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GM Linsanity: Buzzer Beater or Billion-Dollar Backdating?

March 6, 2012

The game is tied with three seconds to play in regulation: an inbounds pass, one dribble-and a long shot at the buzzer. It's the drama we love and expect this month, but whether the result is the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat depends not only on whether the shot goes in but also whether it leaves the shooter's hands before the buzzer sounds. Analogous madness arose this March in a recent complaint filed against an ad hoc group of hedge fund noteholders in Motors Liquidation Company GUC Trust v. Appaloosa Investment Limited Partnership (In re Motors Liquidation Co.), Case No. 09-50026 (REG) before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiff alleged that the Noteholders entered into a litigation settlement agreement with General Motors Corporation and its Canadian subsidiaries that, while back-dated prepetition, was actually consummated postpetition and should be held to be inappropriate and sanctionable. According to the complaint, the last-minute Settlement Agreement ran up the score in the noteholders' favor worse than a Harlem Globetrotters beat-down of the Washington Generals, but let's rewind the game tape.

Click here to view the full Basis Points blog post.