Posts tagged bankruptcy
By David Howden
Outlawing “Bankruptcy” in Europe
Apparently there is a stigma attached to going bankrupt. It leaves people thinking that perhaps you are not credit worthy and that they should think twice about lending you money. To stop
people governments from being unduly harmed by the use of this word, the EU wants to replace it with the more neutral “debt adjustment.”
Of course this is not the EU’s first salvo against the English language. It has already banned its lawmakers from using the words “‘Miss” and “Mrs”. By forcing all men to be referred to as “Mr” and women as “Ms”, European legislators will stamp out all remnants of sexism. Or at least, that’s the plan.
What EU politicians are missing is that words are not inherently good or bad. They are just the combination of letters used to refer to an idea. A woman will no longer be unmarried (a Miss) or married (a Mrs), just because the use of the appropriate identifier is removed. Likewise, European officials could well outlaw all nation state demonyms, and force all citizens to refer to themselves as “European”. This would not erase the fact that there are Germans, Frenchmen, and Luxembourgers, all in need of some term of reference.
By legislating away use of a term such as “bankruptcy”, all these officials are doing is needlessly complicating the affairs of those bound by the law. There is a state of affairs that exists when one’s cash flow is insufficient to pay off his debts. Whether one calls such a state “bankruptcy” or “debt adjusted” is immaterial.
If the EU thinks that bankruptcy is such a bad thing, why doesn’t it strike the root? Outlaw bankruptcy. Since the largest offenders are governments, this would amount to legislating balanced budgets and forcing governments to drastically reign in their spendthrift ways. Of course, methinks that asking politicians to draft a law that hampers the way they go about their own affairs to be an unpopular proposal in Brussels.
About the Author
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALa2-euro.jpg
What Recovery? Sears And J.C. Penney Are DYING
Two of the largest retailers in America are steamrolling toward bankruptcy. Sears and J.C. Penney are both losing hundreds of millions of dollars each quarter, and both of them appear to be caught in the grip of a death spiral from which it will be impossible to escape. Once upon a time, Sears was actually the largest retailer in the United States, and even today Sears and J.C. Penney are “anchor stores” in malls all over the country. When I was growing up, my mother would take me to the mall when it was time to go clothes shopping, and there were usually just two options: Sears or J.C. Penney. When I got older, I actually worked for Sears for a little while. At the time, nobody would have ever imagined that Sears or J.C. Penney could go out of business someday. But that is precisely what is happening. They are both shutting down unprofitable stores and laying off employees in a desperate attempt to avoid bankruptcy, but everyone knows that they are just delaying the inevitable. These two great retail giants are dying, and they certainly won’t be the last to fall. This is just the beginning.
The Death Of Sears
Sales have declined at Sears for 27 quarters in a row, and the legendary retailer has been closing hundreds of stores and selling off property in a frantic attempt to turn things around.
Unfortunately for Sears, it is not working. In fact, Sears has announced that it expects to lose “between $250 million to $360 million” for the quarter that will end on February 1st.
Things have gotten so bad that Sears is even making commercials that openly acknowledge how badly it is struggling. For example, consider the following bit of dialogue from a recent Sears television commercial featuring two young women…
“Wait, the movie theater is on the other side,” the passenger says.
“But Sears always has parking!” the driver responds.
Sears always has parking???
Of course the unspoken admission is that Sears always has parking because nobody shops there anymore.
A couple of months ago I walked into a Sears store in the middle of the week and it was like a ghost town. A few associates were milling around here and there having private discussions among themselves, but other than that it was eerily quiet.
You can find 18 incredibly depressing photographs which do a great job of illustrating why Sears is steadily dying right here. This was once one of America’s greatest companies, but soon it will be dead.
The Death Of J.C. Penney
J.C. Penny has been a dead man walking for a long time. In some ways, it is in even worse shape than Sears.
If you can believe it, J.C. Penney actually lost 586 million dollars during the second quarter of 2013 alone.
How in the world do you lose 586 million dollars in three months?
Are they paying employees to flush giant piles of cash down the toilets?
Selma, Ala. — Selma Mall
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. — Arrow Plaza
Colorado Springs — Chapel Hills Mall
Meriden, Conn. — Meriden Square
Leesburg, Fla. — Lake Square Mall
Port Richey, Fla. — Gulf View Square
Muscatine, Iowa — Muscatine Mall
Bloomingdale, Ill. — Stratford Square Mall
Forsyth, Ill. — Hickory Point Mall
Marion, Ind. — Five Points Mall
Warsaw, Ind. — Marketplace Shopping Center
Salisbury, Md. — The Centre at Salisbury
Marquette, Mich. — Westwood Plaza
Worthington, Minn. — Northland Mall
Gautier, Miss. — Singing River Mall
Natchez, Miss. — Natchez Mall
Butte, Mont. — Butte Plaza Shopping Center
Cut Bank, Mont.
Kinston, N.C. — Vernon Park Mall
Burlington, N.J. — Burlington Center
Phillipsburg, N.J. — Phillipsburg Mall
Wooster, Ohio — Wayne Towne Plaza
Exton, Pa. — Exton Square Mall
Hazleton, Pa. — LaurelMall
Washington, Pa. — Washington Mall
Chattanooga — Northgate Mall
Bristol, Va. — Bristol Mall
Norfolk, Va. — Military Circle Mall
Fond du Lac, Wis., Forest Mall
Janesville, Wis. — Janesville Mall
Rhinelander, Wis. — Lincoln Plaza Center
Rice Lake, Wis. — Cedar Mall
Wausau, Wis. — Wausau Mall
The CEO of J.C. Penney says that these closures were necessary for the future of the company…
“As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly,” CEO Myron Ullman said in a news release.
Actually, his statement would be a lot more accurate if he replaced “continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth” with ” prepare for bankruptcy”.
It would be hard to overstate how much of a disaster 2013 was for J.C. Penney. The following is an excerpt from a recent CNN article…
It’s been a brutal year for J.C. Penney, its stock falling over 60% in the past 12 months. The company has been losing hundreds of millions of dollars per quarter, and is in the midst of another turnaround effort after ousting former Apple executive Ron Johnson last year.
Overall, shares of J.C. Penney have fallen by an astounding 84 percent since February 2012. And keep in mind that this decline has happened during one of the greatest stock market rallies of all-time.
For now, J.C. Penney will continue to try to desperately raise more cash from investors that are foolish enough to give it to them, but all that is really accomplishing is just delaying the inevitable.
If you would like to see some photos that graphically illustrate why J.C. Penney is falling apart, you can find some right here.
And of course Sears and J.C. Penney are not the only large retailers that have fallen on hard times. This week the CEO of Best Buy admitted that sales declined at his chain during the holiday season…
Best Buy shares skid on Thursday after the retailer said total revenue and sales at its established U.S stores fell in the all-important holiday season due to intense discounting by rivals, supply constraints for key products and weak traffic in December.
In the immediate aftermath of that announcement, Best Buy stock was down more than 30 percent in pre-market trading.
And Macy’s just announced that it is laying off 2,500 employees in an attempt to move in a more profitable direction.
So why is all of this happening?
Aren’t we supposed to be in the midst of an “economic recovery”?
That is what the Obama administration and the mainstream media keep telling us, but it is simply not true.
In fact, a new Gallup survey has found that the number of Americans that are “financially worse off” than a year ago is significantly higher than the number of Americans that say that they are “financially better off” than a year ago…
More Americans, 42%, say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, reversing the lower levels found over the past two years. Just more than a third of Americans say their financial situation has improved from a year ago.
That is why these stores are dying.
Things continue to get even worse for the middle class.
But a lot of people out there will continue to deny what is happening right in front of their eyes. They are kind of like that woman over in California who was conned out of half a million dollars by a Nigerian online dating scam. They will never admit the truth until it is far too late to do anything about it.
So have you been to a Sears or a J.C. Penney lately?
Do you believe that they will survive?
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
The Detroit Bankruptcy Contagion – Interview with Ellen Brown
Published by NextNewsNetwork
LOS ANGELES | On December 3rd, Detroit became the largest city to declare bankruptcy in American history. This case, which went on four months, protected the city from creditors.
While some government officials blame Detroit’s financial woes on a declining tax base, other observers say runaway spending was the main cause. The city had an estimate $18 billion in debt at the time bankruptcy was declared.
The money paid out when the city was healthy did not produce significant results for the people of the Motor City. Over 40 percent of streetlights in Detroit do not work. There are also almost 80,000 abandoned buildings in the city.
A judge ruled Detroit could cut pensions, in order to pay other creditors. This is raising a firestorm on controversy among those who were due to be paid.
Observers are questioning who will pay the debt Detroit incurred before entering bankruptcy.
Ellen Brown is a well-respected attorney, who writes for the Huffington Post. Brown is the author of 12 books, including The Web of Debt and The Public Banking Solution.
Brown is our guest on the show today.
Karen De Coster Discusses the Detroit Bankruptcy
Published by NextNewsNetwork
Karen De Coster interview with Gary Franchi for WHDT. The topic is Detroit and the city’s bankruptcy.
Is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau already “out of control.” Judicial Watch says it is
The CFPB falls under the umbrella of the Federal Reserve. It is funded by the Federal Reserve, which makes the Bureau very unique. Congress can’t reign it in fund wise, because the Federal Reserve makes it’s own rules. The Fed in many ways is bigger than Congress, and in the CFPB the Fed has gained a powerful, self funded tool to do what it wants in the everyday economy.
That’s why the CFPB is coming after bankruptcy records.
First it appears that the CFPB tried to gather millions of private bankruptcy records by going through the US Trustee, a small government agency which deals with bankruptcy matters in this country. That effort failed. Now the CFPB is just coming after the records, held and compiled by a private company, without even appearing to go through any channels.
We are going to be living with the mistakes of Dodd-Frank for a very long time.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Why Are The Chinese Gobbling Up Real Estate And Businesses In Detroit?
Something very strange is happening to Detroit. Once upon a time, it was the center of American manufacturing and it had the highest per capita income in the United States. But now the city is dying and the Chinese are moving in to pick up the pieces. Lured by news stories that proclaim that you can buy homes in Detroit for as little as one dollar, Chinese investors are eagerly gobbling up properties. In some cases, this is happening dozens of properties at a time. Not only that, according to the New York Times “dozes of companies from China” are investing in businesses and establishing a presence in the Detroit area. If this continues, will Detroit eventually become a city that is heavily dominated by China?
At this point, not too many others appear interested in saving Detroit. Right now, there are approximately 78,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit and about one-third of the entire city is either vacant or derelict. People have been moving out in droves and there are only about 700,000 residents left.
For many Americans, Detroit is about the last place that they would want to live. But to many Chinese, this sounds like a perfect buying opportunity. According to a recent Fox News report, real estate agents in Detroit are being overwhelmed with inquiries from China…
Downtown Detroit is home to one of the worst housing markets in the country, as prices of homes have collapsed and foreclosures have soared in the city’s depressed economy.
But some Chinese investors hungry for real estate are hoping Detroit’s losses will be their gain. After Detroit filed for bankruptcy July 18, Motor City property has been a hot topic on China’s social media platform, Weibo, according to a Quartz.com report.
News of the bankruptcy, coupled with a Chinese TV report in March that claimed you could buy two houses in Detroit for the same price as a pair of leather shoes, has piqued investors’ interest.
And these buyers appear to be quite serious. One buyer reportedly bought 30 properties recently, and other buyers say that they want to purchase even more homes than that…
And it appears to be translating into real interest; Caroline Chen, a real estate broker in Troy, Michigan, says she’s received “tons of calls” from people in mainland China.
“I have people calling and saying, ‘I’m serious—I wanna buy 100, 200 properties,’” she tells Quartz, noting that one of her colleagues recently sold 30 properties to a Chinese buyer. “They say ‘We don’t need to see them. Just pick the good ones.’”
Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, dozens of Chinese companies are moving into the city…
Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry.
Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers.
While starting with batteries and auto parts, the spread of Chinese business is expected to result eventually in the sale of Chinese cars in the United States.
Of course this is not just happening in Detroit. The truth is that the Chinese are buying up real estate, businesses and natural resources all over the country.
But they seem to have a particular interest in Detroit.
Glass-Steagall: War on Wall Street
Published by laroucheyouth
In the war on Wall Street, Lyndon LaRouche has launched three critical flanks:
1. A new Pecora Commission must be convened;
2. We need a full expose of who in Congress actually belongs to Wall Street;
3. In the wake of what has come to light in the Detroit bankruptcy, we need a list of the crimes committed by Wall Street in each state.
For more information go to www.LarouchePAC.com, follow us at Facebook.com/LarouchePAC & Twitter.com/LaRouchePAC.
Posted by Karen DeCoster
MSNBC: “Detroit is America’s Most Libertarian City”
MSNBC’s Ari Melber describes Detroit’s plight with the usual media rinse-and-repeat conventional spin straight from the standard script: debt up the wazoo, decayed this, bombed-out that, no services here or there. Yawn. Seems I’ve read that 1,492 times prior. And this “condition” of decay he describes is what he deems as a condition one could expect to see as the result of libertarianism. According to Ari, a city that has been governed by unions and Marxists, and raped by nepotistic mobs, has presented to the world a visual of what libertarianism would bring us were we to put it into practice. Yet he never explains the connection between a libertarian philosophical framework and Detroit’s 4+ decades of decline.
Ari states that Detroit needs to “look to Washington.” Indeed, he says Detroit should be an outpost of the Potomac, just like the Banksters. Ari thinks that Congress should convene a special session to save Detroit. The Feds, he says, could bring jobs to Detroit, invest in property, and start up a Detroit branch of the Smithsonian to save the art of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).
These media twerps never express one intelligent sentence about Detroit’s political history and sociological challenges as they pertain to the long-term decay and the current crisis. And now, finally, it can all be blamed on libertarianism and a too-small government. Melber is a boob. Follow me on Twitter @karendecoster. Thanks to Allan Caetano for the link.
Video capture added to original post.
Eminent Domain and the Decline of Detroit
There are about 100 reasons why Detroit is what it is today. More than that. But one of them, according to the attached article, is the city’s abuse eminent domain over the years.
(From The Volokh Conspiracy)
For many years, Detroit aggressively used eminent domain to promote “economic development” and “urban renewal.” The most notorious example was the 1981 Poletown case, in which some 4000 people lost their homes, and numerous businesses were forced to move in order to make way for a General Motors factory.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
Posted by Judy Morris
Detroit Red Wings Get New $400 Million Taxpayer-Financed Stadium While the City Goes Bankrupt
Well, you know, I mean, I think that Detroit built a new baseball stadium, it built a new football stadium, and lo and behold, here we are a few years later and Detroit is still going into bankruptcy.
Read the rest at Therealnews.com, here.