Auction Rate Securities Collapse Litigation

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Seeger Weiss is part of a consortium of law firms that have taken a role in bringing actions against the broker-dealers involved in the auction rate securities market’s collapse. Seeger Weiss has sued UBS, DeutscheBank, Merrill Lynch, Wachovia, TD Ameritrade, Morgan Stanley, E*Trade, Raymond James, Wells Fargo, Oppenheimer, Bank of America and Royal Bank of Canada, alleging that they knew, but failed to disclose material facts about the auction rates market and the securities they sold to their investors, including that the securities were not cash alternatives, like money market funds but, rather, were complex, long-term financial instruments with 30-year or longer maturity dates; and that they were only liquid at the time of sale because the broker-dealers were artificially supporting and manipulating the auction market to maintain the appearance of liquidity and stability.

Indeed, the broker-dealers simultaneously withdrew their support of the auction rate securities market on the same day in February 2008, resulting in its collapse. One New York Times reporter has referred to the collapse of the auction rates market as a “hostage crisis,” in which thousands of investors, including senior citizens, have hundreds of billions of dollars in investments that they cannot access despite having been told that they were liquid investments that were as good as cash. Seeger Weiss has been appointed Liason Counsel in Waldman v. Wachovia (08-2913), In Re UBS Auction Rate Securities Litigation (08-cv-2967), and Ciplet v. JP Morgan Chase & Co. (08-cv-4580), all being heard in the Southern District of New York. Additionally, Seeger Weiss and its co-counsel have moved to have the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralize all of the cases against the broker-dealers before a single judge in the Southern District of New York.

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Since its establishment in 1999, Seeger Weiss has led some of the most complex and high-profile litigations in the U.S.