A federal district court dismissed a securities fraud class action against Swiss Re brought by a pension fund on behalf of all purchasers of Swiss Re’s shares. In addition to other claims, plaintiff alleged that Swiss Re committed securities fraud by failing to disclose its exposure to losses associated with its issuance of credit default swaps insuring mortgage-related securities against default. The case was dismissed notwithstanding Swiss Re’s admitted failure to disclose its credit default swap obligations in conformity with GAAP Financial Accounting Standards Board Interpretation No. 45, which requires a guarantor to disclose the nature and amount of any guarantee, even if the likelihood of the guarantor’s having to make payments under the guarantee is remote. The court reasoned that, although such an admission could be evidence of an intent to defraud, the stronger inference was that Swiss Re “missed the applicability of FIN 45,” because the provision generally does not apply to reinsurers, and there was a scarcity of other evidence of scienter. Plumbers’ Union Local No. 12 Pension Fund v. Swiss Reinsurance Co., Case No. 08-1958 (USDC S.D.N.Y. Oct. 4, 2010).
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Securities fraud accounting rule class action against reinsurer dismissed
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