State of Bankruptcy

We now know, after the re-election of Governor Perry, that Texas has a budget deficit of an estimated 27 billion dollars and we are now in the same boat as is New York, California and New Jersey.  Because of this state level economic disaster, as opposed to the national level economic disaster, some folks are talking about changing the bankruptcy laws to allow states to file for bankruptcy, or to provide for some reorganization process whereby states can get out of this mess.

Here is a quote from a recent article:   “For now, the fear of destabilizing the municipal bond market with the words “state bankruptcy” has proponents in Congress going about their work on tiptoe.

No draft bill is in circulation yet, and no member of Congress has come forward as a sponsor, although Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, asked the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, about the possiblity in a hearing this month.

House Republicans, and Senators from both parties, have taken an interest in the issue, with nudging from bankruptcy lawyers and a former House speaker, Newt Gingrich, who could be a Republican presidential candidate.

It would be difficult to get a bill through Congress, not only because of the constitutional questions and the complexities of bankruptcy law, but also because of fears that even talk of such a law could make the states’ problems worse.

Lawmakers might decide to stop short of a full-blown bankruptcy proposal and establish instead some sort of oversight panel for distressed states, akin to the Municipal Assistance Corporation, which helped New York City during its fiscal crisis of 1975.”

Here is a link: http://www.cnbc.com/id/41189172

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