Securities News Releases

Friday, August 15, 2008
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Contact: Ryan Hobart, (573) 526-4734

Carnahan Announces $9 Billion Dollar Investor Buyout Of Wachovia Auction Rate Securities

- Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced a multi-billion dollar settlement with Wachovia Securities. This settlement returns over $5.7 billion to over 40,000 investors by year’s end.

“Today’s settlement is a major step towards making these investors whole,” Carnahan said.  “I have received hundreds of calls from Missourians and investors around the nation who need their money to make medical payments, run their businesses, or retire as planned. I am pleased that six months of uncertainty and worry is over and that these investors will soon get their money back.”

The settlement allows all individual investors, charities and small business who purchased auction rate securities with Wachovia to redeem their securities by November 28, 2008. Other businesses with larger holdings can redeem their securities by June 2009.

“Investors should not have to wait any longer for access to their money,” said Carnahan. “This has been my priority throughout this process.”

Carnahan launched a full-scale investigation into Wachovia Securities and other firms after over 70 formal complaints were filed with the Secretary of State’s Office.  Investors reported that auction rate securities were sold as money market equivalents, but investors have not been able to access their money as promised since the market froze in February 2008.

Another stipulation of the settlement states that no-interest loans will be made available immediately for investors who need liquidity before the buyouts are complete. 

Wachovia has agreed to buy back all $9 billion dollars of auction rate securities it sold to its clients, $5.7 billion of which are held by individual investors, charities and small business. In addition, Wachovia will pay a $50 million dollar fine to be split among the states.

Wachovia has also agreed to participate in a special arbitration process for investors who suffered a loss or damages due to an inability to access their money and reimburse investors who sold their auction rate securities for an amount below par after the meltdown.

Secretary Carnahan thanked the staff in her Securities Division, the Securities Exchange Commission, the North American Securities Administrators Association and the multi-state task force that assisted with the Wachovia investigation for helping bring about this settlement.  

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