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Broken Bench: Understanding the Bankruptcy Code

In legal terms, when one fails to pay back their debts, they might opt for bankruptcy.  The process, in the US, for example, is handled in t...

In legal terms, when one fails to pay back their debts, they might opt for bankruptcy. 

The process, in the US, for example, is handled in the federal courts.

In reverse, someone you owe money, a creditor, can apply to the court to make you bankrupt, against your will. The word was derived from Italian banca rotta, which refers to a “broken bench”.

By @Comic24derick

Historically, bankers operated from wooden benches. Bankruptcy laws vary in different countries. However, the dictionary bankruptcy definition is not limited to money only.

It is much broader. One book defines it as “the state of being completely lacking in a particularly good quality.” From the explanation, if something lacks perfection, it becomes bankrupt, or corrupt.

An individual or organization can be regarded as morally, politically, or ethically bankrupt, meaning their behavior or discharge of professional duty or conduct failed to meet certain standards.

Bankruptcy for businesses

“A bankruptcy judge can fix your balance sheet, but he cannot fix your company,” reasoned Gordon Bethune, a retired US airline executive.

When one files for bankruptcy, it’s the reprieve is temporary, which can only save an individual from the dire consequences that may arise. However, the act cannot resuscitate the company that you have worked hard to build and maintain.
“But it’s not about finances. No matter what, it’s about keeping it real.” (Image: 
In essence, bankruptcy will resuscitate a smaller part of life, but it will affect a larger part of your life and dreams. Bethune is not a novice to bankruptcy. The airliner filed for bankruptcy protection, for the second time in seven years in 1990.

Eat what you kill

In a bid to occupy a higher class, and soothe onlookers, people are spending on non-essential goods and consumption without proper investment that may cover them in the future. Usually, bankruptcy leaves a trail of stress, family breakdown, and poverty. Depression and suicide may also result.

American venture capitalists J. D. Vance therefore warns, “We spend to pretend that we’re upper class. And when the dust clears – when bankruptcy hits or a family member bails us out of our stupidity – there's nothing left over.”

The caution implies that impulse buying is causing the family to spend more on material things while neglecting and compromising their future. “Nothing for the kids’ college tuition, no investment to grow our wealth, no rainy-day fund if someone loses her job.”

Lost hope

“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation,” said Eric Hoffer.

Have you ever invested your time in something you were passionate about? Or you once loved someone with all your heart, who later dumped you when you least expected. In some instances, you were once cheated by a trusted partner.

If you relate to any one of those sad scenarios, then Hoffer was referring to you. When all hope is lost after a major disappointment, your life seems like a plane crash or even a blue-chip company collapsing.

Health for all

Denying people access to healthcare is denying someone a right to life. We all have a single life, and we must preserve it.

Those in need of medical attention must access it on time, irrespective of one’s social standing. Rejecting someone access to treatment is moral bankruptcy, that could lead to death.

“Healthcare is a human right. No one should face bankruptcy or death because of lack of healthcare,” advocated Deb Haaland. “All Americans – regardless of their health or residential status – should be able to access the healthcare they need, whenever they need it.”

Mean what you say

“An expenditure of words without income of ideas will lead to intellectual bankruptcy.” – Ravi Zacharias. 

Speaking from a religious platform, Zacharias was convinced that many people, organizations are spending their energy and resources in conferences, drafting agreements of what they intend to do.

Yet, when it comes to implementation, they are docile. Ideas on paper are good, but action brings greater results.

Corruption rules

After studying loopholes in the legal systems, other people are benefiting from bankruptcy. They get a reprieve to start operating again. Bankruptcy has become a way of earning a deceitful living.

This form of dishonesty is alluded to by David Dinkins, when he said: “Today, certain people file for bankruptcy, businesses, and individuals, and it no longer has the stigma it once had. Now it’s almost considered wise, a way to regroup and come back again.”

Ethical bankruptcy

“I often say to entrepreneurs, ‘If Lehman Brothers were Lehman Brothers & Sisters, it wouldn’t have gone into bankruptcy,” said Shinzo Abe.

The former Japanese Prime Minister could have quoted controversy after the above statement, but he was implying that if there was a gender balance in the financial institution, it could have survived the collapse.

To Abe, women possess ethics and management skills that might be lacking in men. Sadly, they are often ignored by society, hence the collapse of some companies.

The Emerson worldview

Ralph Waldo Emerson blames the world for the corruption that is affecting the earth. From environmental degradation, pointless wars, moral degradation that is engulfing us.

We are all responsible, and we must do much more to correct the current situation, and stop blaming the next person. “It is said that the world is in a state of bankruptcy, that the world owes the world more than the world can pay,” Emerson said.

Benjamin Bratt adds that: “We live in a society that, for the most part, is morally and spiritually bankrupt. Our culture is a culture of consumerism. How sustainable is that?”

Instead of changing our perception of life to sane humanity, people have become self-centered and are only focused on feeding their selfish egos at the expense of the universe. We are focused on what benefits us, ignoring the greater good that will make the world prosper.

Live within your means

“I didn’t end up going bankrupt … I made some great investments and I held on to my money, which also enables me to have the freedom to do what I want now,” Vanilla Ice said. “But it’s not about finances. No matter what, it’s about keeping it real.”

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