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In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

August 2, 2018

In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation. This Document Applies to OTC Plaintiff Action

          MEMORANDUM, ORDER, AND JUDGMENT

          NAOMI REICE BUCHWALD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This memorandum and order addresses the motions for final approval of OTC plaintiffs' settlements with two panel banks, Barclays and Citi (the “Barclays Settlement” and “Citi Settlement, ” respectively).[1] We have previously set forth the nature of LIBOR, its alleged manipulation, and OTC plaintiffs'[2] specific claims at length, and general familiarity with the background of this case continues to be assumed.[3] As set forth below, the Barclays and Citi settlements are finally approved and partial judgment will be entered accordingly.[4]

         Citizens Bank N.A.; Deutsche Bank AG; Citibank NA; Citigroup Inc.; Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen Boerenleenbank B.A.; The Norinchukin Bank; The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd; HBOS PLC; Société Générale S.A.; Royal Bank of Canada; and any other Person or Persons who are named as defendants in the OTC Action at any time up to and including the date a Preliminary Approval Order is issued.” Barclays Settlement Agreement ¶ 2(1).

         II. SETTLEMENT APPROVAL

         We consider, in turn, class certification, sufficiency of the notice distributed to potential class members, the fairness of the settlements, and the fairness of the plans of distribution.

         1. Settlement Classes

         1.1. Certification

         “Before approving a class settlement agreement, a district court must first determine whether the requirements for class certification in Rule 23(a) and (b) have been satisfied.” In re Am. Int'l Grp., Inc. Sec. Litig. (In re AIG), 689 F.3d 229, 238 (2d Cir. 2012). “Confronted with a request for settlement-only class certification, a district court need not inquire whether the case, if tried, would present intractable management problems” precluding findings of predominance under Rule 23(b)(3). Amchem Prods., Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S. 591, 620 (1997); see also In re AIG, 689 F.3d at 242 (“[M]anageability concerns do not stand in the way of certifying a settlement class.”). “But other specifications of the Rule -- those designed to protect absentees by blocking unwarranted or overbroad class definitions -- demand undiluted, even heightened, attention in the settlement context.” Amchem, 521 U.S. at 620.

         In LIBOR VII, we considered extensively whether a proposed class of OTC plaintiffs could be certified for litigation purposes. We found that OTC plaintiffs satisfied the numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation requirements of Rule 23(a), see LIBOR VII, 299 F.Supp.3d at 585-90, concluded that common issues predominated at least with respect to OTC plaintiffs' antitrust claims, see Id. at 590-95, and found that a class action was a superior method of adjudication, see Id. at 607. We see no reason to depart from these prior holdings.[5]

         Accordingly, we certify two classes (the “Settlement Classes”): (1) a class corresponding to the Barclays settlement (the “Barclays Settlement Class”) and (2) a class corresponding to the Citi settlement (the “Citi Settlement Class”).

         Each settlement class is defined as follows:

All persons or entities (other than Defendants and their employees, affiliates, parents, and subsidiaries) that purchased in the United States, directly from a Defendant (or a Defendant's subsidiaries or affiliates), a U.S. Dollar LIBOR-Based Instrument and that owned the U.S. Dollar LIBOR-Based Instrument any time during the period August 2007 through May 2010 (the “Class Period”).[6]

         The Barclays Settlement Class does not include the 17 individuals and entities who have timely requested exclusion (the “Barclays Opt-Outs”), as listed in Exhibit A to the Supplemental Declaration of Jason Rabe dated October 16, 2017, ECF No. 2319. The Citi Settlement Class does not include the 16 individuals and entities who have timely requested exclusion (the “Citi Opt-Outs”), as listed in Exhibit A to the Declaration of Jason Rabe dated January 23, 2018, ECF No. 2412.

         The Court's certification of the Settlement Classes as provided herein is without prejudice to, or waiver of the rights of, any defendant to contest certification of any other class proposed in these actions (i.e., the actions included in the above-captioned multi-district litigation). The Court's findings in this Order shall have no effect on the Court's ruling on any motion to certify any class in these actions, and no party may cite or refer to the Court's approval of the Class as persuasive or binding authority with respect to any motion to certify any such class.

         If the Effective Date[7] does not occur with respect to a Settlement because of the failure of a condition that affects the Settlement, the certification of the corresponding Class shall be deemed null and void as to the parties subject to that Settlement without the need for further action by the Court or further action by Barclays or Citi (as relevant). In such circumstances, Barclays or Citi (as relevant) shall retain its rights to seek or to object to certification of this litigation as a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or under any other state or federal rule, statute, law, or provision thereof, and to contest and appeal any grant or denial of certification in this litigation or in any other litigation on any grounds.

         1.2. Class Counsel

         Consistent with our prior orders, see LIBOR VII, 299 F.Supp.3d at 608; see also Dec. 22, 2011 Order, ECF No. 90, Susman Godfrey LLP and Hausfeld LLP are appointed as class counsel for each of the Settlement Classes.

         2. Final Approval of Notice

         When a Rule 23(b)(3) class is certified for settlement purposes, Rule 23 imposes two distinct notice obligations. First, Rule 23(c)(2)(B) directs the provision of “the best notice that is practicable under the circumstances, including individual notice to all members who can be identified through reasonable effort.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(c)(2)(B). “The notice must clearly and concisely state in plain, easily understood language” seven specific pieces of information relating to the action:

(i) the nature of the action; (ii) the definition of the class certified; (iii) the class claims, issues, or defenses; (iv) that a class member may enter an appearance through an attorney if the member so desires; (v) that the court will exclude from the class any member who requests exclusion; (vi) the time and manner for requesting exclusion; and (vii) the binding effect of a class judgment on members under Rule 23(c)(3).

Id. Second, Rule 23(e)(1) requires the Court to “direct notice in a reasonable manner to all class members who would be bound by the proposal.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e)(1). “There are no rigid rules to determine whether a settlement notice to the class satisfies constitutional or Rule 23(e) requirements.” Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Visa U.S.A., Inc., 396 F.3d 96, 114 (2d Cir. 2005). Rather, “the settlement notice must ‘fairly apprise the prospective members of the class of the terms of the proposed settlement and of the options that are open to them in connection with the proceedings.'” Id. (quoting Weinberger v. Kendrick, 698 F.2d 61, 70 (2d Cir. 1982)). Additionally, while due process also requires that class members receive notice of certification and settlement, “[c]onformity with the requirements of Rule 23(c)(2) fulfills the due process mandate.” In re Glob. Crossing Sec. & ERISA Litig., 225 F.R.D. 436, 456 (S.D.N.Y. 2004) (Lynch, J.) (citing Eisen v. Carlisle & Jacquelin, 417 U.S. 156, 173 (1974)).

         We find these standards met here. Substantively, the notices distributed to the classes[8] contain each of the seven enumerated requirements of Rule 23(c)(2)(B), and contain content sufficient to inform class members of the proposed settlement and apprise them of their options moving forward. Further, we note that the notices first proposed by counsel were not summarily accepted; rather, the notices that were ultimately distributed resulted from an iterative revision process involving both counsel and the Court. See ECF Nos. 2254, 2264, 2266, 2331 (revisions to Citi notice); ECF Nos. 1882, 1930, 1939, 1943 (revisions to Barclays notice).

         Procedurally, we find that the notice programs undertaken as to each settlement constitutes the best notice practicable under the circumstances. The long-form notices were mailed directly to a developed list of more than 137, 000 potential class members, while the publication notices were placed in various publications focused on finance and investment subjects that are likely of particular interest to potential class members. These means of informing potential class members were further supplemented by a dedicated website and toll-free telephone number. These myriad methods, taken together, are sufficient to satisfy the standards of Rule 23(c), Rule 23(e), and due process. See In re IMAX Sec. Litig., 283 F.R.D 178, 184-85 (S.D.N.Y. 2012); In re Glob. Crossing, 225 F.R.D. at 449-50.

         3. Final Approval of the Settlements

         “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)(2) provides that a court may approve a class action settlement only if it is ‘fair, reasonable, and adequate.'” Charron v. Wiener, 731 F.3d 241, 247 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e)(2)). We “determine[] a settlement's fairness by examining [1] the negotiating process leading up to the settlement as well as [2] the settlement's substantive terms.” D'Amato v. Deutsche Bank, 236 F.3d 78, 85 (2d Cir. 2001).

         3.1. Procedural Fairness

         “The court must review the negotiating process leading up to the settlement for procedural fairness, to ensure that the settlement resulted from an arm's-length, good faith negotiation between experienced and skilled litigators.” Charron, 731 F.3d at 247; see also McReynolds v. Richards-Cantave, 588 F.3d 790, 804 (2d Cir. 2009) (considering whether “plaintiffs' counsel . . . possessed the [necessary] experience and ability, and have engaged in the discovery, necessary to effective representation of the class's interests” (alterations in original) (quoting D'Amato, 236 F.3d at 85)) . When these criteria are met, “a presumption of fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy” arises, which is “consistent with the ‘strong judicial policy in favor of settlements, particularly in the class action context.'” McReynolds at 803 (quoting Wal-Mart Stores, 396 F.3d at 116).

         Here, there is no dispute that the class has been represented by experienced and skilled counsel, that the parties have engaged in extensive discovery, or that the settlement resulted from good faith negotiation. As we have previously explained, “Barclays and the OTC plaintiffs entered into multiple rounds of mediation with three . . . mediators” and, indeed, the OTC-Barclays settlement was reached only “after years of negotiation.” Dec. 21, 2016 Order (“Barclays Preliminary Approval Order”), 2016 WL 7625708, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 21, 2016), ECF No. 1678; see also Decl. of Michael D. Hausfeld ¶¶ 6-7, Sept. 22, 2017, ECF No. 2275; Decl. of Michael D. Hausfeld ¶¶ 20-27, Mar. 9, 2016, ECF No. 1338. The OTC-Citi settlement arises out of similarly protracted and extensive negotiations before mediators. See Decl. of Michael D. Hausfeld ¶¶ 5-8, Dec. 15, 2017, ECF No. 2378.

         Given the foregoing, and the absence of any suggestion of collusion or other impropriety, cf. D'Amato, 236 F.3d at 85 (“[A] . . . mediator's involvement in pre-certification settlement negotiations helps to ensure that the proceedings were free of collusion and undue pressure.”), that could rebut the presumption of fairness that arises here, we find that the settlement is procedurally fair.

         3.2. Substantive Fairness

         “In this Circuit, courts examine the [substantive] fairness, adequacy, and reasonableness of a class settlement according to the ‘Grinnell factors.'” Wal-Mart Stores, 396 F.3d at 117. These nine factors are:

(1) the complexity, expense and likely duration of the litigation; (2) the reaction of the class to the settlement; (3) the stage of the proceedings and the amount of discovery completed; (4) the risks of establishing liability; (5) the risks of establishing damages; (6) the risks of maintaining the class action through the trial; (7) the ability of the defendants to withstand a greater judgment; (8) the range of reasonableness of the settlement fund in light of the best possible recovery; (9) the range of reasonableness of the settlement fund to a possible recovery in light of all the attendant risks of litigation.

Id. (citing City of Detroit v. Grinnell Corp., 495 F.2d 448, 463 (2d Cir. 1974), abrogated by other grounds by Goldberger v. Integrated Res., Inc., 209 F.3d 43 (2d Cir. 2000)). “In finding that a settlement is fair, not every factor must weigh in favor of settlement, ‘rather the court should consider the totality of these factors in light of the particular circumstances.'” In re Glob. Crossing, 225 F.R.D. at 456 (quoting Thompson v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 216 F.R.D. 55, 61 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)); cf. Charron, 731 F.3d at 248 (identifying “the deference [the Second Circuit] accord[s] to trial courts in these situations”).

         First, we consider “the complexity, expense and likely duration of the litigation.” Grinnell, 495 F.2d at 463. “The economies and certainties achieved by settlement usually result in this factor favoring settlement in complex class action litigation, ” 2 McLaughlin on Class Actions § 6:9 (14th ed.) (Westlaw 2017), and particularly so here. “[T]his case is rapidly approaching its seventh birthday, having journeyed up and down the appellate ladder in the process, ” LIBOR VII, 299 F.Supp.3d at 545, and “we have issued opinions on substantive issues totaling more than 1000 pages, ” Id. at 603 n.186. And as complex as this action has been, “we have [only] proceeded beyond the pleading stage” and class certification, and we “have not yet reached summary judgment.” Id. at 531. There is little reason to believe that this complexity will abate if the case were to proceed through to summary judgment and trial, and indeed, even the optimistic schedule advanced by OTC plaintiffs regarding the litigation class has a trial being held in late 2020 or early 2021. See Proposed Scheduling Order, Letter from William C. Carmody to the Court ex. 1, Apr. 30, 2018, ECF No. 2499-1. This factor therefore weighs strongly in favor of settlement.

         Second, we consider “the reaction of the class to the settlement.” Grinnell, 495 F.2d at 463. The classes' favorable response to the settlements weighs strongly in favor of final approval. Of the more than 137, 000 potential class members informed of the Barclays settlement, only two entities have objected[9] and only 17 requests for exclusion from the class have been received, see Decl. of Jason Rabe ex. A, Oct. 16, 2017, ECF No. 2319. Similarly, of a comparable No. of class members informed of the Citi settlement, only one entity has objected[10] and only 16 have sought exclusion, see Suppl. Decl. of Jason Rabe, Jan. 23, 2018, ECF No. 2412. “[T]his small No. of objections weigh[s] in favor of the settlement.” D'Amato, 236 F.3d at 87.

         Third, we consider “the stage of the proceedings and the amount of discovery completed.” Grinnell, 495 F.2d at 463. Here, while the action has proceeded only past class certification, the parties have had the benefit of an extensive record: “the record in this case has included more than 1.1 million documents and 6000 audio files, ” and plaintiffs have had access to the materials generated by “multiple government investigations, consent decrees, and trials” regarding LIBOR manipulation. LIBOR VII, 299 F.Supp.3d at 608 (alteration incorporated). These “extensive discovery proceedings spanning over [several] years” and the expansive record generated thereby also weighs in favor of settlement. Wal-Mart Stores, 396 F.3d at 118.

         The fourth, fifth, and sixth factors consider the risks of establishing liability, establishing damages, and maintaining the action as a class through trial. See Grinnell, 495 F.2d at 463. As our questions posed during the oral argument held on January 18, 2018 and our prior opinions have made clear, each of these facets of trial poses substantial risks to this action. First, as to liability, establishing the existence and extent of a conspiracy will necessarily be a complex task, and many of the hurdles that plaintiffs have overcome at the pleading stage will raise substantially more difficult issues at the proof stage. See, e.g., Gelboim, 823 F.3d at 782 (considering the alternative explanation “that the ‘pack' behavior described in the complaints is equally consistent with parallelism”); Id. (“The net impact of a tainted LIBOR in the credit market is an issue of causation reserved for the proof stage.”); see also Jan. 18, 2018 Hr'g Tr. 49:4-7, ECF No. 2425 (“How can the plaintiffs establish what the proper submission by the bank should have been if the meaning of LIBOR is not entirely clear and the submission need not be grounded in an actual transaction?”).

         As to establishing damages, the Second Circuit has remarked that “it is difficult to see how appellants would arrive at such an estimate [of damages], even with the aid of expert testimony, ” and expressly acknowledged that “this case presents some unusual challenges” in terms of assessing damages. Gelboim, 823 F.3d at 779-80. Indeed, we specifically declined to endorse a model for the calculation of but-for LIBOR, see LIBOR VII, 299 F.Supp.3d at 595 (“Regardless of whether this evidence consists of regressions that are capable of estimating but-for LIBOR over the class period in a few calculations (like those offered by Dr. Bernheim), or something more complex as Dr. Willig suggests is necessary . . . .”), and any such models will unquestionably be challenged and perhaps subject to further Daubert motions. Further, as we have explained at length, questions of netting and absorption loom large over the amount of damages that any plaintiff may ultimately recover. See LIBOR VII, 299 F.Supp.3d at 591-92 (addressing netting and absorption in the OTC context); LIBOR VI, 2016 WL 7378980, at *17-20 (discussing the issue of “speculative damages”).

         And as to maintaining the action as a class, Bank of America and JPMorgan have sought interlocutory review of our decision in LIBOR VII certifying a litigation class as to OTC plaintiffs' antitrust claims. See Mayor of Baltimore v. Bank of Am. Corp., No. 18-746 (2d Cir. filed March 16, 2018). But regardless of proceedings on appeal, we have also noted that “[o]ur decision to certify a class as to OTC plaintiffs' antitrust claims rests on the action in its current form, including on OTC plaintiffs' allegations of a sixteen-bank conspiracy to suppress LIBOR” and have cautioned that “subsequent developments in the case [that] call into question those allegations or the other bases on which we rely” could warrant modification or decertification of the class. LIBOR VII, 299 F.Supp.3d at 607 n.189; see also Jan. 18, 2018 Hr'g Tr. 38:9-11 (“I'm not sure why you're so sanguine that the case just proceeds as a class action if you're unable to prove the 16-bank conspiracy that you've alleged.”). Therefore, the certainty of maintaining a class action is by no means guaranteed. Each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth factors, accordingly, weighs strongly in favor of final approval.

         Seventh, we consider the ability of defendants to withstand a greater judgment. See Grinnell, 495 F.2d at 463. We do not doubt that as two globally prominent financial institutions, Barclays and Citi, could each withstand a greater judgment, but “fairness does not require that the [defendant] empty its coffers before this Court will approve a settlement.” McBean v. City of New York, 233 F.R.D. 377, 388 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (Lynch, J.); see also In re Wachovia Equity Sec. Litig., No. 08 Civ. 6171 (RJS), 2012 WL 2774969, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. June 12, 2012). Rather, as Judge Lynch has explained, this factor is intended to “strongly favor settlement” when “there is a risk that an insolvent defendant could not withstand a greater judgment” but that “the ability of defendants to pay more, on its own, does not render the settlement unfair.” McBean, 233 F.R.D. at 388; cf. Gelboim, 823 F.3d at 779 (expressing concern about “bankrupt[ing] 16 of the world's most important financial institutions”).

         Finally, we consider the range of reasonableness of the settlement fund to the best possible recovery (the eighth factor) and the possible recovery given all the attendant risks of litigation (the ninth factor). Grinnell, 495 F.2d at 463. In considering these factors, “the settlement amount's ratio to the maximum potential recovery need not be the sole, or even the dominant, consideration when assessing the settlement's fairness.” In re Glob. Crossing, 225 F.R.D. at 460-61. As the Second Circuit has explained, “[t]he fact that a proposed settlement may only amount to a fraction of the potential recovery does not, in and of itself, mean that the proposed settlement is grossly inadequate and should be disapproved.” Grinnell, 495 F.2d at 455. Rather, “there is ‘a range of reasonableness with respect to a settlement, '” Teachers' Ret. Sys. of La. v. A.C.L.N., Ltd., No. 01 Civ. 11814 (MP), 2004 WL 1087261, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. May 14, 2004) (quoting Newman v. Stein, 464 F.2d 689, 693 (2d Cir. 1972)), and “there is no reason, at least in theory, why a satisfactory settlement could not amount to a hundredth or even a thousandth part of a single percent of the potential recovery, ” Grinnell, 495 F.2d at 455 n.2.

         Here, we conclude that the eighth factor is, at most, neutral, and the ninth factor strongly weighs in favor of settlement. An assessment of the eighth factor is somewhat difficult to make, as OTC plaintiffs have not offered an estimate of “the best possible recovery” that plaintiffs often do in the class-action context, see In re IMAX, 283 F.R.D. at 191-92 (collecting cases). But this shortcoming is perhaps understandable, as any assessment of the best possible recovery against a single defendant would indeed be difficult to make given that “there are features of this case that make it like no other, ” Gelboim, 823 F.3d at 778. The recoverability of damages is indeed particularly complex in this case. Under an antitrust conspiracy theory, a class member may recover against a given panel bank (assuming liability has been established) for losses incurred in OTC transactions with any panel bank that is found to have participated in the conspiracy. By contrast, under an implied covenant theory or an unjust enrichment theory, a class member may recover against a given panel bank only for losses incurred in transacting with that specific panel bank. The settlement, of course, releases both forms of claims. Given these varying metrics, and the other difficulties associated with the calculation of damages that we discuss in analyzing the other Grinnell factors, we conclude that an assessment of the “best possible recovery” would be of little value in assessing the substantive fairness of the settlement. Rather, “[d]ue to the complexities inherent in this case, the certainty of this settlement amount has to be judged in [the] context of the legal and practical obstacles to obtaining a large recovery.” In re Glob. Crossing, 225 F.R.D. at 461.

         Accordingly, we turn to the ninth factor, the “possible recovery in light of all the attendant risks of litigation.” Grinnell, 495 F.2d at 463. This factor at least somewhat overlaps with the fourth, fifth, and sixth factors, which consider the risks of establishing liability, establishing damages, and maintaining a class action through trial. We concluded above that there are substantial risks as to all three, and that those factors therefore weighed heavily in favor of a finding of substantive fairness; our analysis of the final factor is no different. “The prompt, guaranteed payment of the settlement money increases the settlement's value in comparison to ‘some speculative payment of a hypothetically larger amount years down the road, '” and “when judged against the realistic, rather than theoretical, potential for recovery after trial, the settlement amount is extremely beneficial.” In re Glob. Crossing, 225 F.R.D. at 461 (quoting A.C.L.N., 2004 WL 1087261, at *5).

         We conclude that the Grinnell factors, taken together, strongly weigh in favor of a finding of substantive fairness.

         4. Final Approval of the Plans of Distribution

         “A district court ‘has broad supervisory powers with respect to the . . . allocation of settlement funds.'” In re Credit Default Swaps Antitrust Litig. (In re CDS), No. 13 MD 2476 (DLC), 2016 WL 2731524, at *9 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 26, 2016) (omission in original) (quoting In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litig., 424 F.3d 132, 146 (2d Cir. 2005)). “To warrant approval, the plan of allocation must also meet the standards by which the settlement was scrutinized -- namely, it must be fair and adequate.” In re Giant Interactive Grp., Inc. Sec. Litig., 279 F.R.D. 151, 163 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) (quoting In re WorldCom, Inc. Sec. Litig., 388 F.Supp.2d 319, 344 (S.D.N.Y. 2005)).

         “[I]n the case of a large class action the apportionment of a settlement can never be tailored to the rights of each plaintiff with mathematical precision.” In re PaineWebber Ltd. P'ships Litig., 171 F.R.D. 104, 133 (S.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 117 F.3d 721 (2d Cir. 1997) (per curiam). Accordingly, “a plan of allocation need not be perfect.” Hart v. RCI Hosp. Holdings, Inc., No. 09 Civ. 3043 (PAE), 2015 WL 5577713, at *12 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 2015). Rather, “[a]n allocation formula need only have a reasonable, rational basis, particularly if recommended by experienced and competent class counsel.” In re Wachovia, 2012 WL 2774969, at *5. Ultimately, “[t]he goal of any distribution method is to get as much of the available damages remedy to class members as possible and in as simple and expedient a manner as possible.” 4 William B. Rubenstein, Newberg on Class Actions § 12:15 (5th ed.) (Westlaw 2018); see also In re CDS, 2016 WL 2731524, at *9 (“A principal goal of a plan of distribution must be the equitable and timely distribution of a settlement fund without burdening the process in a way that will unduly waste the fund.” (emphasis added)).

         The Plan of Distribution for the Barclays settlement (amended and set forth as Exhibit A to the August 24, 2017 letter from William C. Carmody to the Court, ECF No. 2239-1) and the Plan of Distribution for the Citi Settlement (set forth as Exhibit 1 to the Declaration of Seth Ard dated September 6, 2017, ECF No. 2253-1), each provide for pro rata distributions of the respective settlement funds net of expenses, attorneys' fees, and incentive awards to class members. We previously approved these Plans of Distribution preliminarily, see Aug. 28, 2017 Order, ECF No. 2243 (approving the plan of distribution, as amended, as to the Barclays settlement); Sept. 26, 2017 Order, ECF No. 2290 (approving the plan of distribution as to the Citi settlement), and see no reason to change course at this juncture. The Plans of Distribution ensure a reasonable relationship between the magnitude of a class member's alleged loss due to suppression and the recovery that the class member will receive, while requiring only mathematically straightforward calculations that are easily performed. While greater precision could be achieved by taking into account, for example, the issues of netting and absorption that we have repeatedly emphasized, see, e.g., LIBOR VII, 299 F.Supp.3d at 599-92, the Plans of Distribution and the pro rata means of allocation they contemplate strike a reasonable balance between precision and efficiency. The Plans of Distribution are finally approved.

         III. OBJECTIONS

         We next consider the three objections lodged against the two settlements: (1) Maimonides Medical Center's objection to the Barclays settlement, (2) Managed Care Advisory Group's objection to the Barclays settlement, and (3) the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority's objection to the Citi settlement.

         1. Maimonides Medical Center

         Maimonides Medical Center (MMC) entered into an interest-rate swap with Bank of America in April 2006, under which it would pay Bank of America interest at a fixed 4.14 percent in exchange for 70 percent of one-month LIBOR, and held this swap through the class period. See Letter from Les Jacobowitz to the Court ex. 1, Oct. 10, 2017, ECF No. 2320-1. ...


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