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TXU Says "F.U." To You and You and You

It's not a good morning for TXU, and the opening graf of this subscription-only Wall Street Journal piece says it all:

"TXU Corp. may face tougher scrutiny of its proposed $32 billion buyout by private-equity interests including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. as a result of a finding it has abused Texas's deregulated power market."

Thirty-two billion? I thought it was $45 billion. (A Friend of Unfair Park reminds: "The bid was for $32B, but they were assuming $13B in debt." Me, not so smart.) So does this piece, about how Rep. Joe Barton's begging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other state regulators to "scrutinise the $45bn proposed deal to ensure that the interests of Texans were protected." (See, $45 billion.) "I will not ... stand idly by while investors from New York or anywhere else benefit on the backs of the Texas electricity grid or the Texas ratepayers," Barton wrote in a missive to to Joe Kelliher, head of the FERC. (Investors from New York. That's Texan for "sumbitches.")

The fact that TXU appears to have ripped off you (and you and you and you and...oh, yeah, me) to the tune of $70 million isn't gonna help things much. Love this, though: TXU spokeswoman Lisa Singleton says the company's "obviously disappointed" by the Texas Public Utility Commission's findings. Everyone else, of course, is just delighted. --Robert Wilonsky

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