Heard on the street: If failure is the mother of success, then who is the father? Or does success, like Heather, have two mommies?”

CNN recently ran a series on creativity.  One of the articles was “The Success of Failure.”


While this particular piece was not directed specifically at business failures, the timing was striking.  Its been over three years since one of the worst financial meltdowns in history. We are still digging ourselves out.  Are we still in “failure” mode?

Nowhere is failure more apparent than in the restructuring area.  Every case stems from a failure of one kind or another.  Our job is to make a success of it, or at least try to salvage what we can.  This is ever more challenging now, given that the economy is still operating like the Spaceship Mir. Continue reading

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At the beginning of any new year, much of the conversation among restructuring types centers on one question: What’s in store for us this year?

A clue was found in a recent “attack ad” run by a super-PAC in connection with the upcoming South Carolina primary.  The ad, which runs over half an hour, interviews workers who lost their jobs after take-overs of their employers by a private equity fund founded by one of the candidates.

Most bankruptcy lawyers – regardless of political persuasion – had the same reaction to this ad:  ”Welcome to my world.”  The voices of displaced workers are all too familiar to those who work in the restructuring world, as are private equity firms and other distressed debt investors. Continue reading

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The most recent Republican presidential debate was co-sponsored by Facebook and two networks.  The innovative format allowed the moderators to take questions from Facebook users, who participated in a real-time commentary during the debate, with NBC staff monitoring the posts for questions.

I watched the debate on TV and followed the Facebook chat at the same time.  As I saw the FB comments make their way into the hands of the moderators and into the debate, I was struck by the fact that some of the questions and ideas expressed on FB went far beyond what the moderators had in mind going into the debate.

How does this, you ask, relate to why all of us bankruptcy types are losing sleep? And how in the world is this blog going to help with that. Continue reading

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Every one has them. Some say they are a bad idea and that making them simply deters actual action. But we all make them nonetheless. I can only talk about my own, but maybe you will share yours too.


Not just the headline or first two paragraphs. Read the entire article. Especially financial, political, and business news.


The state of the art means: what happened yesterday – literally. The form of DIP order that was entered in Delaware last week. The latest ruling on retention of financial advisors. The state of most-watched bankruptcy appeals. To paraphrase the famous commercial, if you don’t get it, then you don’t get it. Continue reading

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Let me start with a topic near and dear to all of us…the Debt Wall is lower than everyone though it would be last year. What does that mean for us? Is the economy “strong” yet? If the economy gets too “strong” for too long, what will we do for a living? Will we have to retool? In the next few weeks, I am going to answer these questions and more.

Everyone wants more work right now. There is a lot of hand wringing over where it’s going to come from and when. The answers, however, are all right in front of us.

Every time I overhear a debate about whether the economy presently is “strong” or “weak”, I want to interrupt and say, “Its neither.” As restructuring types, if there is one thing we know, its that the economy is never “good” or “bad” – its simply evolving. Like the weather in New York – it changes every ten minutes. The economy may seem “bad” to most people now, but its “good” right now for one group of people that we serve – investors in the distressed debt and restructuring market. This is also a good time for investors in the established sectors.

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