|Saturday, November 08, 2003|
Fisking Glenn Reynolds...
Fire at will.
Reynolds calls media coverage of the Lynch story "pathetic." As Glenn is now a member of the media, one can only say, "Indeed."
10:18:37 AM comment 
That's pretty much the point, isn't it? Nobody claims that Sabbah and his partner Kenny Kornfeld weren't entitled to much of their wealth -- those Japanese insurance companies signed off on years of contracts with Fortress Re, pouring hundreds of millions into the company.
Surely Sabbah could afford to give away the $104 million that Sompo wants from AHA, without spending a dime of the contested funds. But money is fungible, and this is a big, easy-to-find pile, and it's close to Sabbah's heart.
Did Sabbah and Kornfeld pay themselves too much? I don't know the legal answer. By one practical measure, they did pay themselves too much -- they did not have enough money on the table to borrow their way out of the unthinkable disaster of 9/11. The Japanese insurers did have questions before 9/11, but they kept doing business with Fortress.
If the Japanese companies are angling for a big settlement to make the suits go away, putting pressure on Sabbah by squeezing his beloved school is an unsurprising tactic. Call it harassment, call it hardball, call it bad news for an interesting institution capable of doing great things in and for Greensboro -- it's all of those things.
By the way, Margaret Banks has done a great job covering this story. It's complex stuff on the business side (my wife did most of the heavy lifting on the reinsurance industry for our Forbes article) and demands sensitivity on the personal and local angles. Margaret has delivered, time and again.
9:17:08 AM comment