding securitizations. Revised earnings per share expectations to 17 cents or 18 cents, which includes a favorable adjustment in the valuation of its retained interests in securitized receivables of approximately one cent per share. "The net loss rates on our more recent securitizations have been trending consistently lower than we assumed," said Austin Ligon, president and chief executive officer of CarMax. This adjustment will contribute approximately one cent to third quarter EPS.
Federated Department Stores, which operates the Prime Credit Card Master Trust, may sell its credit-card portfolio, according to published reports. Competing new services reported that HSBC was a potential candidate to purchase the portfolio. Federated wants about $3 billion for the unit, which includes the Bloomingdale's and Burdines's proprietary credit cards and co-branded Visa cards. Federated has not securitized receivables from the PCCMT vehicle since November 2000. The company has retained Credit Suisse First Boston to handle a possible sale, the report added.
Fannie Mae filed a Form 12b-25 with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its 10-Q filing for the quarter ended September 30, 2004, which was due Monday. Fannie Mae is not able to file a timely Form 10-Q that complies with the SEC's rules because it has been advised by its independent auditor that it is unable to complete its review of Fannie Mae's interim unaudited financial statements for the quarter ended September 30, 2004. The SEC's rules require that such a review be completed for interim financial statements on Form 10-Q, and the absence of such a review renders a Form 10-Q non-compliant and untimely. The audit follows the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight report questioning Fannie Mae's accounting policies.
Early indications from appellate court proceedings regarding the Department of Justice's attempt to reclaim $280 billion in ill-gotten profits from tobacco companies are positive for tobacco companies, according to published reports. Litigation-fee backed ABS transactions could be vulnerable to an unfavorable ruling. Even minimal cash awards could be enough to cripple the financial flexibility of tobacco companies and lead to liens on assets and the court-ordered buildup of escrow accounts that would limit cash flow available to service debt, sources said. However, two of three judges on the panel hearing the case last week appeared hostile to the government's attempts to seek disgorgement of industry profits.
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