Bloomberg reports that U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan said yesterday the 18 plaintiffs may represent a class of all investors who bought any of seven series of Pinnacle Notes issued in 2006 and 2007.
The investors including the Singapore Government Staff Credit Cooperative Society sued in 2010, claiming the notes were a 'bait and switch' scheme designed to benefit Morgan Stanley at the expense of customers.
They claim Morgan Stanley invested their principal in high-risk collateralized debt obligations, against which Morgan Stanley made short bets. Morgan Stanley didn’t disclose that it was a counter-party to the agreements, meaning that for every dollar the investors lost, the bank gained a dollar, the investors claim.
The firm is facing a separate lawsuit in New York by Singapore’s Hong Leong Finance over claims it deceptively sold the Pinnacle notes. Hong Leong had a distribution agreement with Morgan Stanley to sell about $72.4m of the notes.
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image: © Lisamarie Babik