A lump of coal in the shareholder’s stockings…

I see Dick Cheney’s gift to the Halliburton shareholders arrived early.

Representatives for the Houston-based oilfield-services company once led by Vice President Dick Cheney were in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to settle most of the pending asbestos cases against the company and one of its former subsidiaries.The proposed settlement payment would include $2.8 billion in cash and 59.5 million shares currently worth about $1.2 billion.

Halliburton had said in recent weeks it was close to a multibillion-dollar deal that would settle the 300,000 asbestos-related personal injury claims against it.

Most of those claims were inherited four years ago when Halliburton — which also operates a huge engineering and construction business — acquired rival Dresser Industries Inc. for $7.7 billion. Cheney ran Halliburton at the time of the purchase.

That’s okay. Dick will make it up in military and oil services contracts in a couple of months.

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....