Bankruptcy specialists (lawyers, accountants and consultants) that make a living advising, guiding and restructuring insolvent companies and unpaid creditors in our country’s Federal Bankruptcy Courts are a unique and sometimes fascinating clan. Because of their frequent proximity to and inside view of so many financial debacles they have developed their own vernacular and gruesome wit as they ply their trade in what is the financial equivalent of an EMT’s experience on a regular Saturday night.
One of my favorite expressions used by these professionals (almost never said in the presence of the client) is “Welcome to the Banquet of Consequences, where the food is served cold and you pay in advance”. Another favorite is the question, “When did you notice the parakeet was dead?”, which is a reference to the old practice of underground miners bringing parakeets into mine shafts as “early indicators” that there might be something poisonous in the air. If the parakeet assumed room temperature it was probably a good idea to get out, fast.
Unfortunately, U S taxpayers are about to find out that the Bernanke Paulson Catering Company
is going to have to add some more tables as “>no one was paying attention and local politicians are now demanding funds under the pretense of infrastructure development, which is another way of saying they want to build more bridges over rivers named Denial.
When state and local governments show up in Washington with their over promised and under funded operating budgets and retirement plans taxpayers will witness a circus that makes the auto and bank bailouts look tame. But amidst the chaos there is opportunity. Republicans need an issue that will resonate with their base in a way similar to what Gingrich served up in 1994. I recommend they begin by voting against the auto bailout and sending a clear signal that bankrupt local and state governments will not have their support on Capitol Hill.