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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

First Clues on Malév Bankruptcy

On the morning of February 14, the investigative journalism site http://atlatszo.hu published a piece about the bankruptcy of Malév, the erstwhile Hungarian Airlines, with a few remarkably interesting points.

When a corporation goes bankrupt in Hungary, an administrative procedure sets in motion, and a computerized, random-selection procedure appoints a bankruptcy commissioner who takes control over the failed business. Obviously, the purpose of this rule is avoiding possible collusion between any combination of sitting management, the state regulator agencies, creditors and the would-be liquidator.

On December 30th, 2011, however, a bundle of three pieces of legislation were passed by the Hungarian Parliament. One regulates some aspects of the liquidation of companies "of strategic significance;" another appoints one particular liquidator company (let's call it company X) as the default bankruptcy commissioner for such firms; and, a third one regulates the procedure of how to declare a particular firm "a company of strategic significance."

- On January 30th Malév was declared such a corporation of strategic significance;

- on February 4th, it went bankrupt (as a result of a bankruptcy procedure initiated by a tiny company, with one /1/ employee);

- on Feburary 5th, Company X--to be more precise, the CEO of Company X--is appointed as liquidator of Malév. According to this CEO has political connections to both political forces involved in the repurchase and subsequent collapse of the airline.

Stay tuned for more, I'm quite sure more is coming.

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cover page of the book

cover page of the book
image used for the cover design by Anannya Dasgupta