You know, that's a phrase that's not used often enough... fat cats that is. I guess it's because all of the news - well, almost all of the news - we get is paid for by fat cats. Shouldn't surprise me, but I guess I'm an eternal optimist...
Anyway, our Congress passed a bill that limits the relief available to those down on their luck. Bankruptcy has been a way to get a clean slate and start over when the worst - a job loss, huge medical emergency, etc. - happens. This was done to prevent "abuse" of the system, but the Senate rejected amendments that would have really limited the abuse of those who stand to gain the most - the fat cats.
Senator Schumer proposed an amendment - # 42 - that would have limited the amount of money allowed in an asset protection trust. These are used by CEOs and the like to protect everything they own. You know the new laws that hold CEOs accountable if they cook the books? Now, every soon-to-be CEO sets up an asset protection trust to manage everything he owns so when he fudges on the books and gets sued he owns nothing - his trust owns it all. You can sue 'til the cows come home, but he won't have anything to pay you with.
Personally, I find it revolting that this hasn't lead the news. If they were truly out to reform the bankruptcy laws, they would be targeting the fat cats. Instead, they're pandering to them... and the credit card companies that greased this bill through Congress. Where's the outrage? Just here I suppose...
Here's a few links if you want to know more:
- BBC Story
- Congress Overhauls Bankruptcy Laws (NPR with audio)
- Loophole Spotted in Bankruptcy Reform Bill (NPR with audio)
- Daily Kos' The Bankruptcy Bill, Examined
- Who the fat cats really are.