NEWS AND ANALYSIS
ANALYSIS: NEARLY A THIRD OF COMPANIES THAT FILED FOR CHAPTER 11 DID NOT DISCLOSE PLANS IN ADVANCE
More than two dozen companies in the past five years did not disclose chapter 11 bankruptcy preparations to investors, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of regulatory filings. The companies, including Eastman Kodak Co. and American Airlines parent AMR Corp., refrained from warning investors about potentially seeking chapter 11 protection from creditors despite facing dire financial straits or, in some cases, hiring restructuring advisers to make the preparations. Some of the firms only disclosed later in court documents that they had laid the groundwork for the filings in advance. The law is murky in this area: Federal securities laws and regulations do not require disclosure of bankruptcy preparations in most circumstances, even though such information could be deemed "material" to investors, according to securities-law specialists. The Financial Accounting Standards Board is working on proposing a rule that would require executives under certain circumstances to be responsible for disclosing issues related to a company's ability to continue as a going concern. Under current rules, auditors determine whether companies must make that sort of disclosure. The "going concern" disclosure is separate from other general bankruptcy-preparation notifications a company could choose to make. Read more. (Subscription required.)
U.S. CONSUMER CREDIT EXPANDS IN SEPTEMBER
Federal Reserve data released yesterday showed that U.S. consumer credit grew $11.36 billion in September, although Americans appeared to use their credit cards more sparingly, Reuters reported yesterday. So far this year, overall consumer credit has expanded in eight of nine months. Nonrevolving credit, which includes student and auto loans, rose $14.27 billion in September. Student loans made by the government rose 27.9 percent in the 12 months through September, slightly less than the 12-month growth posted through August. The figures also showed a contraction in revolving credit, which mostly measures credit card use. That category dropped to $2.90 billion in September. Read more.
TARIFFS UPHELD, BUT MAY NOT HELP U.S. SOLAR INDUSTRY'S STRUGGLES
Though the U.S. International Trade Commission decided yesterday to uphold tariffs of about 24 to 36 percent on most solar panels imported from China, the action might not do much to aid the financially struggling U.S. solar panel industry, according to a report from today's New York Times. Domestic solar manufacturers said that the duties, to be in place for five years, would make up for unfair business practices by Chinese companies that had harmed the domestic market and allow homegrown companies to hire more workers and thrive. Because the duties apply to panels made of Chinese-produced solar cells, Chinese companies are already avoiding the duties by assembling their panels from cells produced elsewhere, like Taiwan, even if the cell components come from China. The case is also unlikely to have much effect on the central market dynamic that analysts say is driving companies out of business: oversupply. About a dozen panel makers in the United States have gone bankrupt or closed factories since the start of last year. "There have been a few bankruptcies and a few plant closures and so on, but at this point it's just a drop in the bucket," said Shayle Kann, the head of GTM Research, a unit of Greentech Media. Read more.
VIDEO AND PREPARED WITNESS STATEMENTS FROM THE CHAPTER 11 COMMISSION'S 11/3 HEARING NOW AVAILABLE
The video recording of ABI's Chapter 11 Reform Commission’s hearing on 11/3 at TMA's annual conference is now available. Additionally, prepared witness statements can also be downloaded. Click here to watch the video and access the prepared witness statements.
The next public hearing will be Thursday, Nov. 15, at the CFA Annual Convention in Phoenix. For future Commission hearings, please click here: http://commission.abi.org/.
MEMBERS ENCOURAGED TO WEIGH IN ON REAPPOINTMENT OF BANKRUPTCY JUDGE JUDITH WIZMUR
The current 14-year term of office for Judith H. Wizmur, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of New Jersey at Camden, is due to expire on Sept. 4, 2013. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is considering the reappointment of the judge to a new 14-year term of office. Members of the bar and the public are invited to submit comments for consideration by the Court of Appeals regarding the reappointment of Bankruptcy Judge Wizmur. All comments should be directed to one of the following addresses: by e-mail at Wizmur_Reappointment@ca3.uscourts.gov or by mail to the Office of the Circuit
Executive, 22409 U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19106-1790.
Comments must be received no later than noon on Monday, December 3, 2012.
ELECTION ANALYST AND AUTHOR LARRY SABATO TO DISSECT THE 2012 ELECTION RESULTS AT ABI’S 24TH ANNUAL WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE!
Don't miss ABI's 24th Annual Winter Leadership Conference, taking place Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz. This year's conference will feature insights from some of the top insolvency and restructuring experts on issues confronting the profession in 2013, including four specialized tracks geared toward business, consumer, financial advisor and professional development. The featured keynote speaker will be election analyst and author Larry Sabato. ABI's Great Debates a field hearing of ABI’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 and 10 committee educational sessions will also be taking place at the conference. Panel sessions include:
• Fraudulent Conveyance Litigation from Soup to Nuts
• Pushing the Envelope
• The Role of the Hedge Fund in Corporate Restructurings: White Knight or Villain?
• Social Networking and Bankruptcy Issues
Financial Advisors Track
• Advising the Corporate Entity
• How to Create Value for the Estate from Your First Client Meeting until Entry of a Final Decree
• From Infants to Toddlers: Bankruptcy Rules 3001 and 3002.1 Experience First-Year Growing Pains
• The National Mortgage Settlement: How Will It Affect Consumer Bankruptcy Cases?
Professional Development Track
• Litigation Skills: Mock Expert Examination
• “I'm Shocked—Shocked!—to Find that Unethical Conduct Is Going On in Here!”: A Tale of Ethics in Bankruptcy
The conference will also include a final night dinner featuring impressionist, comedian and singer Jeff Tracta, and the sounds of ABI's rock-n-roll band, the Indubitable Equivalents. Register by Monday to save $50 on your registration!
TUCK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS WINS NINTH ANNUAL CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING COMPETITION
A team from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy at the Ninth Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition, held Nov. 1-2 at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia. The second-year MBA student winners also shared a $6,000 cash prize. Students from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business won the second-place award of $3,500, while a team from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business received the $2,500 prize for third place. Click here to read the full press release.
LATEST CASE SUMMARY ON VOLO: MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY V. ASBESTOS SETTLEMENT TRUST (IN RE THE CELOTEX CORP.; 11TH CIR.)
Summarized by Jeffrey Snyder of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP
The Eleventh Circuit ruled that although a district court, at its discretion, may review interlocutory judgments and orders of a bankruptcy court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §158(a), a court of appeals only has jurisdiction over final judgments and orders entered by a district court or bankruptcy appellate panel sitting in review of a bankruptcy court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §158(d).
There are nearly 700 appellate opinions summarized on Volo, and summaries typically appear within 24 hours of the ruling. Click here regularly to view the latest case summaries on ABI’s Volo website.
NEW ON ABI’S BANKRUPTCY BLOG EXCHANGE: SECOND CIRCUIT ADOPTS DEFERENTIAL ABUSE OF DISCRETION STANDARD OF REVIEW FOR EQUITABLE MOOTNESS APPEALS
The Bankruptcy Blog Exchange is a free ABI service that tracks 35 bankruptcy-related blogs. A recent blog post examines how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in R2 Investments v. Charter Communications, Inc., recently affirmed the dismissal of an appeal from the confirmation order in the bankruptcy of cable company Charter Communications, concluding that the deferential abuse of discretion standard of review was applicable.
Be sure to check the site several times each day; any time a contributing blog posts a new story, a link to the story will appear on the top. If you have a blog that deals with bankruptcy, or know of a good blog that should be part of the Bankruptcy Exchange, please contact the ABI Web team.
ABI Quick Poll
Despite the "free and clear" language of Sect. 363(f), purchasers of assets in 363 sales may still be liable for injuries to unidentifiable future claimants. (In re Grumman Olson Indus, SDNY).
Click here to vote on this week's Quick Poll. Click here to view the results of previous Quick Polls.
HAVE YOU TUNED IN TO BLOOMBERG LAW'S VIDEO PODCASTS?
Bloomberg Law's video podcasts feature top experts speaking about current bankruptcy topics. The podcasts are available via Bloomberg Law's YouTube channel so that you can access the programs from your computer or device of your choice! Click here to view the Bloomberg Law video podcasts.
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