Even the smartest investors occasionally buy a turd


Jim Crane made plenty of headlines this past year while waiting for his purchase of the Astros to gain MLB’s approval. After being subjected to intense scrutiny, forced to agree to change leagues, and having his name dragged through the mud by all forms of the media, Crane’s day in the sun finally came on November 17. The Houston businessman was all smiles when his dream of owning the Astros finally became a reality. Since that day Crane has pretty much managed to stay out of the spotlight. Until now, that is.

While new General Manager Jeff Luhnow has captured the attention of Astros bloggers and columnists, Crane has seemingly stepped back into the shadows. But a recent report in the Wall Street Journal has Crane in the news once again. Seems like Crane made a crappy investment down in Alabama. Crane lost millions after investing in Jefferson County sewer bonds but recouped an undisclosed amount in a settlement paid by JP Morgan Chase & Company. The banking colossus was also ordered to pay $722 million to the SEC for their involvement in the scam that led to the incarceration of several Jefferson County officials. This whole deal just smells funny.

Crane is guilty of no wrongdoing here, other than making a poor investment decision. It was almost like he flushed the money down the toilet. All kidding aside, the news of Crane’s successful lawsuit has others attempting to cut their losses. An Alabama Bankruptcy Judge has subpoenaed Crane along with the documents detailing the terms of his settlement with JP Morgan Chase & Co. So Crane heads to Birmingham with a chance to help out some of the other duped investors. Apparently Timothy Hutton and his crew from the TNT series Leverage were busy when this was all going down.