OA284: Drain the Swamp, Starring Gordon Hartogensis


I hold myself in contempt. If you try to pull me up here to court without attorney. The questions cardiac Willie objection. I'm going to lower Gerke Rogers that offenders guard Acker. You didn't kill Thompson, but you did Mr.. Well. County kerry. Horder award up. Out. Welcome to opening arguments the podcast, that pairs inquisitive interviewer with the real life lawyer. This podcast is sponsored by the law offices of p Andrew Torres LLC for entertainment purposes, is not intended as legal advice, does not form attorney client relationship. Don't take legal advice from a podcast. Hello. And welcome to opening arguments. This is two hundred eighty four. I'm Thomas Smith over. There is Andrew Torres Esquire. How you doing? Andrew. I am fantastic. Thomas. How're you doing great? I am ver you. You tease the heck out of this one last week. I've been waiting when baited breath. Yeah. We, we've got a nice good, old fashioned opening arguments deep dive. And we've, I I'm told even in the preview which was amazing good preview. We've even got like the sequel to Dzhizak to Willer you know, like, once you take out one super villian villain. Another one pops up, you know, like the doc, doc inspire man or whatever. You know, there's always another villain, every movie. And how, how do you think doc for a hydra railing? It's like you're cut off one of his arms, and two are the villain. Inspire me to I guess is what I'm saying. You know, you got the, the first game was the green goblin or something, the green, I was indeed, turn goblin. Green? There's too many the green hornet there's too many green. I don't know anyway, the jolly green giant, one of them, and then the second movie was doc. I'm just saying he's well, actually the second one is seventy villains. It was a mess. But what's not a mess? We'll be this episode. Let's diving in or we doing any announcements. I know let's get to it. We are diving in. Here we go. Zoe andrew. I mean you tease that this was Sears related. It was related to our deep dive that was shockingly five or six weeks ago by now. Where do we sit? Where do we start with our drain the swamp tragedy in three acts? So apt one takes us back to the halcyon days of nineteen seventy four. Right. Pants were flared at the bottom cars were dangerously unsafe at any speed and Republicans in office were proposing things like Orissa, which is the employee retirement income security act of nineteen seventy four and, and whatever say is, is, again, this is going to seem kind of odd coming out of a Republican administration at a generally conservative time in our nation's history. It's a set of regulations, right? This used to be like, what Republicans did. Right. So the idea was. To encourage companies to provide pensions for their employees. And so they came up with a risk and Orissa was not just a set of, you know, crazy liberal government. Handouts. No, no, no. It was a set of regulations with single payer insurance, and that single payer is a, a an entity called the pension benefit guarantee corporation. It's basically like a government run insurance company. Right. And as you might imagine the idea that was. So you're a smaller company. You don't really know. You wanna make sure that you can take care of your employees and provide them with pensions. And so you could buy insurance from PBGC, and I'm way over simplifying here. But basically, the bigger the company, the more money you had in reserves, the lower. Your premiums would be right. Because the premium you know that the insurance and only kick in, if you can't afford to pay your pension obligations. And if you've got a lot of money in reserves than need less insurance, you have lesson reserves you need more interest, totally mixed mixed total sense. There's only one problem with that system. And that is the company's lie. And so they lied to the PBGC over the course of about three decades and they lied in order to get lower premiums pay lesson in, in revenues. And by the way, this is this is really really important. The, the PBGC is not funded with taxpayer dollars. It does not other right. It's sources of revenue are the premiums from the insurance policies that sells to companies investment income on those premiums. Right. Doesn't just sit on it and then. Invested in the stock market and assets and recovery's from failed plans. Right. So in other words, the, the premiums are secured by loans from those editing. So when they fail they become a secured creditor, and they can get assets from accompanies bankrupt estate. And in fact that, that latter part is going to be really, really important put the first of many, many pins, this is going to be A Beautiful Mind level set of pins on on, on this week's episode. So that's PBGC, you know, good idea bipartisan support encourage companies to provide pensions provide a an insurance company that is private. But, you know, kind of government managed that as a federally chartered corporation to use the legal language there and Mets working. Okay. Except that companies are cheating the system. They're not paying enough in premiums that is that accurately core. Response to their true, financial health package, and so is underfunded. And because of that we then fast forward to two thousand six the second term of President George W Bush, again, not likely friend of the show, very conservative president in a very conservative organization. Nevertheless, got together and the Democrats in Cairo two thousand six was democratic wave year. Right. The Democrats in congress got together and passed the pension Protection Act of two thousand six I'm going to include the full analysis of this. I this is not relevant for today's show. There's a lot of bad stuff in that Bill. Right. We've talked about this before the way in which legislation used to get there. You know, you reach compromise. So I do not mean to defend everything that is in the, the, the. Pension Protection Act of two thousand and six but for purposes of this discussion, the PPA amended Orissa and required companies that have underfunded their pension plans to pay higher premiums to PBGC and fixed a couple of other regulations, designed to get more assets into the PBGC and, and, and fix that gap. Right. So it close some loopholes it, you know, provided additional incentives on amounts that employers could invest in their own plans. And, you know, all sorts of complicated stuff. But basically, the idea is, hey look, there's a problem. There's an imbalance in between PBGC assets and PBGC liabilities. Right. So they got together, and they fixed it system works. It's twelve years later, and it's still a problem. And here's the magnitude of the problem. This is. I wanna say I mean I don't know the, the top ten of problems that we're not talking about politically, right? Like, but, but almost nobody is talking about this as a problem. And it is looming on the near horizon, so PBGC overseas. Right now nearly a million potential retirees. Right. And PBGC has a hundred twelve billion dollars in assets. Right again. Those are the premiums and the return on investments, pay debt since these tablets -ment of Orissa in nineteen seventy four. So that's an awful lot of money hundred twelve billion dollars. The problem is that PBGC's liabilities under its insurance. Policies are one hundred sixty four billion dollars. Right. So that's a fifty two billion dollar shortfall now again, that's actually been getting better. It was worse than that prior to the, the two thousand six regulations that shortfall is a an immediate crisis as more and more baby boomers are retiring as more and more companies are going out of business with underfunded pension liabilities thus leaving PBGC holding the back, so PBGC protects the pension benefits of more than forty million Americans who are in private sector, pension plans, and their directly paying. One and a half million who are in failed pension plans, right? Yep. So super huge problem. Let me make a side prediction here. In fact, before I make the prediction. Let me tell you it. In addition to that fifty two billion dollar gap the, the problem with consolidation. Is that if is that there are a number of PBGC customers that are too? Big fail. Right. Mostly in rust belt industries. That is automotive plants, right? Steel factories where retirees outnumber employee's. And if, if one of the I mean, this is this is from PBGC's own website. If, if one of those plans, huge plans goes completely insolvent than that could collapse the entire PBGC infrastructure, brag, it would just be left with no, like right now even though there's a massive deficit. Because of the, the high level of assets, they can they can at least scramble and sort of keep it going and retirees are not. We'll, we'll be paid out like a good version of a Ponzi scheme. Yeah. Exactly. Right. That's I was, I was struggling with that analogy. But, but that's right. Like there is they can keep afloat right now by robbing Peter to pay Paul. But if if, if all of a sudden Evans, with Peter and Paul or retiring. There's no Mary left, right? So, so. Yeah. It's an unbelievably precarious position. And that's why my belief is that, despite Donald Trump despite Republican Congress Republican Senate in the very near term. There will be PBGC bailout, right, congress. How are you? Mentioned the fifty two billion dollar shortfall. But it must be more than that, right? Because that's I mean, in the scheme of things. That's not that much money you wouldn't think you would be that much money. But I mean, Trump's handing out, you know, the for the tariffs, he's just handing out like twelve billion dollars like it's nothing for for that. You know, like wouldn't it is it is the fifty two billion shortfall, guess where masking is that not the whole story, like, is that, you know, if there's a worst case scenario than it's gonna, you're gonna need a lot more than that, it depends on the status of regulations. So, yes. Right. Like it right now that's the gap an infusion will fix that gap. But the gap will will then start. Exacerbate is eighty two. Yeah. It's not like permanently fixing. It it's just kind of bandaging exactly rock. But so I think there will be a fifty plus billion dollar bailout of PG. So that's, that's kind of the end of, of act one here. That's the state of. Pension plans in the United States. Today. Lots of big companies in particular, big industries, that are on a twenty thirty forty fifty year sort of downward slide, lots of lots of of, of those industries that are insolvent. They rely upon private insurance through a government. Federally chartered corporation, PBGC and PBGC has a massive imbalance between its assets and liabilities. Opening arguments is brought to you by open fit getting fit and staying healthy. Always sounds easier said than done. Oh, that's definitely true. But open it is bringing you something new. That makes it even easier to never miss sweat session, lose the commute to the gym and let the workouts come to you. That is my favorite part about open fit. I am tired of trying to drive to a gym that I don't wanna go to and maybe see people that I just it's so much easier. Just do it at home and open fit takes all of the. Flexitime out of losing weight and getting fit. It's a brand new super simple streaming service that allows you to work out from the comfort of your living room in his little as ten minutes a day. Everyone's bodies are different and open it gets that, which is why it is personalized to your needs with custom-tailored original content. They've got amazing trainers in classes. They're open fit classes are led by some of the most effective and engaging trainers in the world. It simple. And you can access it anywhere anytime on your computer. Your web enabled TV your tablet, your smartphone, your Roku and these are results you can see lose up to fifteen pounds in the first thirty days flat near AB shape, your body, and look and feel great open fit has changed the way, I work out, and with our code away, you can join me on a fitness, journey personalized just for you again, use our code. Oh, a and start using open fit for your journey to a healthier life. And right now during the open fit thirty day challenge, our listeners, get a special extended thirty day, free trial. Membership to open fit where you can lose up to fifteen pounds and thirty days. When you text. Oh, a two thirty thirty thirty. That's a two thirty thirty thirty you'll get full access to open fit all the workouts, and nutrition formation. Totally free. One more time, just texted letters, a to the number thirty thirty thirty standard. Message and data rates may apply. Go try open fit today. Excuse me. Do you know how to get to town? Yeah, it's back the way you carry came. Act, two, I would call this one who the hell is Gordon heart agendas, and that's gonna be the issue of skin condition. Yeah. Here. Let's try to pronounce the drugs that you would use your in heart agendas. Go if you have our Gordon Arte Johnson's for more than four hours so yeah, you might start off with. Okay. Who who runs the PBGC and, and the answer up until a month ago was a guy named w Thomas reader junior BBC serves the, the, the director serves five year terms. So it's meant to stagger across political appointees, w Thomas reader junior. No probably not a big donor to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Right. He's gone. Like the other, you know, like federal executive branch, people that Trump is put into play at somebody who, like hates retirees or something will be somebody like their policy platform is like there shouldn't be pensions. We should just make people into soil green is that but, but reader was appointed in twenty fifteen and his next person. Yeah. Was supposed to run until October of twenty twenty. So he was a bomb pointy, but again, not a crazy left district this guy with an MBA and a JD from the university of Texas. He then went to become a big firm. Lawyer, I with Aken Gump, then with Paul Hastings genus cane Walker. Those are Covington and Burling style. Right. Huge firms everybody knows them. And, and while he was there, he became an Orissa lawyer, and, and let me tell you read I have friends who do a risk, I would not like there's literally no amount of money, you could pay me to take a risk. Case right now. Right. Like I just it is a specialized area of the law, and I don't have that information. I mean, I'll take money. I mean there isn't amount. Pay thomas's. Second champs law firm to take look it's hard, right? Like it's super super complicated. And that's what he did. And he spent a decade as an Orissa lawyer, and then went to the government and spent fifteen years in the government, he worked in the department of the treasury's office of tax policy. I as an attorney advisor then became deputy benefits, tax counsel, and eventually benefits tax council for the treasury department, then he moved to the Senate finance committee to work as senior benefits counsel for the democratic staff in two thousand nine with back to treasury in twenty thirteen as healthcare council for the Internal Revenue Service. So here's a guy who's got good academic credentials. And then it has spent his entire professional life, either doing a law or working with retirees pensions benefits. Right. It's hard to imagine someone more competent and qualified to, to, to run the wait to meet his replacement. Yeah. And by the way, his turnpike you, if you do nothing and would just be there until October twenty twenty and even if all you wanted to do was, you're worried about, you know, getting some regulations in place. You could still wait for him to leave. Trump will still be president or Pence will be president. If Trump is impeach from till the end of twenty twenty right? You could sneak somebody in for a couple of months and do some damage. If what you wanted to do was put in some, some political regulations in place. You know, let let the guy who's competent manage one hundred twelve billion dollars in assets, but no three and a half weeks ago. He was replaced with Gordon Harto Genesis. And now going to the case of Gordon Arte jets O L is Gordon heart agendas. I described him last week as our mirror universe. Jeez. Acharya to Willer. He is someone. With no Wikipedia page. He is somebody who has no publicly available photo on Google image on to 'em D And you don't wanna look at. The, the they're literally only two photos, I could find him online at all. And one is him like it's, it's this terrible lighting. And he's in a tuxedo. It may well be like his wedding photo. Put a pin in that. No, I'm serious. That's a real pin. Put that in it, it pulled out in about five minutes. He used to have a Twitter account. It was it was he added for ten years. He's had it since two thousand nine he has not tweeted in ten years, and he deleted it once politico pointed out that he that the Twitter account followed Justin Bieber Lindsay. Lohan Donald Trump his his own. Hey, meet our new director page on the PBGC's website is less than half a page long. We're gonna talk about the bullet points. So, in other words, he is an international man of mystery. Yeah, now you might be saying okay, but maybe he some kind of pension savant, right? No. He's a he's computer software guy. He is a BS in computer science from Stanford by seems to be smart at computer software. An MS in technology management from Columbia University. He is described as an entrepreneur, that is a lot of clown Horning nonsense. There was. Here's here's what happened. Two guys David Gamboa and Bill Miller started a company called petrol soft in nineteen eighty nine. And as you might imagine from parsing out that language, it was designed to be software to gas companies, our antagonised here. Gordon, heart Genesis joined petrol soft in nineteen ninety three and he was a sales guy. Right. So he was not the idea guy. He was not the development guy he came in and sold and sold the software to Chevron, and a bunch of other big oil companies, and made a lot of money. And good. For that, right? Like seriously like I don't mean that in any way sarcastically, like they saw that, that, that there was a need for computerized software in a major industry. It wasn't there. They built the product. They sold it to a lot of big gas companies. And then they sold the company in two thousand to a giant software company called Aspen technologies for sixty million dollars. And that, by the way, is when Gordon retired. He's twenty nine right? We made. Mid a couple of million dollars by being a part of the software company and retired in his retirement. He screwed around for a little while. Right. Each he tried to, to, to start a to fund. Another technology company called Alrich, a U R. I C technology that company has no webpage competed. I can't find anything did was just new was it was a failure. Right. But, but basically he's done. Nothing since retiring in two thousand after the end of the dot com. Boom, having been part of successful technology startup. Oh, sorry to two things. He has done two things in the past twenty years. Number one, he's administered his family trust. Which you have to play by which means he's managed investments for his family. Right like that. Literally is not the kind of thing you would put on a resume except when you have nothing to put on a resume for the past twenty years. Yeah it I mean don't be fooled. When you look into this guy and see. Okay. He's administered family trust blah, which like that, just like that's just like, you know what you do when you know you open up, you know a retirement account right? Like he's just more about it. And the other thing he did was married. Elaine Chao sister. So he's Mitch McConnell's brother-in-law. Which led Ian grin reporter for politico to right to do some investigative journalism when this guy was nominated to head the PBGC and figure out who who Gordo is here. I'm going to link this article in the show notes because it's one of the only pieces of information out there about Gordon heart agendas, and it is delightful. It includes interviews with his family, and I'm going to read some of the money quotes. The fact that he's Mitch McConnell's brother-in-law, quote, maybe the reason they're appointing him as a family favor, quote, conceited, George heart agendas. His cousin the administration is not known for great people, but he has a lot of experience at business and he's smart. George added quote it's like if your family member is a made man in the mafia. I mean I'm proud of him at all, but they're still band of criminal on my. So Donald Trump tries on family. Yeah, that's, that's, that's the best to get. Pelosi or something that's his family. That's, that's George right this, Gordon. That's his cousin George. Donald Trump tried to appoint him in the fall of twenty eighteen but then because the Senate turned over that, that appointment was was required to, to be resubmitted in, in twenty nineteen. But as a result, heart agenda, says, confirmation hearing before the Senate finance committee was scheduled on the same day as the cavenaugh here it, right. So, by the way, that's why we missed it. And that's why quote most of the committee didn't attend and of quote, according to politico. Right. That was kind of a bigger thing going on that day. So, so this is the guy in charge of one hundred twelve plus billion dollars in assets. Oh, by the way, during his confirmation heart agendas, confirmed that he would not be divestiture. Assets from himself and from his family trust. So, you know, remember I remember I told you to put a pin in the wedding photo that that would have been why. So, okay. Now, you have another swamp creature in charge of hundred plus billion dollars assets is probably gonna fifty plus billion dollars in tax payer funded bailout money, right to redress that probably real soon now and somebody who is not pledged to anything to avoid conflicts of interest, because what you now that moves us to act three well, what do you say, we give act through the sell as they do? Take take a little break real quick. All right. Let's take a break. Opening arguments is brought to you by green, chef green chef is a USDA, certified organic company, that makes eating well, easy and affordable with plans to fit every kind of lifestyle. You've heard us advertise with hellofresh in the past. Well green chef is now owned by hellofresh. And they offer a wider array of meal plans to choose from there's something for everyone. And if you like hellofresh, if you're happy with that stick with that, but if you wanna switch, try something different. I love switching between the brands for when my tastes change. Or maybe when I wanna eat a little differently in a given month. Now, our listeners can enjoy both brands at a discount with us. Here's what makes green, chef so great and unique their meal plans include paleo plant, powered, vegan and vegetarian. Pesca -tarian Kito, gluten free an omnivore so that gives you so many more choices than you might typically see, now Lydia are currently on a special diet. So we. It would be omnivore package. And we made for example, the talian breaded pork chops with barley, CRA meaty, mushrooms, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Aw. It was so delicious that which I can have it again. Right now, it was so good as usual. My favorite part about green, chef is that ingredients come pre measured perfectly portioned, and they're actually mostly prep to they're all ready to go and everything is handpicked and delivered right to your door. There is something for everybody. You can switch up your meal plan when ever, you're ready to try new way, a new, maybe a new diet, a new way to eat and right now with our URL you can get a total of seventy five dollars off. That's twenty five dollars off each of your first three boxes and you need to do this, go to green chef dot US slash law. Pod, seventy five I'm gonna say that again green chef dot US slash law. Pod. Seventy five hop on right now on your phone, your computer popping that you are L and get seventy five dollars off. Do you wanna try this, it's delicious, and it is so exciting that you have all of these different choices now in terms of your diet. So go check out green shift today. There. You happy everybody. We took a break. Okay. Queuing and do it. All right. Didn't give hard sell though. I kind of blew that part. I don't know what to give the hearts now. Here's here's the hard sell go back to episode two seventy three right in that we talked about Eddie Lampert, and Steve Mnuchin, who were alleged to have acquired Sears knowing that it was bankrupt. And then what they did was strip the company of its most valuable assets looting it before the bankruptcy in order to distribute, the proceeds of those assets shareholders, who, by the way, we're Lampard and Mnuchin and deprive the creditors of assets in bankruptcy, by the way, Lampard and Mnuchin have responded to that complaint. And they deny that the sales were intended to strip Sears of its assets, and they were in fact Okla head. No, I was just saying unconvinced. They didn't. Okay. Well, that settles that, but, but it's what's important is the, the reason that they've done. They've. Oh, no. We were trying to keep the company operating over this timeframe. That's why we got rid of the only. That's why we got rid of the profitable asp state. Yeah. Exactly. It's a hard one to swallow, it's so hard to swallow as we pointed out show. Crushes Liz Warren and AFC have sent a letter as of may twenty third to Steve Mnuchin demanding information. And as we talked about in prior episodes. Look like that is the predicate to having the house finance committee issue, a subpoena that will be coming. There's Mnuchin is not going to give satisfactory answers here. But there's more to the story after allegedly looting Sears is assets. The Lampert controlled Sears did exactly what we said, which was declared bankruptcy in October of twenty eighteen and in bankruptcy. Then the committee for Sears had a choice, right? They could either liquidate the assets and come up with an orderly way of disposing those assets to the various creditors of Sears, or they could sell them as a package. Right. And. Here we had a dispute between what's Sears wanted to do which was sell the assets as a package, and what the creditors wanted, which was don't try just liquidate the assets and distribute about. Ultimately after litigation. There was a hearing. And the bankruptcy judge approved Sears request to sell the assets to a third party inex- change for just over five billion dollars. You wanna guess who Sears sold the assets to? Cheese. One of Gordon heart Genesis, failed companies. Or maybe one of his exist will come I dunno. They sold it to transform hold co LLC a which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of any Lampert hedge fund ESL investments, so, yes. So let let let's just bring that full circle. We have the allegations that Eddie Lampert, a quite acquired the assets of K mart, in bankruptcy, at a bargain price used Kamer. This is from two seventy three used K mart to acquire Sears instead of strengthening mart became the beneficial majority shareholders of Sears sold off all the goodies from Sears. Drove Sears into bankruptcy and then wall Sears was in bankruptcy divest themselves of their ownership in Sears formed transform hold co and. Bought back the assets of Sears, in bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar. The, the few remaining assets that Sears has were approved by bankruptcy court for sale to transform hold co a wholly owned subsidiary of. Yes, L investments that Eddie Lampert hedge fund, so yes, the guy who owned the company took it into bankruptcy. And then sold the assets to himself, this should be the most basic kind of time, he stepped down from the board. When you're. Declared bankruptcy. Wow. And that's why all of the creditors. All of the creditors said, late can't Tom. This is this is ridiculous, right? This is the this the sale is being orchestrated to benefit just one buyer to make only possible for one don't did sell them off in bankruptcy, right? And pay us that way because otherwise these insiders are going to loot all the assets. We're not gonna be left with anything I'm going, there was a contested hearing. I'm going to upload the transcript I wanna focus in on an issue because this issue is going to develop in the next couple of weeks. You will see stories about it, and remember you heard them first on opening arguments. So after the bankruptcy Sears laid up on people off, this is not surprising. In laying people off it incurred certain severance and pension obligations in. Incurred as you will, see in the transcript, sixty two million dollars in claims for severance pay. Okay. Now again, that is in, in the scope of this, not a lot of money, but those are long time Sears. Employee's that have pensions who were laid off, as a result of the bankruptcy as part of the court approved asset purchase agreement. This ESL subsidiary transform hold co company agreed that it would assume those liabilities k it is section two point three k of the contract. It is called capital letters, the severance reimbursement obligations. Those were reduced as consideration for this ESL entity to buy it to forty three million dollars. All right. So already pension ease are getting. Seventy five cents on the dollar. Right. But seventy five cents on the dollar. I guess is better than nothing. And as a result, the PBGC that is at the time, the Obama controlled PBGC signed off on the deal. Now they had previously objected, right? They an upload their objection as well. PBGC. We talked with this has one point seven billion dollars in claims against Sears. Right. That is for liabilities that PBGC will, incur, if Sears does not pay its pension fund, but they agreed to the sale subject to the condition that I'm on other things that PBGC assume those severance reimbursement obligations and pay off the people that were laid off during the bankruptcy, and they also agreed to an unsecured claim against the Sears estate against the, the money that comes in as a result of selling off the Sears assets that is part of what is called a plan of reorganization. It's now on the second amended plan of. Reorganization and that's where we are right now. And the way in which that works in a bankruptcy is when you're in chapter eleven you say, hey, look, we're gonna come up with a plan to come out of the bankruptcy, and that plan part of that plan in order for the company to get a fresh the new company to get a fresh start. We need to make the creditors. Not whole but to get rid of all the creditors. Right. So we're going to satisfy all of the obligations against the creditors clear off the books, and that's what the plan of reorganization is meant to do that is the fight that is that is going on right now. And two days ago transform hold co LLC. Filed a lawsuit a declaratory judgment seeking among other things. A statement this is this preemptive that it does not have to pay the settlement, reimbursement obligations because of failure of Sears to turnover certain levels of assets. And then their argument is that, that reduces it dollar for dollar. In other words, Eddie Lampert, controlled ESL controlled entity transform hold co LLC is now saying it reserves the right not to pay the pension obligations of Sears employee's who were laid off as a result of the bankruptcy. Now put all three of these pieces together. What's going to happen? That transform hold co. Lawsuit names, PBGC, the allegations surrounding Sears directly implicate, the secretary of the treasury, Steven Mnuchin, the person now in charge of how strongly to litigate the claims against Steven Mnuchin. Any Lampert is Gordon heart agendas. My predictions are as follows. I think transform hold co LLC is not going to pay it's obligations. I think PG see is not going to get paid. Anything? They're going to get pennies on the dollar. At best out. Ultimately out of the Sears reorganization on Inc. Lampert and Mnuchin are gonna walk away with billions of dollars in assets. By the way, he BG see is going to get. And that is going to be the trigger for PBGC to get a Bela and of billions, maybe more in taxpayer funded bailout dollars because they all look, we had these unanticipated losses. I observe you know, Sears went bankrupt and they didn't fund their pensions enough, and, you know, that's and that is now unacceptable liable, you don't want Sears retirees to all go without their pensions. Do you and the person who will be in charge of administering those tens of billions of dollars in bailout funds is somebody with zero knowledge experienced ability to administer pension funds is going to be a guy who made money in tech startup? And then retired for twenty years before Mary. Being Mitch McConnell's wife sister it. I cannot. I mean, it there is not a drain the swamp analogy. You know, swampy enough to describe this. It's coming credible. I mean, this is this is like, how much this just makes me think, how much has been broken in this past few years that we just won't even hear about. Like there's just so there's no end to the swamp. I mean, there's so much opportunity for, you know, these are these are these are on the smarter end of criminals. Yeah. These are sophisticated financial criminals to loot the American treasury essentially, how many opportunities are they getting that we don't even hear about? Yeah. We look we went through this, right. And in two seventy three Lampard scheme. Here is brilliant. I mean, again alleged right? We but, but. The allegations are very persuasive to me. I, I have never. It's part of why I mean, I was certainly gratified to see it was Warren. And Alexandra Cossio Cortez sees on the on the corruption elements, but the reason I wanted to do deep dive on it is because I, I had never seen this technique of coming in buying the distress shares of company and then liquidating the profitable assets to drive it into bankruptcy. And I knew I mean, I you know, we'd sort of left out there. I you know, this isn't a, a corporate fraud podcast, the second half of that, to have successfully driven the company into bankruptcy and then be the guys go back at by what's left again. Yeah. I mean it's just, you know it it you're you were squeezing at both ends, and Ted Cruz we don't need to be worried about space pirates. We need to be worried about. Corporate pirates like actual can we have a corporate force instead of space force? Corporate frauds force. That's so it will pay for. So there you go. Look we have. No, I, I want to be clear on this. We have no evidence right now that Gordon heart agendas is a criminal, right. We also have no evidence that he's qualified in any way. No, no. We, we have affirmative evidence that he is not qualified for the job. That, that he's I mean, he has never the, the, the executive experience that you need to administer a one hundred twelve billion dollars assets to. To more than one and a half million current pensioners with insurance that covers forty one million retirees in this country. I it's, it's just you know, he he, he doesn't know the industry doesn't know Orissa. He doesn't know the law he doesn't have the executive experience. He doesn't know the insurance industry. I mean look, I it is rare that I say that, right. Like I talked about how I wouldn't take an Orissa case, I would at least be a significantly better candidate to run the PBGC, because I've done insurance work for fifteen years. Right. And the work, I did for Equitas was was similar to this. Right. Was resolving liabilities so that the balance-sheet corrected that imbalance? Right. And, and, and I would be grotesquely unqualified for this job. But at least I know one component of it. I do not under. Stand there. There is no immediate need to have replaced reader as director of this agency. There was not. I mean there was no legitimate need to have done. So there were no right. This is not this not the case. I mean, then there were no political needs for right? Like this is not like putting Mick Mulvaney, into the CFP. We know why Trump did that. Right. Like he did. He did that because politically Trump and his party hate the cfpb, and they wanted to put somebody in who didn't intend to prosecute any actions against consumer fraud. Right. You, you don't have to assume any kind of corporate cheating or corrupt intent because political corrupt intensifies here, there isn't a sufficient political purpose here. It's either all a giant coincidence, or it is getting your political lackey and a position to be adverse to your other political lackey and. And, you know, we're going to continue to follow the lawsuit, we're going to continue to follow the Sears bankruptcy, but if and I really, really think that somebody on, either the AFC or Warren, staffs, or both listens to the show followed do plays, get us an interview with would be a really good interview. It'd be it'd be it would help the campaign while yo sees not running for anything right now but you know, couldn't hurt. She's running every two years, every two years. Yes, she's got sure it's already dash gonna come up sooner than she thinks come on the show and, and keep keep your eyes open, because I, I believe that the reason why sustained professionals at the PBGC signed off on the Sears deal was that they got certain assurances. And I think they got assurances that I mean, look, we know from the filing that now that it's been approved that. Lampard wants to back away from he doesn't wanna pay the current pensions. If he doesn't wanna pay forty three million dollars in current pension liabilities. Do you think he wants to pay one point seven billion dollars in outstanding pension liabilities? That strikes me is pretty unlikely. So we'll look, this is going to affect real people. And, and it it I think I think there is a there's a crisis. Incoming so there you go. That's the end of drain the swamp, the, the Gordon heart agenda story, we need peep when need people in there, we need Liz warn to this. There's so much damage to undo, you know, and maybe we need to see if PB but for this for whatever this, you know, if it'd be nice something. I, I mean, wow, there's going to be a lot of damage done do with the next time. I mean this is I just I just want to drive home. If, if, if you're one of. The six libertarians for oh a listener, south there. If if you are remotely tempted by the, you know, fiscally conservative line of let's eliminate regulations. I get that temptation, I am a small business owner multiple small business owner, an entrepreneur, I work with small businesses and entrepreneurs get that temptation. This is the positive side of regulation, Orissa is a bipartisan invention that is nearly fifty years old that was designed to do public private partnerships to reach across you know, not to, to, to bring together, you know, Democrats and Republicans to help ensure that old people don't starve and die in the streets. And as recently as a Republican a decade ago that was a bipartisan consensus that, you know, look, some regulations are worth keeping and, and. Now, we're at a point where, you know, the that Overton window is shifted so far that I am you know, wistful for the George W Bush administration. Yeah, but this look this is what regulations to right. Like you need regulations to ensure that you can appropriately have insurance to cover how companies path pensions without that they're just gonna lie to you, and we know that because we had the regulations and they lied, anyway. So, so there you go. All right. Well, this is frustrating. Do you think there's ever going to be any Justice for these people? I mean, are they just going to get away with having looted these assets and not paying the retirees all this? I, I it's, it's, it's a really, really good question. I think that the, the as you pointed out, I think that the, the, the corruption is so profound. You know, look, I uncovered this, you know, we uncovered this with some research and some court documents and connecting the dots. If we could figure this out, then you know. Then that strongly suggests that we didn't find the one act of corruption in the Trump administration. And, and I fear that it is so rampant. And there's just so much that, you know, the best that we can hope for is that, you know, a couple of these folks become kind of the signature, Paul Manafort. You know, somebody gets caught but, but I think for everybody who, who, who gets caught there will be tens or hundreds that, that got away with, like twenty twenty happens. We win say could there be like a special counsel on stuff like the there'd be like a molar for this except not Muller? Somebody who actually has going to go far as we need to Shur because there are underlying financial crimes. Really right now, there are no criminal investigations open regarding Sears right now. What we've talked about is behavior that defraud creditors in a case, where the insiders knew the company was bankrupt out of. Of assets of the company, but that the evidence that comes out in those civil suits and the, the horror d- legal legwork that is being done by Covington. Burling style firms absolutely is something that government investigators could and you would like to see them. Pick up on there. Are, you know, financial crimes reporting? Crimes failure to disclose. Right. Like like all of those are, are, you know what, what we would call white collar crimes and, and white collar crime. Illegal again has been the. Yup, logan. I don't know if again is proper, but, but neither was make America great again. So that's similarly make white collar crime illegal again. A what a mess. What a what a impressive job Andrew uncovering covering all this. And while vote everybody, maybe we can. That's what all we can do. All we can do is make sure we vote. There's so much steak is impossible even keep in your head at once all the reasons that we need to get out there and get these people out of office really is. But we need to so. All right. It is time to thank our new patrons over patriot dot com slash law, and welcome aboard. New patrons hope, you're enjoying Opie, enjoy the bonus stuff and all that. And Andrew, why don't you start us off? Yeah. Thank you to Travis the seaman can Kenny fryer. Ludwig d-w Brian. Leeman hippopotamus tros equip today, Lian, Ross Grinnell, a, that's just the lower case letter like that minimalist Earl h Shanteau Meyer that is a Fanta. I. Hope that's a real name. But if that is a if that's a, a suited pseudonym that is a, an a plus pseudonym on, on an on an episode where we've got a lot of toast. Earl h Shanteau Myer Wendell Ang and is don't take legal advice from podcast legal advice. No, it is not. So there's no no, no internal contradiction. There. Half. Give me some financial advice and I say, don't take financial advice for podcast. You do not really doing anything with it. That's not gonna help you meddle in. Thank you. Chris for Lovejoy. Thank you, Carl Ottesen Claire, stop calling them autism people. It's people with autism, tingle Perry. Winkle joke. Kim or bro nut. You're sorry characters were there. I guess I've mooched for long enough mooch is should give you moolah. Oh, thank you. We appreciate it. Yes, they should Ben Hanson auto Moses and eat the rich did I stutter? Right there. You have it. Okay. Now it is time for the thrilling inclusion of t t which I feel no confidence in. Let's see how did. Oh, no social this firm ever failed the bar. Exam kidding. Harry thomas. So this was a criminal law question. This was the great McDonald's drive through caper a woman pulls into the drive through says, hey, I got a sniper with his rifle trained on you and he's gonna shoot you dead. If you don't give me the contents the register by the time I get to the window and also large fries as she makes it better. We got some food with it, right. Yeah. Well, I think that's it's implied but not stated in of black market value of a crush supreme. Are we going to talk about together in San Francisco? I'm down for that. By the way. If you're that's why to come to the great Serio. Yeah. San Francisco burrito capital of the United States. Rena go now we had a nice authentic place. Anyway. Back to the question. So, so she pulls up to the drive through, and the cashier wasn't sure whether anyone was actually there. But puts five hundred dollars in a paper bag gives it to her. And then she drives off, she's caught because, of course, she issues, an idiot and turns out there was never a sniper. The whole thing was just made up what crimes can she be convicted and the answers were a embezzlement be obtaining property by false pretenses. See robbery and larceny were de robbery or larceny. And thomas. I wanna tell you analyze this question really perfectly. You eliminate it off the bat. Embed. Element. Bright, a crazy answer. Right. This was not the there was no, embezzlement, you also eliminated obtaining property by false pretenses. That's a good elimination. Because in order to obtain property by false pretenses? You have to actually obtain the property right right say, like, had she not been lying. There was night Bor. Then then it's fine because it's not. But, but if you think about it right like notwithstanding. The joke of possession is nine tenths of the law. Right. She never obtained the prop rightly Jamie property by false pretenses. When I tell you, like, hey, did your house over to me and I'll make sure I take care of your grandma. And then I never have any, but you actually did the house over to that. I have obtained the property. She never got titled to the money, right? She cheat stole the money. Right. So she, she didn't obtain the property, so she couldn't have obtained by false pretenses, even though she was lying so that narrows it down to either robbery and larceny or robbery or larceny listener question. What the hell is larceny? I don't know. So find out gra-. That's, that's what this question is testing larceny is a common law crime that has four elements, right. That is the food. Cruncher breeds. Yeah. Not cheese. So no. The four elements are number one. The unlawful taking number two of someone else's property K, number three without their consent and number four with the intent to permanently deprive, the owner of the property that sounds so robbery, though, like what's the difference robbery ads with it the threat of miles or something threat of violence? Maybe I did get this one. Right. So the only question is, could you be convicted of both bribery, and larceny? Or do you have to elect, and unfortunately after is robbery or Larson? Either is all of the elements of robbery are present in larceny. Right. So you can't convict somebody of both of it is you either determine that the threat of violence was there at which point, it's robbery, or that it wasn't because there was no sniper at which point one or the other. But not both. This was a lesser included offense question. And it was a tough one. I really I was closing his great job. Right there, right there. So there we go that sucks. Yeah. I, I didn't know that the technical definition of those, but okay robbery. And an implant we went through that because if larceny had any element that was outside that was not an element of robbery. Then you could convict on both. Yeah. When one criminal offense is entirely eventing them from, like adding up a bunch of, you know, exactly of charges. Okay. Yeah. All right. Well, I messed that one up I got. That's one of those tough breaks got most of the way there, but you couldn't close. That's how that's how it goes. But who the bar exam is an unforgiving mistress and failed? Okay. Who why don't you jump in your time machine and dust off the, the cruncher up dust, and all that? And tell us who won this week's t t t b because it was surely, not me. Okay. Thomas, this winter, I out of the box, and really solid, pithy explanation is jed sarokin open that is at jets a lawyer on Twitter kind of gives the game away a little bit, who says, see taking another's property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it in their presence and under threat of imminent, forces robbery, and larceny is a lesser included offense, aka all rectangles are squares, but not all squares rectangles wish I'd thought of that analogy anyway, that's dead on congratulations jet. And, and seriously jets, great follow on Twitter and everyone should do that at J. E. D. S. A. L. A. W. Y E, R Judd's, a lawyer. Good, good stuff. Long standing fan of the show. And congratulations on being this week's winner. All right. Thanks so much for listening. We love you. We love our patrons, most of all, and, but we love everybody, and we will see you on Friday for another rapid response. Law. This has been opening arguments with Andrew and Thomas, if you love the show and wanna support trips oats, please. Visit our patriarch page at patriot dot com slash law. If you can't support us finance -ly it'd be a big help. If you leave us a five star review on, I tunes Stitcher, or whatever podcasts delivery, vehicle, you use, and be sure to tell all your friends about us for questions, suggestions and complaints. Email us at open arguments at gmaiLcom the show notes and links on our website at WWW dot open dot com. Be sure to like our page on Facebook and falls on Twitter at open arts until next. This podcast is production of opening arguments media LLC all rights reserved. Arguments is produced with assistance of our editor, Brian Siegen. Our production assistant, Ashley Smith and our researcher, Deborah Smith special thanks to Theresa Gomez in the entire away. Wicky team. Follow them at, at a Wicky and a big. Thank you to our Facebook group. Moderators Elisha cook Natalie, Newell. Emily waters. Eric brewer and Brian check out the opening arguments Facebook community and finally, thanks to Thomas Smith. For creating the show's theme song, which is used with permission. But who L is Gordon harder? Genesis.

Coming up next