Friday, January 7, 2011

Some better news on the Asian's financial difficulties

Ganesha, Hindu Deity of Luck. @Asian Art Museum

The Asian still needs it's own Hideyoshi, although one hopes that if it does obtain such a patron, it would work out better than Hideyoshi's patronage of the tea master, Sen no Rikyu. (Rikyu died after committing ritual suicide for reasons that are still mysterious.) Maybe the upcoming Year of the Rabbit will be more financially beneficial than the outgoing Year of the Tiger? But it's not over until it's over. The proposal still needs to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

From the Asian's Pres release: Mayor Newsom, City Attorney Herrerra, City Controller Ben Rosenfield, President Chiu and Asian Art Museum Foundation Announce Proposal to Restructure Foundation's Debt…

The new deal makes the city liable for the Asian's debt - you can just imagine how well that's going down .......

 "If the bank didn't help work out a fair restructuring of the debt, "the City will be forced to take steps to protect the Museum and the public," the city attorney added.
In the new agreement, JP Morgan Chase agreed to issue new, 30-year fixed-rate bonds at 4.60 percent to replace the existing variable-rate bonds, which had a 23-year term. The bank also agreed to forgive 17 percent of the loan, trimming the debt from the current $120 million down to $99 million.
Read more:

What is the old adage about a banker's heart? I still think somebody at JP Morgan had an eye on parts of the collection and was hoping to clean up at a forced fire sale.
"Last month, San Francisco city attorney David Herrera sent a shot across the bow of both JP Morgan and MBIA in the form of threatening letters about their involvement in the museum’s financial crisis.

In the letter to JP Morgan, Herrera — who is running for mayor of San Francisco — said the investment bank had a conflict of interest as it was the primary architect of the current financing and serves or has served as the foundation’s underwriter, remarketing agent, swap counterparty, investment portfolio manager and letter-of-credit provider.

Herrera said the bank has reaped at least $13 million from the foundation in fees and other charges related to its roles."

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