Beautifully engraved RARE Specimen Depository Share Certificate from the Bear Stearns Companies Inc.
dated 1998. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman next to two globes.
May 30, 2008
Bear Stearns shareholders have approved JPMorgan Chase's buyout, ending the saga of the 85-year-old pillar of Wall Street that crumbled under the weight of its own wagers on high-risk mortgages.
Bear Stearns officially becomes part of JPMorgan Chase today, after a widely anticipated "yes" vote that won with 84 percent of the vote Thursday morning at Bear Stearns' midtown Manhattan headquarters.
The deal was worth about $2.3 billion. JPMorgan is spending $1.4 billion for the firm itself, and spent an additional $900 million over the past month-and-a-half buying up Bear Stearns stock to guarantee the deal would go through.
March 16, 2008
JPMorgan Says It Will Buy Ailing Bear Stearns for only $2 a Share (later raised to $10/Share). JPMorgan's acquisition of Bear Stearns represents roughly 1 percent of what the investment bank was worth just 16 days ago. It marked a 93.3 percent discount to Bear Stearns' market capitalization as of Friday, and roughly a 98.8 percent discount to its book value as of Feb. 29.
Alan C. Greenberg was Chairman of the Executive Committee of The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. He served as Chairman of the Board of Bear Stearns from 1985 to 2001, and as its CEO from 1978 to 1993. Greenberg served also as a director of Bear Stearns and a non-executive director of Viacom. He is also expert bridge player having won Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams in 1977.
The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. (NYSE: BSC) is the parent company of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., one of the largest global investment banks and securities trading and brokerage firms in the world. The main business areas, based on 2006 net revenue contribution are: capital markets (equities, fixed income, investment banking; just under 80%), wealth management (under 10%) and global clearing services (12%).
The company was founded in 1923 and serves corporations, institutions, governments and individuals. The company's business includes corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, institutional equities and fixed income sales, trading and research, private client services, derivatives, foreign exchange and futures sales and trading, asset management and custody services. Through Bear Stearns Securities Corp., it offers global clearing services to broker dealers, prime broker clients and other professional traders, including securities lending. Bear Stearns is also known for one of the most widely read market intelligence pieces on the street, known as the "Early Look at the Market - Bear Stearns Morning View."
Bear Stearns' World Headquarters is located at 383 Madison Avenue, between E. 46th Street and E. 47th Street in Manhattan. The company currently employs more than 15,500 people worldwide. The firm is headquartered in New York City with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Irvine, San Francisco, San Juan, Whippany, NJ and St. Louis. Internationally the firm has offices in London, Beijing, Dublin, Hong Kong, Lugano, Milan, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo.
In 2005-2007, Bear Stearns was recognized as the "Most Admired" securities firm in Fortune’s "America's Most Admired Companies" survey, and second overall in the security firm section. The annual survey is a prestigious ranking of employee talent, quality of management and business innovation. This marks the second time in the past three years that Bear Stearns has achieved this top distinction. However, by August, 2007, shares in the firm reached a one year low as a result of Bear Stearns symbolizing troubles emanating from the U.S. subprime mortgage market.
Bear Stearns also conducts business through other wholly owned subsidiaries, including Bear Stearns Global Lending Limited, Custodial Trust Company, Bear Stearns International Limited, Bear Stearns Bank, Bear Stearns Financial Products Inc., Bear Stearns Capital Markets Inc., EMC Mortgage Corporation, Encore Credit a division of BSRM, Bear Stearns Mortgage Capital Corporation, Bear Wagner, Bear Stearns Credit Products Inc., Bear Energy LP, Bear Stearns Forex Inc., Bear Stearns Asset Management Inc and Rooftop Mortgages. Bear Stearns also holds an 80% interest in Bear Measurisk.
As of November 31, 2006, the company had total capital of approximately $66.7 billion and total assets of $350.4 billion. According to the April 2005 issue of Institutional Investor magazine, Bear Stearns is the seventh largest securities firm in terms of total capital.
The largest Bear Stearns shareholder as of September, 2007 are:
Joseph C. Lewis with 8.1 million shares, about 7% of the company Putnam Investment Management (largest institutional shareholder) with 7.03 million shares, about 6% of the company Bear Stearns CEO James E. Cayne, owns about 5.8% of the company
Alan "Ace" Greenberg was the chairman of the board for nearly two decades from 1978. He has become known for his regular quirky memos to the staff, exhorting them to cut costs by conserving energy, re-using paperclips, and fixing broken rubber bands by tying them back together. The memos, published in the book "Memos from the Chairman", are said to have created an "atmosphere of camaraderie and humor during the recession of the early '90s".
Subprime lending and Collateralized debt obligation On June 22, 2007, Bear Stearns pledged a collateralized loan of up to $3.2 billion to "bail out" one of its funds, the Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Fund, while negotiating with other banks to loan money against collateral to another fund, the Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Enhanced Leveraged Fund. The funds were invested in thinly traded collateralized debt obligations found to be worth less than their mark-to-model value. Merrill Lynch seized $850 million worth of the underlying collateral but managed to auction only $100 million of them. The incident has sparked concern of contagion as Bear Stearns may be forced to liquidate its CDOs, prompting a mark-down of similar assets in other portfolios. Richard A. Marin, a senior executive at Bear Stearns Asset Management responsible for the two hedge funds, was replaced on June 29 by Jeffrey B. Lane, a former Vice Chairman of rival investment bank, Lehman Brothers.
During the week of July 16, 2007, Bear Stearns disclosed that the two subprime hedge funds had lost nearly all of their value amid a rapid decline in the market for subprime mortgages.
On August 1, 2007, investors in the two funds finally took action against Bear Stearns and its top management, including the funds' manager, Ralph Cioffi. The law firms of Jake Zamansky & Associates and Rich & Intelisano both filed arbitration claims with the National Association of Securities Dealers alleging that Bear Stearns misled investors about its exposure to the funds. This was the first legal action made against Bear Stearns, though there have been several others. Co-President Warren Spector was forced to resign on August 5, 2007 as a result of errant trades that led to the collapse of two hedge funds backed primarily by subprime loans. A September 20 report in the New York Times noted that Bear Stearns posted a 61% drop in net profits due to their hedge fund losses. With Samuel Molinaro's 15 November revelation that Bear Stearns were writing down a further $1.2bn in mortgage-related securities and would face their first loss in 83 years, Standard & Poor's downgraded their credit rating from AA to A.
About Specimen Certificates
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates were made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that has grown in popularity over the past several years.