Coming Through in a Crisis: How Chapter 11 and the Debt Restructuring Industry are Helping to Revive the U.S. Economy
Stuart C. Gilson
Harvard Business School - Finance Unit
Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Vol. 24, Issue 4, pp. 23-35, 2012
During the recent financial crisis, U.S. bankruptcy courts and debt restructuring practitioners were faced with the largest wave of corporate defaults and bankruptcies in history. In 2008 and 2009, $1.8 trillion worth of public company assets entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection - almost 20 times the amount during the prior two years. And the portfolio companies of U.S. private equity firms faced a towering wall of debt that, many observers predicted, was about to wipe out most of the industry. But far from the death of private equity or a severe contraction of corporate America, the past three years have seen an astonishingly rapid working off of U.S. corporate debt overhang, allowing corporate profits and values to rebound with remarkable speed and vigor. And as the author of this article argues, corporate America's recovery from the recent financial crisis provides a clear demonstration of the importance of U.S. bankruptcy laws and restructuring practices in maintaining the competitiveness of U.S. companies and the long‐run growth of the U.S. economy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 26, 2012
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