Joe Nocera in The New York Times on hating the banks A few months back, JP Morgan's chief executive Jamie Dimon entered a crowded elevator and loudly asked Nocera, "Why does The New York Times hate the banks?" After relaying the odd anecdote, Nocera writes in response, "It's not The New York Times, Mr. Dimon. It really isn't. It's the country that hates the banks these days," and to show why, he points to their credit card debt collection practices, as revealed in a recent American Banker series. The banks sell uncollected debt to third parties that then sue card-holders, but they often provide faulty data. Thus, debt collectors often pester people for balances already paid off. "[A]nother reason these practices are so unseemly[:] In effect, the banks are outsourcing their dirty work — and then washing their hands as the debt collectors harass and sue and make people miserable."
James Feldman in The Washington Post on Solicitor General Verrilli Ever since the Supreme Court released its audio recordings of the oral arguments on the health care law, the media has criticized Solicitor General Donald Verrilli for a halting defense of the Administration's case. Feldman, who has argued 46 times before the Supreme Court, thinks otherwise. "Those who understand the challenges of Supreme Court argument — people who have argued before the court — have not criticized Verrilli’s performance. It is instructive to look closely at some rules of this particular game," he says. He describes the rules in which the justices can interrupt at any time, and points out that they interrupted Verilli much more often than they interrupted his opponent, for reasons we can't really guess at. "The only good measures of a Supreme Court advocate are whether he has made the best arguments in favor of his position and whether the justices understand those arguments. In this respect, Verrilli succeeded."