Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Abstract: Almost every leading corporate bankruptcy academic has spoken against the automotive bankruptcy cases. And the Chrysler and GM chapter 11 cases have been vilified in every major finance-focused media outlet - by everyone from Ralph Nader to Richard Epstein. In this short paper, originally written for the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel, I address the key academic arguments against the automotive chapter 11 cases and contextualize what happened in these two cases. Stripped of their speculation and 'what ifs,' I show that these arguments are no more persuasive than the loose, unsupported arguments thrown about in the popular press. But first, I show how these cases, and particularly their structure - a quick lender-controlled §363 sale - are entirely within the mainstream of chapter 11 practice for the last decade.