Normally, in this economy, the notion of more jobs lost would be a bad thing. But in this case, I think a good laugh might be in order.
A quick reminder. Last month, New York Times columnest Joe Noccera wrote this column about New York state law firm and "foreclosure mill" Steven J. Baum (so named because they specialize in evicting people) and the charming Halloween bash they threw last year. The "foreclosure" themed bash featured such ugly sights as employees dressing up as homeless people, mocked-up displays meant to represent rows of foreclosed houses and a crude coffin-based set-up referring to lawyer Susan Chana Lask, who had filed a class-action lawsuit against the firm and posted a Youtube video denouncing their foreclosure practices. (For a look at the photos, go here.) In any situation, let alone the current economic climate, it was a truly callous and disgraceful display.
Needless to say, the firm was not happy about the article and had this to say:
When I (Noccera) called a press spokesman for Steven J. Baum to ask about the photographs, he sent me a statement a few hours later. "It has been suggested that some employees dress in...attire that mocks or attempts to belittle the plight of those who have lost their homes," the statement read. Nothing could be further from the truth." It described this column as "another attempt by the New York Times to attack our firm and our work."
I don't know. The firm has a long line of unsavory attactivity, including being investigated by New York AG Eric Schneiderman and being forced to cough up $2 million to resolve a DOJ investigation. And this previous Nocera column gives a pretty good idea of the firm's mentality and operating procedures. So such a tasteless and appalling Halloween party seems quite normal for the likes of them.
Well, that's the ugly stuff, now time for the "just desserts" twist. After mocking the homeless, the employees are now out on the streets themselves:
Steven J. Baum P.C., a firm that specialized in foreclosures, is closing its doors a month after photos showing employees celebrating Halloween by dressing like the homeless surfaced in a New York Times column by Joe Nocera.
Baum himself released this statement about the demise of his firm:
"Disrupting the livelihoods or so many dedicated and hardworking people is extremely painful, but the loss of so much business left us no choice but to file these notices," said Mr. Baum in a statement issue on Monday. A firm spokesman said it would have no further comment beyond the release."
Oh I don't know, Mr. Baum. Seems like you guys specialize in disrupting livelihoods. A few more won't hurt you.
Nocera, by the way, wrote a follow-up column a few days ago, where he revealed this e-mail sent to him from Baum:
"Mr. Nocera - You have destroyed everything and everyone related to Steven J. Baum PC. It took 40 years to build this firm and three weeks to tear it down."
There is blood on your hands for this one, Joe," he wrote at the end of the e-mail. "I will never, ever forgive you for this."
To which Nocera replied.
I think that's what they call shooting the messanger.
Indeed. Or maybe just venting because they got caught, revealed for the appalling people they are and are now reaping the reward for their behavior.
Consider this your "poetic justice" boost for the day.