Sunday, April 22, 2012

"60 Minutes" on April 22, 2012

The first story was on Lehman Brothers, with Lawrence University graduate Anton Valukas interviewed. The second story was on Christians of the Holy Land. The third story was on emeralds discovered in the bottom of the Gulf. "There's trouble with treasure." On Sept. 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy in history. Anton Valukas was appointed to do an investigation. Two years ago, the report noted there was enough evidence to bring criminal prosecution, but no prosecutions have been done. 26,000 employees lost their jobs. This was the worst economic downfall in 70 years. The job was to determine what actually happened. There were over 34 million documents. Lehman borrowed $44 for every dollar Lehman had in the bank. There were colorable claims that this was a fraud. Overseeing and certifying misleading financial documents. Ernst & Young might also be culpable. "It was a shell game." Repo 105. Matthew Lee was an accountant who raised objections about Repo 105. Nov. 30, 2007 was end of a fiscal year, and Lehman reported profits. Lee later put in writing: "Possibly unethical and unlawful." 6 days after writing letter, Lee was downsized. The SEC has not brought any charges against any Lehman executives. Valukas's job was to set out the facts. During the last 6 months of Lehman's existence, SEC representatives were on site at Lehman. They were getting the material; whether they understood the material is a different question. David Katz of SEC. SEC was there; why did it not do anything at the time? Daily oversight of the balance sheets. It's critical for SEC to go after companies and individuals. There were claims of $370 billion. Ernst & Young is being sued by New York State. Matthew Lee is looking for a job. Bob Simon reported on a story "60 Minutes" decided to do last year on Christians in the Holy Land. The story begins with St. Catherines. Christians make up only 18% of the local population of Bethlehem. In Jerusalem, in 1964, there were 30,000 Christians in the old city; now only 11,000, which is 1.5% of the total population. Christianity has a stamp on its back: made in Palestine. West Bank is like a piece of Swiss cheese. Discussion of the wall. Bethlehem as an open air prison; wall built in 2003. Anastas family. Michael Orrin is Israel's ambassador to the United States, and described the security issues. Christian communities in the West Bank are living under duress. Christians as collateral damage. In 2009, Christian activists published Kairos Palestine. Orrin complained to CBS management (Chairman of CBS News) that the earlier story was a hatchet job. Simon noted to Orrin that Simon had never got a reaction on a story that had not yet been broadcast. Armen Keteyian on "The Trouble with Treasure" on emeralds off of Key West, Florida from an ancient sea wreck. Tom Moses of GA (Gemological Institute of America). Key West as a haven for drifters and dreamers. Jay Miscovich was a real estate guy from Latrobe, PA who was looking for treasure. In the "Whistle Bar," Jay met a driver, who offered Jay a nautical map. Found emeralds nearby. Got investors to invest. David Harand, lawyer on salvage. Boat "Playmate." Three people know the exact coordinates. 4.5 hours into the Gulf from Key West. Emeralds and amethysts. Enormous collection of emeralds. Implications as to title. Emerald rich and cash poor. In January 2012, special testing. Some of the gems had been treated with polish (epoxy) that has only existed for last 50 years. Jay is now 10 million dollars in debt to investors and lawyers.


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