OA273: Sears, Steve Mnuchin & “The Producers”

Today’s episode features a deep dive into a just-filed lawsuit by Sears against its CEO, Eddie Lampert, and certain directors, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The lawsuit alleges that Eddie & Steve managed to wreck not one but two long-standing American institutions. How? Why? And what does any of this have to do with one of the best comedies of all time, The Producers? Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with a very brief Andrew Was Wrong malapropism in which he confused a journalist with a philosopher. (There’s a comedy setup in there somewhere.)

Then, it’s time for the main segment, which breaks down the background on Mnuchin, especially how he teamed up with billionaire Eddie Lampert, and then how the two of them managed to turn less than a billion dollars into full ownership of both Kmart and Sears, each of which had eight-figure valuations at the time. And, as if that wasn’t enough, you can find out how Lampert (allegedly) ripped off the public on Mnuchin’s watch, all while enriching himself. Drain the Swamp! You’ll also learn all about The Producers-style fraud. You can make more money with a flop than with a hit!

After all that, it’s time for the glorious return of Thomas Takes the Bar Exam — this time, featuring guest Monica Miller, who will be joining us for a full-length interview next episode.   TTTBE question #123, however, is a dreaded real property question…will anyone be able to get it right?? 

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the Sears lawsuit, and here to check out Mnuchin’s Wikipedia page.
  2. This page contains a good explanation of Delaware corporate law regarding duty of loyalty.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

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And email us at openarguments@gmail.com




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OA199: Asbestos??!? (Or: Why Is This Man Smiling?)

Note: the SaneBox url in this episode is incorrect. Please go to https://www.sanebox.com/opening to take advantage of a great deal on their product!

Today’s Rapid Response Friday breaks down everything you need to know regarding the Trump EPA’s recent rules change regarding asbestos.  Is it as ominous as it sounds?  (Yes.)

We begin, however, with the oddest OA segment of all time:  Devin Nunes was right!  What was he right about, and what’s a Michael Kinsley gaffe?  You’ll just have to listen and find out!

After that, in a bonus segment, the guys break down the recent indictment of Chris Collins (R-NY-27) for insider trading.

The main segment breaks down the EPA’s Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) regarding asbestos and help you evaluate the competing claims being lobbed back and forth.  Did the Trump Administration open up the use of asbestos in household products?  Or did they make it harder to use asbestos as the EPA claims?  We give you a definitive answer.

After that, Andrew partially answers a listener question in light of Rick Gates’s testimony in the Manafort trial while teasing that the rest will get answered sometime soon.

And if that wasn’t enough, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #88 involving a contract, waiver and modification, and subsequent assignment to another party.  Phew!  If you’d like to play along, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

Andrew was recently a guest on The Thinking Atheist podcast with Seth Andrews.  If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Here’s a link to the NBC story on the Devin Nunes tape; and here’s a link to one in the Washington Post; they’re both delightful.
  2. This is the Collins indictment, and this is the text of 17 CFR 240.10b-5.
  3. The TSCA is 15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.
  4. Here’s the letter that the ACC wrote to the EPA back in August of 2016 arguing that they should be able to use asbestos.
  5. For an in-depth critique of the Trump EPA’s evaluative process, you can check out the annotated source documents and the summary article in the New York Times.
  6. Here’s the text of the new EPA SNUR, and here’s the (laughable) EPA dissembling as to what it means.
  7. Finally, here’s the report on Rick Gates’s cross-examination over his affairs.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com


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