American Bankruptcy Institute Update

August 16, 2005

In This Issue


Dollar Gains as U.S. Consumer Prices Rise Most in Three Months

The dollar gained against the euro for a third day as prices paid by U.S. consumers rose by the most in three months, reinforcing speculation that the Federal Reserve will keep raising interest rates through year-end, Bloomberg reported today. The consumer price index advanced 0.5 percent last month, after no increase in June, the Labor Department said. Higher interest rates in the United States relative to Europe have helped fuel the dollar’s 10 percent gain against the euro this year.

The Labor Department said that worker wages grew 0.4 percent in July, the fastest pace in a year. A week earlier, the government said prices paid by consumers for goods and services, excluding food and energy, rose 2 percent last quarter. After revisions, it was the fifth quarter at or above that level. Read the full story.

Bush Likely to Stay out of Northwest Labor Disagreement

President Bush does not plan to take action to avert a possible strike by mechanics at financially troubled Northwest Airlines that could begin as soon as this weekend, the White House said yesterday. Shares of Northwest rose 15 cents, or 3.7 percent, to close at $4.17 Monday on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the Associated Press reported.

A 30-day cooling-off period that mediators declared between the nation’s fourth-largest airline and its mechanics ends at 12:01 a.m. EDT Saturday. If no agreement is reached beforehand, a strike could then begin or the airline could lock out the mechanics.

President Bush can appoint a presidential emergency board, pre-empting a strike or lockout until the panel examines the dispute. The president used that option in the spring of 2001 when Northwest mechanics came within days of striking. But White House spokesman Trent Duffy said no such move is expected this time.

New Lender Report from Fed

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has issued a report on the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices.

The July 2005 report addressed changes in the supply of and demand for bank loans to businesses and households over the past three months. The survey also queried banks about their current holdings and recent originations and securitizations of nontraditional mortgage products. The report is based on responses from 54 domestic banking institutions and 20 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks. Read the full article.

ABI Endowment to Fund Study of Consumer Bankruptcy from Debtors’ Perspective

ABI’s Research Grant Committee has awarded a two-year, $21,100 grant from the ABI Endowment to the Memphis-based RISE Foundation to study the impact of bankruptcy on debtors in the Western District of Tennessee.

The project will be the first study of bankruptcy from the debtor’s perspective in the Memphis area. The district has the nation’s highest per capita filing rate. The results will assist practitioners and policy-makers in evaluating the factors behind the high filing rate. The research will also provide insight into the debtors’ life after bankruptcy.

Register Now for ABI’s New Investment Banking Program

In an exciting new format and location, the 2005 Investment Banking Program, to be held Sept. 8–9 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas, will offer a unique approach to understanding the role of investment bankers in insolvency and restructuring. The case study will dramatize the many perspectives of parties-in-interest as they examine strategic alternatives and seek the highest value for an insolvent company. An “all-star” cast of industry leaders will play the role of the major constituents as they work through the case study in this day-long program. Register today!

Join Your Peers at ABI’s International Insolvency Symposium

ABI’s first program in Europe, to be held September 23, 2005 in London, at the renowned Savoy Hotel, will bring together top international speakers to discuss the issues of the moment in international insolvency and restructuring. The event has attracted significant support from the industry’s top professional firms in the United States and Europe.

Sir Gavin Lightman, Chancery Division High Court of Justice, London, will present the keynote address: Views from the Bench. Other symposium sessions will include International Forum Shopping, Hands Across the Pond: Identifying Best Practices, Restructuring Trends in Europe, and Managing an International Reorganisation.

Register today for this exciting international program.

Did You Miss Last Week ’s Consumer Bankruptcy Webinar?

Don’t worry—you can now access it in the Webinar archive!

Mark your calendar for the last Webinar in the series:

The Judges’ Perspective—September 22, 2 p.m. EDT

This Webinar will be a special roundtable featuring a panel of leading bankruptcy judges:

  • Second Circuit: Hon. Elizabeth Stong, Eastern District of New York
  • Fourth Circuit: Hon. Douglas Tice, Eastern District of Virginia
  • Fifth Circuit: Hon. Barbara Houser, Northern District of Texas
  • Sixth Circuit: Hon. Steven Rhodes, Eastern District of Michigan
  • Ninth Circuit: Hon. Samuel Bufford, Central District of California
  • Tenth Circuit: Hon. James Starzynski, District of New Mexico
  • Eleventh Circuit: Hon. Mary Grace Diehl, Northern District of Georgia

Register today.

Unsecured Trade Creditors Committee E-Newsletter Now Available Online

The August edition of the Unsecured Trade Creditors Committee e-newsletter is available online. Included this month are Dennis J. Connolly’s article “BAPCPA to Change Committee Make-up and Practice,” Dorman Wood’s article on §1102, “To Serve or Not to Serve? That Is the Question!” and the agenda for the 2005 Winter Leadership Conference.

Prepare for the Certification Exam

The new bankruptcy law provides that courts will take into account board certification when awarding attorney fees under §330. The American Board of Certification is offering its exams several times this fall (covering current law). You can prepare for the exams with a handy and affordable CD-ROM prepared by board-certified ABI members. The CD includes materials on consumer bankruptcy, business bankruptcy, ethics and creditors’ rights. Sample exam questions and answers are also included. Member price is $195. Buy the CD-ROM in ABI’s online store!

“Best of Annual Spring Meeting” Archived Program Now Available Online

The “Best of ABI” series brings the highest-rated sessions from each ABI conference right to your office. The “Best of Annual Spring Meeting” archived program is now available online at ABI World.

CLE/CPE credit will be available in certain states. The program features Judges Joan Feeney, David Houston, Linda Riegle and Mary Walrath analyzing the new law.

ABI World Tutorial Highlights Search Engine

A new online tutorial focuses on the capability of ABI’s search engine. The tutorial features a visual demonstration of how to use the online search engine and locate documents quickly and easily on a particular bankruptcy topic within the thousands of articles, reports, publications, court documents and many other sources available at the ABI World web site. This is the third in a series of tutorials that will highlight the many resources and services available at ABI World.

Latest Job Postings at ABI Career Center

Check out the ABI Career Center. The Center is a one-stop site for job seekers and employers in the insolvency community. Career Center resources are available free to both employers and job seekers. New positions are featured daily. The latest listings include: