The Times quotes THL defending itself, weakly, but there’s notably no word about this:

Simmons issued debt that required the company to pay a hefty 10 percent annual interest rate. The proceeds were used to pay THL a dividend of $137 million.

From what I can recall, that was a very high interest rate to be paying in 2004, especially when the money being borrowed doesn’t even get reinvested into the company. That’s pretty much looting the company.

So what to do about this kind of stripping and flipping?

That conversation needs to be had. Let’s hope the Times has started one here.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.