Foreclosures, Hate Crimes and Corporate Makeovers

A quick update on some of the more interesting stories in the NYTimes today.

A few days ago I had mentioned some recent developments in the ongoing foreclosure wars. Today the Times has a leading story on this issue. Written by a David Streitfeld, it contains the following sarcasm inducing paragraph:

In depositions taken by lawyers for homeowners, executives at GMAC and Chase said they or their teams signed 10,000 or more affidavits and related documents a month. That did not give them time to review the cases.


A bigoted act allegedly committed by an Indian-American freshman at Rutgers, is soon followed by the suicide of the target of this act. To quote from the article:

Under a leaden sky, students debated whether the surreptitious broadcast was a thoughtless prank or a crime.

Streaming live a sexual encounter your gay roommate is having in your dorm room does not qualify at any level as a prank, thoughtless or otherwise. Of course, it is rash to draw a direct causal link between this dastardly act and Mr. Clementi’s tragic death. Suicide almost always has some deeper underlying causes and it is possible that Mr. Clementi was already suffering from mental stress or depression. However, to subject a weaker individual to such trauma and humiliation is, in an of itself, an act worthy of condemnation even if the final outcome is benign compared to this sad situation.

Three cheers for BP’s new CEO, Robert Dudley. Not really. What’s next? Change British Petroleum’s name to Sunshine Corp? That’ll make the fish rejoice and the plankton weep with joy.

Mr. Dudley is looking for a “fast evolution” for his company. It would perhaps serve the Justice Department well to seek “fast resolution” for the grievous damage done to the environment and Gulf coast fishermen by BP’s criminal negligence.

Another interesting tidbit is the amount of money BP put away to meet damages from this event – $32 Billion. That’s right. Billion, with a ‘B’. Enough for Dow Jones and Company to buy their way out of 64 Bhopal gas leaks, which by the way took at least 5,000 lives and left countless more disabled and paralyzed. Just goes to show the value of an Indian life relative to that of South Atlantic marine life, at least from the corporate perspective !

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