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Cheers & Jeers

On the list this week: Barnabas donation, S&P Rating, Newark Bears and more...

Each week in Face Time, NJBIZ editors approximate Chris Christie's mood and facial expressions based on the news.

You can debate the legal aspects of a judge's ruling that Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien do not have to turn over records relating to the GW Bridge scandal, but this has never been about the law. This is pure politics, and this is a big win for Christie. The fight isn't over. Now it just turns to the actions of U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman. More than anyone, Christie knows the power of that position.


Medicaid report

It's too early to pass judgment on the unprecedented release of Medicaid reimbursement figures (seriously, how long has it been since you truly understood a medical bill), but the idea the numbers (and potential abuse — or at least outrage) are out there is a win for everyone.

Barnabas donation

A salute to The Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation, longtime supporters of Saint Barnabas Health. They pledged $25 million to the project that will create a new 200,000-square-foot, five-floor Cooperman Family Pavilion. But more than that, they set an example to others about giving.

Reckitt Benckiser

According to reports, the multinational company (which has its U.S. base in Parsippany) has emerged as the leader to buy Merck's over-the-counter health business. The potential acquisition, which figures to be in the $10 billion range, would make the company the No. 3 seller of consumer health products worldwide.


S&P Rating

New Jersey was downgraded again by Standard & Poor's. This time, the Wall Street Rating House said the state's budgets are built on too-optimistic revenue predictions. This, of course, was different than a drop by another agency, which cited too much money going to rebuild pensions. The lesson: The only thing that matters is job creation.

Insider trading

In just another reminder that those close to big money still have to play by the rules, Lawrence Grum and Micheal Castelli were both sentenced to time in prison for insider trading regarding Summit-based biotech power Celgene. Of course, this is all pennies on the dollars if allegations of a fix through high-speed trading are true.

Newark Bears

Baseball — or at least independent league baseball — never had a chance in Newark, despite millions paid for a beautiful stadium no one seemed to want to go to. The organization will auction off whatever is left. All hope is not lost. A legitimate minor league team, such as those located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, likely would survive and thrive there.

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