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The populist backlash in Chapter 11
Brookings 2022.01.13 원문보기
From a bankruptcy perspective, the pandemic has unfolded differently than many expected. Prior economic crises have caused sharp upswings in bankruptcy filings. The 2007-2009 crisis was true to form, with business bankruptcy filings doubling during this time, to 60,837 in 2009 from 28,322 in 2007. Given that governments almost completely shut down the American economy in 2020, an even greater surge seemed likely. Many observers predicted a massive wave of bankruptcies. Bankruptcy scholars and bankruptcy organizations sprang into action, calling for Congress to increase the capacity of the bankruptcy system (primarily by increasing the number of bankruptcy judges) and to assure access to financing for companies that filed for bankruptcy. The big surprise of the current pandemic is that the great bankruptcy wave of 2020 never materialized. The number of very large corporate bankruptcies increased, but overall business bankruptcies went down rather than up (from 22,780 in 2019 to 21,655 in 2020), and the decrease in consumer bankruptcy filings was even more dramatic (752,160 in 2019, 522,808 in 2020, a 28% drop). The most obvious reason for the surprising decline in bankruptcy filings was the enormous amount of stimulus money that buoyed the economy, including well over $1 trillion of business lending capacity in the CARES Act of March 2020 and subsequent boosters of the small business portion of the legislation. In addition, the buoyancy of the stock market provided access to equity capital for firms that might have found themselves in bankruptcy under other circumstances.
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