Wednesday, December 2, 2009
BANKRUPTCY - December 3, 2009
In the past few years, we have seen several plaintiffs take up the weapon of bankruptcy, always to their own advantage and the robbing of legitimate claimants. There was the classic case of United Airlines, in which the executives put cash for their own accounts with a financial corporation while leaving the fates of their many thousands of working people dependant on the assets of the airline. At the opportune moment, the same executives declared bankruptcy without going out of business and continued operating in the same old way. The working stiffs were left holding the bag. A similar thing happened at GM, where the incompetent front office continued in the same old way, stuffing their own pockets, spending off the means by which the workers might have had pensions, not reacting to changes in the industry, but taking care of themselves. Now the big bankers have done the same, and are already gobbling up the bonuses, and the more they take, the sooner they will call on DC for more rescues, to save the economy. At the same time, the creditor class are wringing out the little bankrupts, like college lenders and mortgagors, for money in excess of the agreed settlements in excess of the pledges. Bankruptcy has the advantage, rare in our anglosaxon society, of allowing those who make errors to start again and maybe succeed, but the creditor class has taken that decency away from those who are without power and lots of money. Meanwhile, they have taken care to feather their own nests and are busy doing it to us again. In theory, the threat of financial failure is a mark of responsibility in capitalist society that distinguishes it from the stone face of socialism, but that apparently is thought too harsh for those too big to face punishment. Capitalism has its failures, and so does socialism, but bureaucratic capitalism has all the faults of both. Welcome to the Brave new World.