Law school civil procedure courses teach the classic example of inconsistent pleading, involving a suit against a man accused of damaging a borrowed kettle. "I didn't borrow the kettle," the defendant pleaded, "it was cracked when I got it." And, "It wasn't damaged when I returned it."
The arguments of some bankers in opposition to the Clinton administration's proposal to recapitalize the Savings Association Insurance Fund are reminiscent of that apocryphal case. Bankers plead: "There's no problem that needs to be fixed," "We shouldn't have to pay for a problem we didn't cause," and, "We deserve something in return for helping to cure the problem."