Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bankruptcy

I have begun thinking a lot about bankruptcy--no, not mine, but others. I read today about the Archbishop of Canterbury making, um, disparaging remarks about the Catholic Church of Ireland--something about it being broken.


So that set me to thinking about bankruptcy. A corporation declares bankruptcy when its assets can no longer support its liabilities. Sometimes, the company figures that out for itself, and sometimes it is forced upon the company by an outside party.  And then the main issue to be decided is which kind--Chapter 11, or Chapter 7. As we know, under Chapter 11, the company is allowed to continue as a legal business entity, until it (often with some outside "help") "reorganizes" its assets and its liabilities--maybe sells off some assets, gets someone to devalue some its liabilities, until it comes back into some rough alignment. Often, the chief culprits--the CEO, the officers and the board are shown the door.  New management comes in and the company attempts to regain its footing.
Under Chapter 7, we have essentially a fire sale of the company's assets, and everyone is canned (generally without any bonuses).
So, I'm trying to decide whether the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a morally bankrupt institution, ought to declare Chapter 11, or give it all up and go for Chapter 7--wonder what you could get for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel??
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