Business Bankruptcies Up by Nearly 50% in April

Posted on by

A sharp increase in business bankruptcy filings is not only a tangible sign of business distress, but bodes ill for employment. Although the Bloomberg report does not break out Chapter 11 filings by size of entity, it’s a no-brainer than they would be concentrated in smaller companies, and it is those smaller entities that have been the source of job growth in this cycle (large businesses had been shedding jobs even in a nominally strong economy)l. Small businesses also rely far more than large companies on real estate and credit cards for financing, and lenders have been tightening up on both types of loans.

From Bloomberg:

Business bankruptcy filings in the U.S. increased 49 percent in April from a year earlier, the biggest gain so far in 2008, as the slowing economy prompted more companies to shut down.

Business petitions rose to 5,173 during the month, according to statistics compiled from court records by Jupiter eSources LLC in Oklahoma City…..

“When you go into a downturn, the cyclical industries tend to get hit,” said Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC in Boulder, Colorado. “Any sudden downshift in growth will generate rises in these numbers.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Anonymous

    And yet the stock market rallies… The US equities markets are getting to be like betting on Pro Wresting matches.

  2. Francois

    Begin [sarcasm]
    By shedding workers, big corporations are becoming ever more profitable by cutting costs.

    That bodes really well for the most sought after “quality of earnings”, the real power indicator of a true keeper of a stock.

    Since all large US businesses systematically refuse to engage in options backdating, cookie jar reserves and what have you, we, the investors, benefits for the superior moral attitude of the management teams in place. It is lonely in the corner office where tough decisions must be made for the common good while earning a decent living, but not much more than that.

    If I was the stock market, I’d be even higher, floating in a rarefied plane made of bliss and selflessness, where my karma would beat any dogma.

    In these post-Goldilocks (new and improved!) conditions, is it any surprise if the stock market is heading north?
    End [/sarcasm]

  3. Chicago Boss

    An IT dollar reversal in March has generated some nice earnings in nominal terms…

    Just watch what happens to the prices of companies over the next two months that have dollar rich balance sheets and pay dividends. Also of interest will be companies in the commodity and weak dollar trade.

    Down is up and…

  4. Anonymous

    Speaking of MBIA going belly up:

    Billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is under investigation by the Connecticut attorney general for possible conflicts between its ownership of almost 20 percent of credit ratings company Moody’s Corp. and his newly formed municipal bond insurance business.

    Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in an interview yesterday he is examining the “clear and direct conflict of interest for Moody’s to rate a company owned by such a significant Moody’s shareholder.”

    Moody’s gave its top rating last week to Berkshire Hathaway Assurance Corp., created in December as existing bond insurers struggled to maintain their AAA ratings. A favorable rating for Berkshire by New York-based Moody’s, or a lower rating for competitors including MBIA Inc. and Ambac Financial Group Inc., may give Buffett’s company an advantage.

    “We have been aware of this issue, and it has been very actively and immediately involved in our investigation,” said Blumenthal, referring to a previously announced antitrust probe of ratings companies. “This financial relationship is part and parcel of the issues involved in our antitrust investigation.”

Comments are closed.