Steve Pearlstein has a fun column today calling out the "ankle-biters" of the financial crisis. He names a bunch of names, but for sheer chutzpah, it's hard to top Richard Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer, who brought the challenge against the Chrysler bankruptcy to the Supreme Court.
Several years ago a number of Indiana's state pension funds decided to invest $17 million in Chrysler debt at what looked to be the bargain price of 43 cents on the dollar. Unfortunately, things didn't work out and Chrysler slipped into bankruptcy court, where Indiana was offered $12.2 million as part of a final settlement of its claim. That was only $1.5 million less than Mourdock had previously said he was willing to accept, but for reasons that are still unexplained, he was suddenly seized with an overwhelming sense of fiduciary duty and constitutional responsibility -- so much so that he was willing to spend another $2 million of his pensioners' money to hire a fancy Wall Street law firm and pursue his quixotic legal challenge. If he had succeeded and forced Chrysler into liquidation, it would have almost surely cost many hundreds of lost jobs at Indiana factories and dealerships and millions of dollars of lost revenues for the Hoosier state.
June 12, 2009; 1:33 PM ET
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