Saturday, January 12, 2008

Biggest Loser?

Cleveland Sues 21 Lenders Over Subprime Mortgages - Cleveland is going after Wall Street, using an Ohio statute to claim damages based on the creation of a public nuisance. The defendants are not the firms who originally made the mortgage loans, stretching the credit review process past the breaking point to make loans that would not be repaid if interest rates rose. No, the defendants are the bankers who set up special purpose funds to purchase the mortgage loans, thereby creating demand that may have induced the loan originators to act rashly. Interesting case. First, is this really what the Ohio legislature had in mind when they enacted a law allowing municipalities to recover damages from one who created a "public nuisance" - it sound's more like a way to go after a landowner who lets the weeds grow and doesn't clean up after the dogs. Second, should Wall Street be tagged for someone else's bad credit decisions just because Wall Street bought the bad loans and (coincidentally, of course), Wall Street is where the money is? These questions will be decided by a local judge, and possibly jury, from Cleveland, a city that is suddenly paying a lot to tear down abandoned houses and looking at empty lots that do not pay real estate taxes. They may get to hear evidence that Wall Street knew its mortgage loan purchases were creating a level of demand that could only be met with bad loans. So, is Cleveland Robin Hood, Willie Sutton or just the Biggest Loser in the subprime mess, setting itself up for another round of burning Cuyahoga humor? Stay tuned.

Running and Fighting, All to Save Her Son -She's baaaach in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Linda Hamilton created a fascinating character (remember the escape from the prison mental ward at the beginning of T-2), but the spotlight was on Arnold. Now a new TV series will focus on Sarah (played by Lena Headey, pictured). In a very promising development, NY Times gave the new show thumbs up - a lot to ask from the Times for a TV series that's derivative and low brow. As Good As News is looking forward to this - even if only so I can use Sarah's pull ups as ammunition in the perpetual struggle to switch to a channel that is not playing Biggest Loser.

NFL playoffs continue and As Good As News is asking for too much, an interception return for a touchdown by Nate Jones of the Cowboys and a Giant's win. Odds against this parlay are at least 200 to 1, but we can hope.

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