chapter  15
24 Pages

The policy of insolvency EU–US

WithDIETER STIEFEL

America is different. This has been the basic impression of Europeans from Alexis de Tocqueville until today (Lévy, 2006). One of these differences concerns bankruptcy policy. Famous cases of insolvency such as Enron show this clearly (Barreveld, 2002; Rapoport and Dharan, 2004; Dembinski et al., 2006). Above all, Chapter 11 is both well-known and debated in Europe. In past years, airlines have been the main users of petitions of insolvency as a means to reduce staff costs or even to transfer pension liabilities onto public institutions (Delta, New York Times, 23 April 2006: 22; or Eastern Airlines in 1989). Bankruptcy policy is thus part of a country’s economic and legal culture, and it varies between the US and the EU countries quite considerably.