Wikinvest Wire

Bankruptcies on the rise around the world

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

After having spotted a few news stories earlier today about record rates of personal bankruptcy in the U.S., it didn't take long to see that bankruptcies are a world-wide phenomenon, something that shouldn't come as that big of a surprise given the depth of the current recession and the impact that rising unemployment has had on budgets everywhere.

Aug 12 - Rising number of Americans file for personal bankruptcy - Xinhua News
Aug 12 - Canada June bankruptcies surge as job losses kick in - Reuters
Aug 12 - Record Number of Dutch Bankruptcies in H1 2009 - ABC News
Aug 08 - Bankruptcy rates soar among Scots - BUSINESS.scotsman
Aug 07 - Insolvencies in England, Wales Surge as Unemployment Jumps - Bloomberg

What's interesting about the collection of stories above is that they are all about personal bankruptcies with the exception of the report from Holland where unemployment remains low, but businesses continue to struggle.

A wild guess here would be that personal bankruptcies in Germany are quite low.

In the Anglo-Saxon world, it would appear that it remains very much a story about a long hangover after a credit-fueled, rising asset price-enabled, consumption binge, the likes of which the world has never seen before and may not ever see again.

A few highlights are below.

In America:

July saw record number of Americans filing for personal bankruptcy in the past five years as a way to cancel debt or re-structure payments to deal with personal financial problems.

According to statistics released by the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), 126,434 Americans filed for bankruptcy in July, the highest monthly total since 2005, and a total of 1.4 million Americans could file for personal bankruptcy by the end of the year.
In Canada:
Canadian bankruptcies rose 51.6 percent in June compared to a year earlier as more consumers were unable to pay debts, but business bankruptcies rose only modestly despite the recession, a government report showed.

The number of consumer bankruptcies in June rose 54.3 percent to 10,823 from June 2008, while business bankruptcies rose 10.8 percent to 515, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada said in a report.
In Holland:
A record number of companies went bankrupt in the first half of 2009, the country's Central Bureau for Statistics said Wednesday.

In all 3,500 businesses went bankrupt, double the number that failed last year and the most since the agency began keeping data in 1981. Personal bankruptcies increased by 16 percent to 1,800, the statistics bureau said. The Dutch population is around 16.5 million.
In Scotland:
THE number of Scots being made bankrupt has soared by a third in the past year – but worse is to come as the personal debt crisis continues to unfold, experts have warned.
In England and Wales
Personal insolvencies in England and Wales rose to a record in the second quarter as the worst recession in a generation pushed unemployment to the highest since 1995.

Individual insolvencies rose 27.4 percent from a year earlier to 33,073, the most since records began in 1960, the U.K. government’s Insolvency Service said today. That compares with 30,253 in the first three months of the year.
It looks like the party is over...

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