Archive for February, 2009

Two more failed banks

February 28, 2009

That makes sixteen so far this year.

Security Savings Bank, Henderson, NV

Heritage Community Bank, Glenwood, IL

Cardboard maker sued for “eggy” smelling corks

February 28, 2009

Nomacorc sells corks for wine bottles.  One day in 2008, Nomacorc employees detected a “spicy” smell, an odour like cabbage emanating from a package of unfinished corcs.  Eventually they traced the culprit to the container manufacturer, Packaging Containers of America and got a PCA representative to admit to an “eggy” smell.  Normacorc has now filed suit against Packaging Containers of America in North Carolina Federal Court.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

Depressing but important article on AIG

February 28, 2009

Of all the financial debacles of September 2008, the most infuriating has to be AIG.  One, because as an insurance company it was suppose to be in the business of providing stability for the risk-laden world of financial wheeling and dealing but instead it destroyed that stability and two because its the the debt that keeps on giving.   Taxpayers have spent $150 billion already on this monster and there is talk that we will spend another $100 billion more before the company stabilizes.

Worse, as Joe Nocera explains in his great column about AIG, the government is propping up the insurer’s bad lending practice because if it doesn’t, it risks destroying the fragile modicum of stability in the financial markets.


Social Media Saturday: three twitter tools

February 28, 2009

I see these exhaustive and exhausting list of twitter tools and while they are useful, I think a lot of them are just untested lists.  Here  are three tools I’ve found indispensable:


I’m very blog-focused in my social media outreach so I like being able to stream this content into my twitter page and twitterfeed allows me to do that very easily. 


A subject-oriented directory of twitters that I’ve found useful to explore relevant industry sectors for people of interest.


I really like this interface and it has lots of flexibility.  Its set up in three panels and I currently use one panel for all friends, one for a legal group I’ve created and the last panel is a “buzz cloud.”

Embedding nearly anything on your site

February 28, 2009

This is a nice “how-to” list for embedding an RSS feed to a Google Calendar to another webpage into your website.  Cool

From digital inspiration

More credit card customer lawsuits

February 28, 2009

This one is filed against HSBC USA in Illinois state court and the plaintiffs are claiming that the bank charged them an annual $50 fee which according to the terms of the agreement they could avoid paying by cancelling their account within thirty days.  So they cancelled their account within the specified time period but, according to the suit, the bank refuses to acknowledge this and return the fifty dollars to the plaintiffs.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

Supervisor’s close ties to Scientology lawyer

February 28, 2009

Its turns out that Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone who is pushing a restrictive ordinance favoring the Church of Scientology, has a long history with the church’s lawyer, Samuel Alhadeff.   Mr. Alhadeff’s law firm has represented Mr. Stone is several matters and has also donated money to his campaign.  When questioned about this, Mr. Stone said,

“I have paid Mr. Alhadeff’s firm tens of thousands of dollars on many different issues that I have been involved in long before I was on the board of supervisors. He happens to be a very prominent attorney in southwest Riverside County.”

Supervisor Stone could easily eliminate any question of impropriety by recusing himself from voting on matters related to the Church of Scientology.   So far, he hasn’t done that.


Layoffs update: 02/27

February 28, 2009

Pilgrim’s Pride to shed 3 plants, 3,000 jobs

NiSource Houston unit to cut 380 jobs

Castle & Cooke Hawaii cuts staff

Report: Latham & Watkins lays off 440

Boston Herald aims to cut 20 via buyout

Kmart layoffs hit 240 in Florida

TMNG Global cuts 11 percent of work force

Trane Co. lays off 45 Clarksville employees

Nevada takes on Countrywide: too little too late?

February 27, 2009

The state of Nevada has filed a lawsuit against Countrywide in Clark County court alleging that the company deceived consumers through deceptive lending practices.

Bank of America recently announced it was rebranding Countrywide and the practices that company engaged in are no longer possible in a tight credit market.  So beyond political grandstanding, a lawsuit by Nevada asking Countrywide to stop its bad lending practices seems pointless.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

Bizarre food poisoning lawsuit

February 27, 2009

There is nothing unusual about experiencing food poisoning from eating fish at a restaurant. But Donna Schroeder’s symptoms went beyond the typical diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue.  Her sense of hot and cold were reversed.

“Whatever I touched, if it was hot, it would feel cold. If it was cold, it felt hot,” Schroeder recalled. “I couldn’t walk on the tile floor. It felt like it was burning me.”

This condition called, ciguatera fish poisoning, is nearly unknown in the U.S.  Donna’s doctors hadn’t a clue what was going on but it affects anywhere from 50,000 to 500,000 people annually worldwide.   Donna is suing both the restaurant that served the fish and the fish market that supplied. 

This article contains a sidebar listing the fish most likely to be subject to this poisoning.