Posts Tagged ‘Bankruptcy’

“Overcoming the Stigma of Bankruptcy!”

Millions of hard-working Americans are filing bankruptcy every year.

In 2010 more than a million and a half individuals and families filed for bankruptcy — exceeded only in 2003 and 2005.

It’s predicted that bankruptcies could decrease in 2011 after returning to the pre-2005 levels the past two years. But, if the economy slows bankruptcies will climb. More than 3.7 million Americans have filed for bankruptcy in the last five years.

With so many Americans in financial trouble bankruptcy no longer carries the stigma it once did. The need to file bankruptcy has touched not only the poor, but a wide spectrum of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet.

When will the financial struggle for hard-working American’s end?

Read the rest of this entry »

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“Britain’s Shipping Fuse”

Just when you thought there could not be any more bad shipping news, there’s more.

What I failed to discuss in the previous 3 shipping articles was the potential demise of the world’s shipping companies and the damage these failures could do to the banks that make the loans that buy the ships that ship the goods all over the world.

The collapse of Eastwind Maritime in the late summer sent shivers throughout the maritime financial sector. The problems the industry faces are covered in an interesting piece by Landon Thomas Jr. in the New York Times entitled, “As Shipping Slows, Banks and Carriers Fear Loan Defaults.”

Shipping companies and banks, in the UK, Germany, and Sweden, are concerned by the 25% drop in global trade; the affects it will have on shipping rates, and the over abundance of new ships ordered by these companies from the nation’s shipbuilders during the height of the economic boom. This shipbuilding problem was addressed in “The Shipping Blues,” the first article in The Cutting Edge shipping series.

But the problem now extends to the banks. Two of the already troubled banks in England, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Lloyd’s, are heavily vested in financing the shipping industry and failure here will add to their already insurmountable problems. The Bank of England infused the two banks with another $43 billion british pounds ($73 billion U.S.) just last week to stabilize them.

At the current decline in shipments some foresee a future oversupply of container ships by as much as 50%. To prevent that shipping companies are beginning to cancel or delay the delivery of the newly order vessels in an effort to reduce the size of their fleets.

The implication is that the perfect storm is forming for the shipping industry and their over-zealous lenders. That sinking feeling is real and could destroy any chance of a global economic recovery.

The fuse is lit. Now we’re just waiting for the explosion hoping that somehow we can avert disaster.

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“Shades of Enron and WorldCom”

Eight short years ago the Markets were shocked by the December bankruptcy filing of Enron, one of the largest corporations in the country. It was the biggest bankruptcy in history. Just six months later WorldCom filed bankruptcy becoming the new largest recorded bankruptcy.

These two failures shook the markets sending stocks into a tailspin. Enron became the poster child for corporate corruption and executive greed leading the way to a series of corporate scandals including Adelphia, Tyco, ImClone, and Global Crossing. The perfect setting for Murder!

The corruption and greed became the backdrop for “Final Audit,” an exciting novel about executives from bankrupt corporations dying. As I wrote this ‘mystriguing’ first novel my research took me beyond the immediate scandals to the avarice, arrogance, and abhorrent behavior prevalent in Corporate America.

Many were responsible for the collapses of Enron and WorldCom. But the important issue would be what they learned from the failures and what they would do to prevent this happening in the future.

So what did we learn? And how did we apply those lessons? Read the rest of this entry »

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