business news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports (and MNB can't help but repeat) that evidence submitted at Martha Stewart's trial on obstruction-of-justice and security-fraud charges indicates that while she had a business relationship with Kmart, she was buying stock in Wal-Mart.

In December 2001, Stewart reportedly held 4,000 shares of Wal-Mart stock, and had a 220-percent return on the stock. At the time, Wal-Mart's price-cutting policy was helping to drive Kmart into bankruptcy protection.

Earlier this week, of course, MNB reported that Martha Stewart Omnimedia and Kmart have filed lawsuits against each other with accusations about shortchanged royalties.

Stewart's company accused Kmart of not fulfilling a June 2001 contract and cutting royalty payments for products with the Martha Stewart name sold at Kmart stores. The company - from which Stewart resigned last year because of her legal troubles - says that instead of paying guaranteed royalties, Kmart instead has been making payments based on actual sales of licensed products.

Kmart's countersuit charges that the company bearing Stewart's name is "seeking to force Kmart to make payments in excess of the contractual requirement, which payments would represent an impermissible double-counting."
KC's View:
Wallow. Wallow. Wallow.

Makes us feel like we're watching 'Fear Factor." Repulsive, and reflective of the worst of human nature.