News & Comments
The commentary on the debt ceiling standoff has featured a bunch of mistaken conceptions from across the political spectrum. Let's address them.
Myth #1: The 14th Amendment Prohibits a Default
A variety of commentators claim that the 14th Amendment prohibits the United States from defaulting. It does nothing of the sort. Read the text of the Public Debt Clause:
This fall the Supreme Court will be hear a case captioned Community Financial Services of America v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, dealing with the constitutionality of the CFPB's funding mechanism. I'm pleased to announce that Patricia McCoy and I filed an amicus brief today in support of the CFPB.
When I was a law student the rule I learned about secured claims was that they accrue post-petition interest and attorneys' fees (if provided for by contract or statute) up to the amount of the value of the collateral that exceeds their claims, but then nothing further once they are fully secured. That was an easy enough rule to apply.
[Updated 4.12.23 to reflect the transcript of the first day hearing with much more detailed analysis of LTL's arguments regarding fraudulent transfer allegations.]
This post is a joint post by Hon. Judith K. Fitzgerald (ret.)[*] and Adam Levitin
Here we go again. Precisely one hour and thirty-nine minutes after the dismissal of the bankruptcy filing of LTL, Johnson & Johnson’s artificially created talc-liability subsidiary, the company was right back at it again with the filing of a new chapter 11 case in New Jersey, again assigned to Judge Kaplan.
A mid-sized regional bank specializing in lending to tech start-ups, crypto companies, or law firms hardly seems of systemic importance, even if its failure would have caused disruption in some industries regionally and might have triggered a cascade of corporate bankruptcies because of large uninsured deposit balances. That sort of collateral damage from a bank failure is unfortunate and painful for those involved, but that's the nature of market discipline.
Last week I did a post about how the FDIC as receiver for Silicon Valley Bank probably doesn't have a claim against SVB Financial Group, the holdco of the bank. I got some pushback on that (including from a former student!), but I'm sticking to my guns here. It's a result that seems wrong and surprising, but if you look at the three most recent big bank holdco bankruptcies (this takes some digging in old bankruptcy court dockets), the FDIC has ended up with little or no claim.