Thursday, July 16, 2009

CIT and the Return to Sanity

It has been a while since I have posted, but I felt the need to discuss the situation at CIT.

This company appears to be a lender to midsize and small businesses that made some bad bets in the last few years and is now essentially broke. They had been pushing for a government bailout (what bank isn't?) and it seems that a bailout will not be forthcoming. This makes sense, and it is about time that there has been a return to sanity in regard to the banks. In the fall, the banks and their minions in government convinced everyone that bailing out the banks was necessary to save the world. Little was explained and little was gained. The economy went south anyway, some banks have now made spectacular profits and some haven't and many creditors and many shareholders are better off than they would have been had the banks gone under.

No one explained why the government couldn't use the vast sums of money spent on bailing out hedge fund counterparties to replicating the desired functions of the banks while allowing their creditors to lose. That was not done, but it appears that it finally will be done in regard to CIT. In no sense, despite CIT's claims to the contrary, is CIT fundamental to the economy, who had ever even heard of CIT.

More importantly, the political winds have turned against additional bailouts, and properly so. There is the sense that we were bamboozled and it is hard to argue with that. We were promised transparency and accountability, we got none. We were assured that the economy would falter if the banks weren't bailed out and the economy failed anyway. We were told the banks would fail without TARP, and the banks worth saving would have survived anyway. It is time to end the bailouts, end the handouts and possibly end some banks. CIT is a good first start.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It appears that Al Franken will finally win the election. Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled for him and Governor Pawlenty had indicated that he would declare Franken the winner. About time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Strip Searching for Advil

The Supreme Court at least recognizes the ridiculousness of searching a girl for Advil in her underwear. For some reason, the intrusiveness of a strip search for over the counter drugs was not sufficiently obvious to allow the individuals involved to be subject to suit. Full decision is here (Warning: PDF).

Update - 12:37 P.M.: I just got to Thomas' dissent, apparently no search is ever unreasonable in his eyes, no matter how intrusive and for what minor purpose. Oh Thomas, will there ever be an authority figure who ass you don't want to kiss?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Does Jose Canseco have a case?

Probably not. I write more on the subject over at New Jersey Newsroom.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Apparently, Twitter has a purpose, since all the reports on Iran are coming out of there. Search for #iranelection. Otherwise, I have to say that I used to think that maybe Ahmadinejad wasn't quite as crazy and evil as we assumed, but now I see that I am wrong about him.

Avi Frisch's article in today's New Jersey Newsroom

Avi is the “paper”’s legal writer. Please send him any ideas for articles that you may have.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I have signed on to be a legal journalist for This is an excellent site for New Jersey news, and I am proud to be taking part in this exciting project. Most of the writers and contributors are experienced New Jersey reporters from the Star-Ledger, and I feel lucky to be involved. My first article is not up yet (I need to start writing it), but I hope you will check the site out.