• Missing News From Today’s NY Times

      Ira Stoll used to write a blog called Smartertimes.com.  I miss it.  It skewered the nonsense that my colleagues worshiped. Then he wrote for the NY Sun.  I miss that too.  

      Today he blogs about a foolish and self-serving Op-Ed in today’s Times. Roger C. Altman writes:

      “‘corporate America should remember the president's actual record....the president made the courageous decision to put General Motors and Chrysler through bankruptcy. As a result, both survived and, today, G.M. in particular is coming back fast — along with its hundreds of suppliers. Moreover, taxpayers are likely to recover the full value of their investment in the company.’"

      Really? Stoll tells us something about Mr. Altman that Times readers probably don’t know.

      "Mr. Altman is founder and chairman of Evercore Partners, which advised on the GM deal. Evercore, after being paid $46 million by GM pre-bankruptcy, turned around and asked for a $17.9 million ‘success fee.’ A U.S. bankruptcy trustee termed the fees ‘staggering’ and ‘inordinately large’ and said it ‘clearly exceeds the bounds of reasonableness..’

      Even by the standards of the crony capitalism (or cronyism) of the late Bush-early Obama administration, this has to be some kind of new low. Earn tens of millions of dollars in fees from a deal paid for by American taxpayers, then turn around in the press and praise the president for his ‘courageous decision’ on the deal without disclosing that you were intimately involved in it.”

      Crony Capitalism