New at Point of Law

by Walter Olson on January 12, 2010

Things you’re missing if you’re not reading my other site:

{ 5 comments }

1 Robert 01.12.10 at 7:52 pm

The phenomenon of forcing banks to make loans to poor people, and then suing them for making loans to poor people has been well tracked on some housing bubble blogs I follow. I hope Memphis’ case is similarly dismissed.

2 gitarcarver 01.12.10 at 8:08 pm

I am a born and bred “Baltimoron” and after returning to the place of my birth several years ago, I noticed that there were blue lights on top of some light poles.

When I asked about them, I was told that it was a city program to warn people not to go past that light because of the danger in the area.

In other words, instead of attacking the criminal element and other factors in the city, the mayor and the city council decided that abandoning the people and putting up warning lights was the better course of action.

Maybe the plight of the city and the crime are not related, but like Detroit the politics of Baltimore are corrupt as corrupt can be.

I feel for the people that the city government would rather sue others, trying to shift the blame onto others when it so clearly falls on them.

3 Ron Miller 01.13.10 at 3:38 pm

It would be nice to have the links to the stories on the most ridiculous lawsuits because those stories are best considered in full context. No question there are tons of insanely stupid lawsuits out there. But in specific stories, facts gets misconstrued and taken out of context. All of the time.

4 Robert 01.13.10 at 7:01 pm

@gitarcarver I think someone misinformed you. The blue lights on poles indicate that there’s a police/emergency call box button on them. It’s an attempt to crack down on crime with prompt reporting, not a warning for people to keep away.

5 William Nuesslein 01.15.10 at 12:31 pm

The Fortune article by Roger Parloff was excellent. But at the end of the article Mr. Parloff Indulges populous bias:

“Sensible resolution, right? Sensible, at least until one realizes that this interpretation lets Skilling fall through the cracks. Skilling made his zillions from his ordinary Enron salary and stock holdings. Those were, of course, vastly inflated because of false statements in earnings reports, auditor reports, and analyst conferences, but still, as his counsel Petrocelli says, there was indisputably “no bribery, kickback, or money on the side.” Accordingly, any honest-services fraud charges against him would have to be reversed.

Maddening, isn’t it?”

Enron had a bunch of people prepare its reports. Mr. Skilling did not construct them by himself as did Mr. Madoff. Those reports were subject to outside audit and to review by market analysts. As happened to Martha Stewart, Mr. Skilling was thought to have great powers that were imagined to be malicious. She was a wonderful lady and he seemed an OK guy to me.

Enron was a middle man operation that relied on banks to finance transactions. Once Enron had to restate earnings because of flaws in Mr. Fastow’s deals, the banks had the right to call their loans. No bank manager could risk the lawsuits that would fall upon him and his institution if he failed to act and subsequently lost money. There was a run on the company, and the company collapsed.

Obviously, Enron’s value was overstated before the run if one knew a run was likely. But then again one would have not have built in the ninth ward of New Orleans if one knew the flood protection system for new Orleans would fail so catastrophically.

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