News & Politics

In Bailout, Surprisingly, Rich Find Advantage


Who says capitalism is dead? The Times talks to people connected with the savings and loan bailout of 1989 whose expertise makes them invaluable during the current one(s) and who hope, with great reason, to see their colleagues and themselves profit by it. “It is a good time to be me,” says John L. Douglas, who helped set up the old S&L managing Resolution Trust Company. “It is a great time to be a banking lawyer,” says banking lawyer Thomas P. Vartanian. Sam Zell’s Chicago Tribune just went bankrupt, but he isn’t sitting out this dance, either, and cheerfully tells the Times he and his people “have been buying all along” crapped-out mortgages to hopes of future profit.

“Much of what is motivating them,” the Times assures us, “is a desire to help the nation recover from this latest stumble.” But, harrumph, nevertheless “they acknowledge they intend to be among the winners who emerge.” If only we had angry mobs large and bloodthirsty enough to dash their hopes! Oh well, everybody kick in so these guys can buy more private islands.


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