Chicago Tribune
Michael Oneal reports Judge Kevin J. Carey surprised everyone in the Tribune bankruptcy case when he said in his Oct. 31 opinion that holders of a deeply subordinated class of notes known as PHONES were being treated unfairly and should be able to recover at least a slice of a claim with an original value of more than $1 billion. Sources tell Oneal that the judge's PHONES ruling provides an opening for Zell's lawyers to argue that he, too, should be eligible to collect a partial return -- one that could run into the tens of millions of dollars. Oneal writes:

The emergence of Zell as a potential in-the-money creditor is likely to stir controversy, as he's become the target of legal charges related to claims that the Tribune buyout was a fraudulent conveyance, meaning it left the company insolvent from the start.