Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wachovia: Harrises got no insider info

Even if they did, the bank argues, members of the prominent Charlotte family have no right to damages.

"If they are insiders, the court cannot award lost profits for a failed insider trading scheme. If they are outsiders, they are in the same position as their fellow shareholders," Wachovia's response concludes. "Either way, they do not have a claim."

Cameron and Dee-Dee Harris sued Wachovia and former chief executive Ken Thompson in the fall after Harris' family lost millions of dollars as the bank's stock price plunged.

Cameron Harris said that Thompson and other bank executives misled him about the bank's financial condition, giving him reassuring but inaccurate information both in private conversations and public statements.

The bank says in its filing that "alleged private comments are esssentially indistinguishable from the alleged public comments during the same period."

Click here to read the filing.

The Harrises considered selling Wachovia shares in the summer of 2007, when the stock started trading around $50 per share, and later in mid-February 2008, when it was still trading above $30, according to their suit.

They refrained based on "misrepresentations" by Thompson and other executives, their lawsuit states. That includes public statements and reassurances from Thompson and others in private conversations, including on a hunting trip in February 2008.

The Harrises, Wachovia says, "wish now that they had sold instead of holding, as undoubtedly do millions of other shareholders ... Although their regret is understandable, North Carolina law does not permit Plaintiffs to turn back the clock."

Click here for the full Observer story.

- Doug Miller

14 comments:

Jeditigger said...

It's exceedingly hard to give a damn about the Harrises when their hubris and greed shows so flagrantly at Glen Eagles and Park Road every day, a multimillion dollar hole in the ground that Mrs. Harris tried to get taxpayers to subsidize because Charlotte needs Bloomingdales. People like Mrs. Harris and Bob Johnson need to appreciate that if their capital ventures don't pan out, our job as taxpayers is not to bail them out...especially if they're trying to shove down our throats something we didn't begin to ask for, like a pro basketball team in a new taxpayer-funded arena or a huge upscale shopping/living complex a few miles from another huge upscale complex.

You lost money. Deal with it.

TroyMcClureRIP said...

Jeditigger...You Rock!

Piedmont Nat Gas Employee said...

Jed, I was going to try andsay something profound, and I could not match your wisdom.

On a funny note, I let my hair grow down into bangs that looked like it was I wore them in 1975.

The first thing my wife said was, "please change it you look like Cammie Harris." I changed my hair ASAP.
It is kind of fun at the Harris family. Johhny pigface and Cammie "please help me pay for my wifes hole" Harris

bsifford said...

I was just waiting to see Cameron Harris under oath swear to committing a felony in engaging in insider trading, so MAYBE he'd get a partial settlement where it would all go to the lawyers anyhow...while he got jail time for the felony.

COME UP...PLEASE let this go to trial!!!

Jed - love what you are saying!!!

Anonymous said...

Observer, thanks for staying on this story. As a longtime CLT resident I have long felt that the the elite in this town are bulletproof when it comes to local PR.

Astounding losses of money aside, is this not the funniest story of 2009? Who cannot read this and laugh out loud? Thanks Observer.

..and Jed= yes!! yes@!!

Jeditigger said...

My favorite part of the whole story is the Harrises trying to sue the very bank on whose loans - $12 million, 3-5 times more than the average American now makes in a lifetime - they defaulted. Either that family is mind-bogglingly oblivious to their selfish nature or they feel just as entitled to their riches as does John Waskin, who used his position with a non-profit organization to make millions and said, "I was worth every penny."

Because...what, he cured cancer or found a way to feed the hungry in drought-stricken parts of Africa? No, because he ran a non-profit organization out of business and then got $5 million in compensation for it.

Worth every penny of it. Yep, like the Harrises and Mr. Johnson, worth every penny.

Anonymous said...

Jeditigger: very well said.

We do need to take the next step and arrest Mr. Harriss for insider trading however. That is illegal for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I have to say jetitdigger. You said it. After working with many of the elite in Charlotte, they really thought they were above what people have to deal with. I mean really what he wanted was an insider scoop. That is hilarious, confessing he was willing to take part in a felony. As to the stupid hole on Park, the arrogance of the whole thing shines every day. Personally I think the banking bubble bursting helped Charlotte get back to reality and showed people for who they really are. Might I say, thank G_d for the Levines. Now there's a family we can be proud.

Anonymous said...

I think it is sad when adults find humor in others misfortune. It is evident that Wachovia and other financial institutions were just plain greedy and deserve the outcome. I still feel it is counterproductive to the future of Charlotte to laugh and point fingers to the wealthy when really you are just jealous. Grow up so we can all do what is necessary to help Charlotte continue to grow in prosperity. If that big hole at Glen Eagles had produced jobs then it would have been productive for us all. I still hold out hope that it will still turn into progress for the city.

Jeditigger said...

I'm not laughing. I am very much not laughing, not when American taxpayers are digging out Wachovia in part because of defaulted loans. I am very much not laughing when my property taxes go up because Charlotte is forced to build a professional sports arena for a guy worth $2 billion bringing a team here that we didn't want...then crying about how he's losing money because the city isn't watching the team we didn't ask to get. And I am certainly not laughing at a loss of jobs that could have been salvaged had Mrs. Harris and company invested that money in SouthPark or revitalizing Carolina Place instead of insisting on a new venture between the two.

And lastly? I'm darn sure not envious of or interested in wealth that's obtained by political or back room machinations. I'm interested in the wealthy, the poor, and the increasingly few in between being held accountable for their actions. I believe that's called "personal responsibility," and every one of the bankers paid millions while walking away from the ruination of the US financial market lacks that very thing. Or am I just being jealous I didn't run a corporation into the ground and get paid millions for putting people out of work?

Anonymous said...

Jeditigger for Governor!

But I am sure he/she wouldn't run. Can't find anyone with that kind of sense in public office making policy.

Anonymous said...

why dont you focus on other issues and stop bashing the arena. YOUR tax dollars did not pay a cent for the arena. Your property taxes did not go up because of it either. know your facts

Anonymous said...

Know YOUR facts! We had a property reassessment after the arena was approved by city council. So the "percentage" didn't increase but the taxes did.

Anonymous said...

Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is! Unfortunately - The Harrises - They love money! I am sure they would probably disagree...but there is another quote that says "We are our actions, NOT our words".