Thursday, December 8, 2011

Birthdays and Bankruptcy


Dec. 8 marks the 3rd year of Tribune Co.'s stay in bankruptcy.  There is no confirmed reorganization plan yet.  In fact, months ago, Judge Carey of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court denied confirmation of any of the two competing reorganization plans for Tribune.  One of the plan was proposed by the Debtors, the other by noteholders.  Once in the past year, there were four competing plans on the table.  Judge Carey denied confirmation after observing that none of the parties wanted to settle and agree to a compromise.  A compelling read, Judge Carey's memorandum and opinion started out with the fable of the fox and the scorpion.  At the end of his interpretation, he concluded that there is no lesson to his story. The story, he said, exposed a human character: "the willingness to visit harm upon the others, even at one's own peril."

Unconsciously, I have marked occasions and dates in bankruptcy timeline.  One Valentine's Day, Solutia filed a reorganization plan.  One mid-March, Lehman filed its plan.  Sept. 15 will be doomsday. Or should doomsday be Sept. 11? Sept. 15 was the day Lehman filed for bankruptcy, which prompted the collapse of the financial market.

Dec. 8 is Tribune's 3rd year anniversary in bankruptcy, and also my birthday.