Todd J. Zywicki Reviews "A History of Bankruptcy Law in America" by David A. Skeel, Jr.

October 01, 2002
As this review was being written, after failures in the past two Congresses, Congress was once again on the verge of passing a comprehensive bankruptcy reform bill. At the same time, WorldCom, Enron, Global Crossing, and their ignominious peers continue to set records for the size, expense, and public attention drawn to business bankruptcy. Consumer bankruptcies soar toward the 1.5 million per year mark, continuing an irresistible upward trend. Meanwhile, as law firms announce layoffs and salary freezes in most departments, bankruptcyprofessionals prosper amidst the despair, billing $20 million per month on the Enron case alone—even as creditors and shareholders sit by awaiting payment. Clearly we are witnessing a profound and unprecedented change in the political, social, and economic framework of bankruptcy.