The other effects of Schizophrenia

by Eveline Gan
04:45 AM Nov 08, 2011

Schizophrenia affects one in 100 people, and worldwide more than 24 million people grapple with the chronic brain disorder that can cause one to hallucinate, have disorganised thoughts or hear voices in his or her head. In Singapore, it is one of the three top mental conditions.
Most people with schizophrenia will require anti-psychotic medication for the rest of their lives. Yet, experts Today spoke to said that getting patients to take their medication is a challenge – they often miss doses or take incorrect doses.
Studies have shown that more than 80 per cent of schizophrenia patients suffer a relapse within five years after diagnosis.
“Stopping anti-psychotic medication is the most powerful predictor of relapse. About 55 per cent of hospital readmission occurs because patients do not take their prescribed medication,” said Professor Tim Lambert from Concord Clinical School at The University of Sydney in Australia. He was in town last month to talk about schizophrenia relapse prevention.
Prof Lambert is also the Head of Schizophrenia Treatment and Outcomes Research at the Brain and Mind Research Institute in Sydney.

For schizophrenia sufferers, a relapse can have dire consequences. They face a four-times risk of suicide, and each relapse also becomes more intense, leading to a longer recovery period.
Prof Lambert explained that with every relapse, the person’s brain function – in the frontal lobe – undergoes further irreversible damage.
The frontal lobes of the brain is where all the complex information processing such as reasoning, planning and strategising occurs. Abnormalities in this part of the brain can lead to “a disconnection between thinking and feeling”, explained Dr Ang Yong Guan, consultant psychiatrist and chairman of Action Group for Mental Illness.
He said: “What the person feels is not perceived by the prefrontal cortex of the brain for processing. As a result, schizophrenia patients are often trapped in a world of their own. They are not able to separate fantasy from reality.”

—————————————————————————–
I am diagnosed with schizophrenia


I hear voices and see visions
Only when I have a relapse
Other than that I am perfectly normal
I am able to perceive things from all angles
To find the shortest solutions
Solve complex problems in a matter of minutes
This is not a hindrence but a gift from God
Understanding the mysteries of the Universe
The Key to Knowledge
I am the Catalyst
The Eye in the Sky
IBM’s study into the human brain
Will merge the computer and the brain
The possibility of creating another Albert Einstein
Creating a Council of Elders
To solve the world’s problems



Contributed by Oogle.

诊断出患有精神分裂症
听到的声音见异象
只有当我有一个复发
除此之外,完全正常
能够从各个角度来感知东西
找到最短解决方案
短短的几分钟内解决复杂的问题
这是不是一个障碍而是来自上帝的礼物
了解宇宙的奥秘
知识关键
催化剂
在天空中眼睛
IBM的研究人类的大脑
将合并计算机和大脑
创建另一个爱因斯坦可能性
创建一个长老
解决世界面临的的问题

撰稿人Oogle

A Silver Lining amongst the Dark Clouds

By Bloomberg News – Nov 7, 2011 1:01 AM GMT+0800 
Hours after a creditor and his gang of tattooed thugs hustled Zhong Maojin into a coffee shop in Wenzhou, he says he wouldn’t yield to their demands.
They wanted to take over one of the pharmacies in a chain he’d built by borrowing from private lenders. Instead, he made an offer of traditional retribution in this eastern Chinese city, known for loan sharks who have sometimes meted out violence to bad debtors.
“If you like, you can cut off one of my fingers instead,” Zhong, 42, says he told them.
Giving up the store would have made it impossible to pay back another 130 creditors, Zhong said. He’d borrowed 30 million yuan ($4.7 million) at interest rates as high as 7 percent a month to expand the business. Many of the lenders were elderly neighbors who’d mortgaged their homes.
At least 90 bosses in similar situations to Zhong have fled the city since April, and two killed themselves, according to Zhou Dewen, head of a small business association in Wenzhou. One was shoemaker Shen Kuizheng, who jumped to his death from his 22nd-story home on Sept. 21, he said.
Wenzhou’s 400,000 businesses are facing financial hardship because of rising costs, soaring black market interest rates and a sudden credit squeeze, Zhou said. Similar problems are happening across China because private enterprises in China rely on underground borrowing rather than banks to operate, he said.
Their predicament prompted China’s premier Wen Jiabao to visit the city 230 miles (370 kilometers) south of Shanghai on Oct. 4, where he pledged help for troubled businesses. National and local leaders have since announced moves to help small firms, including offering easier access to bank loans, a cap on private-lending interest rates in Wenzhou and a crackdown on loan sharks that use violence.

‘Huge Pressure’

The measures have done little to help Zhong, he says.
“I am under huge pressure,” he says, sitting in a warehouse with fast-depleting stocks of medicine. “We don’t have enough money.”
The sudden collapse of informal lending networks reveals the fragility of China’s unregulated financing system when credit tightens and creditors lose confidence, said Tao Dong, a Hong Kong-based economist at Credit Suisse Group AG. Money supply has shrunk as the government tightens lending to try and rein in inflation running near a three-year high.

‘Tip of Iceberg’

“This is a much bigger problem across the country,” said Tao, who estimates outstanding private loans stand at 4 trillion yuan, or 8 percent of total lending in China. “Wenzhou is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Most of the informal lending has been pumped into real estate developers riding China’s property boom that is showing signs of slowing, said Tao. In Wenzhou, it’s driven up home prices to among the most expensive in the country.
Chinese media reports of similar difficulties have emerged in the prosperous mining town Ordos in the north and the industrial heartland of Guangdong in the south.
The risks to China’s wider economy include a potential credit freeze triggered by increased mistrust among informal lenders, also referred to as curb lenders, according to an Oct. 11 report by Wang Tao, a Hong Kong-based economist at UBS AG. That could trigger more widespread bankruptcies, she said.
Wenzhou — a city of 9 million whose private enterprises range from shoemakers in dusty road-side homes to manufacturing plants in new industrial parks — produces 90 percent of China’s eyeglasses and exported lighters. The city’s wealth is reflected in the Porsches and Land Rovers parked in the streets and the emergence of downtown shopping arcades selling Hugo Boss clothes and Omega watches.

Embraced Deng’s Reforms

It was the first city to widely embrace private enterprise in the early 1980s under the economic reforms of then leader Deng Xiaoping, developing the most advanced private lending networks in the country. Businesses in Wenzhou used family and hometown networks because bank loans were hard to come by.
The local government helped foster that by taking a lenient approach to private lending, according to Huang Yasheng, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. A previous credit squeeze in Wenzhou 25 years ago affected 200,000 lenders, resulting in 523 kidnappings and more than 30 deaths, according to a local government website.
As the clacking from a nearby shoe factory drifts through the window of his warehouse on Wenzhou’s industrial outskirts, Zhong tells how he relied on money lenders to build Blue Sky Pharmacy into a chain of 27 shops in just three years.
A doctor from a mountain village, Zhong borrowed money to pay medical bills he ran up caring for his wife who died at 23 of liver disease. After he remarried, to a woman with debts of her own from running a money-lending business, he opened up a pharmacy in Wenzhou to try to pay back their combined debt.

Network of Lenders

The couple took on more debt to fund their expansion, Zhong said. He couldn’t get money from the banks, he said, so he first borrowed from elderly neighbors from his home county.
Small and medium-sized businesses account for 80 percent of jobs in China, according to the country’s industry ministry. Yet they’re largely unable to get loans from banks, which prefer collateral to cash-flow, according to an Oct. 17 report by Sydney-based investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd.
By tapping into his hometown network, Zhong was the final link in a long chain of debt.
“For usual lending, Bank A lends to a customer and sees the cash flows,” said Tao, the Credit Suisse economist. “With informal lending, it goes from A to B to C, all the way to XYZ. Once it’s beyond C, you have no idea where this money went to.”
In Zhong’s case, the trail of debt can be traced to rows of four-story cement housing not far from the Wenzhou airport 40 minutes outside of town by car. Men play pool beside the ground- floor storefronts near a darkened mahjong parlor.

Cottage Industry

The residents turned money lending into a cottage industry, according to interviews with six of them. They built a lattice of interlocked credit, often borrowing from banks and other private lenders to arbitrage interest rates
. Taking out bank loans at 1 percent a month, many lent out their cash for 2 percent or higher a month. They pocketed the difference to supplement meager income from odd jobs.

Sitting on a small stool, gray-haired Jin Xiaoyu fills a wooden box with the electrical clamps she makes to earn 10 yuan a day. Her left eye is the milky-white color of a cataract and she says she has difficulty seeing.
She lent Zhong 50,000 yuan and charged 1,000 yuan a month in interest, she said.
“I worry that I cannot get the money back,” Jin says. “I hope the government will help him out.”
Some used their housing as collateral. Among them was Wu Suihua, who borrowed against her five-story home, she says.

Taking Home Loans

“We don’t have much income,” said Wu. Her home is one building away from a Blue Sky pharmacy which opened a few months ago, selling ginseng and other traditional Chinese herbal remedies as well as Western medicines.
The collateralization of homes means Zhong’s problems may stretch back to the banks. One-third to a half of money used for private lending originally comes from banks, said Lu Ting, an economist with Bank of America Corp.’s brokerage unit.
Tightening cash flow for businesses continues to raise the risk of bank loans going bad, according to a statement from Wenzhou’s Financial Office given to Bloomberg News on Oct. 21. The current non-performing loan rate in Wenzhou is controllable and below the national average, it added.
The informal lending network worked until the summer of 2010 when some of Zhong’s villagers were unable to get new loans from the banks as government tightening kicked in, he said.

Rising Costs

Wenzhou’s businesses were already facing tougher times because of declining exports to Europe and the U.S. and rising labor costs, Chen Yuyu, associate professor at the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, said. Minimum wages in Zhejiang province, where Wenzhou is located, have risen 19 percent in 2011 from last year, according to London-based Standard Chartered Plc.
Zhong needed cash to keep paying his suppliers, rent and employees. Scanning the local paper one day, he saw an ad for loans without collateral. He dialed the number and arranged to borrow 600,000 yuan for one month, from what Zhong called a “gaolidai,” a Chinese term for a loan shark. He borrowed again and started to just pay interest and roll over the principal, he said. Rates rose to 7 percent a month.
Black market rates have doubled this year, far exceeding the return of companies in Wenzhou that typically have wafer- thin profit margins, according to Ren Xianfang, a Beijing-based economist with IHS Global Insight Ltd.

High Interest Rates

Curb lenders demand annual interest of between 20 percent and 40 percent or higher, many times the official lending rate of 6.56 percent a year, UBS’s Wang said. The rate rose as China’s new bank loans decreased, down to a 21-month low of 470 billion yuan in September.
Zhong thought his problems would be solved in August after two friends agreed to act as guarantees and he finally secured a loan from the local branch of Fuzhou-based Industrial Bank Co. It was for 15 million yuan at 1 percent a month, divided into two tranches. One of the guarantors put up his downtown apartment as collateral in exchange for 60,000 yuan a month from Zhong, he said.
There was a snag. By now, Zhong said he owed the “gaolidai” 4 million yuan. The first tranche of the bank loan mostly went to paying that debt. The lender said Oct. 20 he was no longer in the business when reached by phone, declining to comment any further.
The Industrial Bank’s Wenzhou branch wouldn’t comment on Zhong’s case.

Warehouse Mobbed

When word of Zhong’s shortfall spread, angry creditors converged on his warehouse demanding their money back, Zhong and villagers said. Zhong says he struggled to calm them down as they started tossing cups on the floor and grabbing boxes of medicines.
In September, the alarm spread across Wenzhou after newspapers reported businessmen had fled or killed themselves because they couldn’t pay debts.
“Everyone was nervous and insecure,” said the mustachioed Zhong, sockless in leather shoes, standing near a darkened conference room with a bust of Chairman Mao. “Panic was everywhere. Blue Sky is famous now — for owing debt. No one is going to lend me money.”

Lobster Dinner

Zhong’s problems are shared by many other business owners. A few weeks ago, a group of about 20 gathered in one of the marbled private rooms to feast on lobster and steak at Hai Yan Lou, a Cantonese restaurant across the street from the local offices of China’s banking regulator.
The mood was grim. They talked about the recent suicide of shoe factory owner Shen because he couldn’t repay debts, and the disappearance of another boss who owed them money, according to Yang Xi, the owner of a company that makes dyes for shoes and textiles, who was there.
Each man present downed a bottle of Moutai, an expensive brand of Chinese liquor made from sorghum, because they feared they may never be able to afford the luxury again, she said.
By October, the deteriorating situation in Wenzhou prompted the visit by the premier, which triggered a raft of initiatives to help private businesses.
“After Premier Wen’s visit, I sent text messages to friends all over the world that Wenzhou will be rescued,” Yang said.

Emergency Fund

China’s banking regulator said later it would let banks sell bonds to raise money for loans to small enterprises and tolerate higher rates of non-performing loans among other measures to encourage bank lending.
In Wenzhou, the local government set up an emergency 1 billion yuan fund. Its anti-loan shark campaign led to the Oct. 27 arrest of a couple suspected of illegally raising 1.3 billion yuan, according to the China Daily.
A few businessmen who had fled Wenzhou have returned since Wen’s visit, according to Zhou of the small business association. Others have been tracked down and arrested, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
Analysts are trying to ascertain how effective the measures are and how widespread the fallout from Wenzhou will be across China. The city is now the country’s biggest source of private capital, marshaling about 800 billion yuan, equivalent to 2 percent of China’s total economic output, according to Ren of IHS Global. Money from Wenzhou is invested in everything from real estate in Dubai to coal mines in Shanxi province, in China’s northwest.
After a research trip to Wenzhou, Bank of America’s Lu said in an Oc
t. 25 report that the chances of a nationwide liquidity squeeze were low.

Broader Problems

Others see Wenzhou as symptomatic of broader problems, such as an over-reliance on investment to grow the economy that steers money toward state-owned companies, said Michael Pettis, the Beijing-based chief strategist at Guosen Securities Co.
“You can solve Wenzhou, but you’re simply transferring the problem someplace else,” he said.
Zhong, the pharmacist, says he’s filed a report to the local government hoping to benefit from the bailout plan.
He spends his days and nights in the warehouse of his crumbling dream. He’s sold off his BMW and lives in a company dormitory. His wife sleeps in one of their stores and they’ve sent their daughter to live at school.
Zhong recounted his night at the coffee shop.
Alerted to the incident by Zhong’s wife, a more sympathetic creditor came by demanding his release, saying the pharmacist owed him even more money. The ruse worked, Zhong said. His offer for a finger was declined.
He says he’ll probably still lose his business. He’s negotiating to transfer it to his 130 creditors. They would keep him on as a paid manager.
“My wife and I will probably have nothing left,” he said.
–Fan Wenxin and Shai Oster. Editors: Neil Western, Melissa Pozsgay.
To contact the reporters on this story: Fan Wenxin in Shanghai at wfan19@bloomberg.net Shai Oster in Hong Kong at soster@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.net
———————————————————————————–
Drastic situations warren drastic measures


“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
 Matthew 25:23

 It has been decreed since the beginning of time when the invention of money separated the divide between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have not, but have we been ever accountable to GOD? Have people in high places been ever held accountable for the shepherds they lead? In these times where the allocation of scarce resources is threaten by the collapse of the financial markets, can we find a better solution without money? Can US and EU debt crisis be forgiven? Will confidence ever return to the financial markets? Will politicians ever learn to properly manage their country’s money? Do they ever care about the bottom 20% of their populations and create jobs for everyone? Only when Our Saviour comes with unlimited resources will HE have all the answers. 
The more critical EU problems is that it doesn’t have fiscal union. EU must amend its treaty to allow it member states to fail, but not letting them fail via EFSF bailouts with the ECB acting like the FEDs for the US to print more money when required. Debts can then be rewritten with longer tenures to ease short term borrowing requirements by issuing bonds which is guaranteed by the ECB instead of member states. Fiscal monitoring by IMF ensures member states adhere to reforms to allow them greater access to financing by ECB, the present situation is like a bottomless pit with no end with the EU divided, a concrete union with the political will to defend the euro come what may will confidence return to the financial markets. 
– Contributed by Oogle.

沃伦的断然措施激烈的情况下

他的主对他说:干得好又忠心的仆人在不多的事忠心,我会让许多事情标尺进入你的主喜悦

 马太福音25:23

 颁布以来开始的时候金钱发明分隔贫富之间鸿沟富人没有我们一直都向上帝负责一次他们带领牧羊人负责高的地方稀缺资源的分配威胁金融市场崩溃在这些时候我们可以找到一个更好的解决办法没有钱美国和欧盟的债务危机能否被原谅返回金融市场信心政客不断学习,以妥善管理自己国家的吗?难道他们永远关心最底层的20人口为每个人创造就业机会只有我们的救主无限的资源他将所有的答案

欧盟更关键的问题是,它没有财政联盟欧盟必须修改条约允许失败的会员国,但不是让他们美国联邦调查局多印钞票在需要时通过欧洲央行EFSF救助失败债务可以被改写为较长的任期发行这是欧洲央行不是会员国保证债券,以纾缓短期借贷需求货币基金组织财政监督确保
员国
坚持改革,让他们更多地进入欧洲央行融资目前的情况就像一个无底洞没有结束与欧盟分为具体联盟的政治意愿捍卫欧元出现什么情况返回金融市场信心

提供者Oogle

Unravelling the secrets of this Universe

Posted: 28 October 2011 2110 hrs

PARIS – Scientists who threw down the gauntlet to physics by reporting particles that broke the Universe’s speed limit said on Friday they were revisiting their contested experiment.

“The new test began two or three days ago,” said Stavros Kasavenas, deputy head of France’s National Institute for Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics, also called the IN2P3.

“The criticism is that the results we had were a statistical quirk. The test should help (us) address this,” he told AFP.

On September 23, the team stunned particle physicists by saying they had measured neutrinos that travelled around six kilometres (3.75 miles) per second faster than the velocity of light, determined by Albert Einstein to be the highest speed possible.

The neutrinos had been measured along a 732-kilometre (454-mile) trajectory between the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland and a laboratory in Italy.

Through a complex transformation, a few of the protons arrive at their destination as neutrinos, travelling through Earth’s crust.

The scientists at CERN and the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy scrutinised the results of the so-called Opera experiment for nearly six months before making the announcement.

They admitted they were flummoxed and put out the begging bowl for an explanation. The results have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Since then, an open-access online physics review, Arxiv, has had scores of papers submitted to it.

Some point to perceived technical glitches, noting that only a minute flaw in measurement would have had the neutrinos busting the speed of light.

Kasavenas said CERN was making available a special form of proton beam until November 6.

The idea is to assess a modified measurement technique.

If this works, the technique will be used in a bigger, “highly important” experiment that will be carried out in April, he said.

“The idea with the new beam is to have protons that are generated in packets lasting one or two nanoseconds with a gap between each packet of 500 nanoseconds,” he said.

“We will be able to measure the neutrinos one by one, but to do this we need a beam that is a hundred times less intense than the previous one.”

– AFP/ir

——————————————————————————–
Unravelling the secrets of this Universe

“One day we will find out, how atoms of water can be transformed to wine, how to travel from one place to another just by transformation, the transformation of Jesus where the human body becomes as bright as light and totally a different matter, with the absolute knowledge of God. When I have the opportunity to study indepth, I will know if we are heading in the right directions, to unravel all the secrets of this Universe.” Contributed by Oogle.

The race to the Top

The race to the Top

New technologies will integrate
The following platforms
Where the PC, smartphone and car infotainment systems,
Will function as one
It is possible to move your data and messages
From contacts, messages, music, videos
Between all the platforms
Companies that invest
Will reap handsome profits
And create brand loyalty
With a huge global audience
Which OS will emerge the eventual winner?
Is it windows, linux or andriod?
Welcome to the New Economy


Contributed by Oogle.

比赛到顶部

新技术将整合
以下平台
PC,智能手机车载信息娱乐系统
功能为一体
很可能数据和信息
联系人,邮件,音乐,视频
之间的所有平台
公司投资
将获得丰厚的利润
并创建品牌的忠诚度
一个巨大的全球观众
哪个操作系统会出现最终赢家
它是Windows,Linux或的Andriod
欢迎新经济

撰稿人Oogle

Moving in the right direction

09:03 AM Oct 28, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO – Hewlett-Packard ditched a plan to spin off its personal computers unit, a month after the ouster of CEO Leo Apotheker, whose idea would have cost billions of dollars in expenses and lost business.

New chief executive Meg Whitman, who replaced Mr Apotheker immediately, had vowed a quick decision on an issue that was beginning to alienate its PC partners, investors and customers.

Separating the PC unit would have cost the company US$1.5 billion (S$1.9 billion) in one-time expenses and another US$1 billion annually, it said.

The retention of the PC business marks the latest flip-flop in strategy as the company had said earlier that its preferred option was to spin out the business.

“This is the most pragmatic decision and allows them to continue to leverage the end-to-end supply chain benefits,” said Gartner analyst Mark Fabi, adding that it also showed Ms Whitman’s decisiveness as CEO.

“Clearly this was missing over the past year,” he added.

The world’s largest technology company by revenue stunned investors when it announced in August that it is considering strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG) – which includes PCs – and would kill its new tablet computer as part of a major revamping away from the consumer market.

Citing deep integration of the PC group in HP’s supply chain and procurement, Ms Whitman said the company was “stronger” with the unit. REUTERS
—————————————————————————-
Moving in the right direction

“HP is a world leader in the PC and technology market, it would be like killing the golden goose that helps you lay the golden egg by ditching your PC unit. To stay competitive HP needs to reinvest and stay relevant in this competitive global markets by concentrating more on the software side to create more innovative products.” – Contributed by Oogle.

Which End of the Food Chain do you want to be?



PARIS | Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:36am EDT

OECD Indicators paint dark picture of global economy

(Reuters) – The outlook for the world’s major economies is continuing to darken according to the latest data from the OECD published on Monday, which showed sharp falls in leading indicators for all countries except Japan.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said its composite leading indicator (CLI) for its 33 member countries dropped for a fifth straight month in August, hitting 100.8 after 101.4 in July and signaling a slowdown in economic activity.
Individual country readings fell across the board, including for non-OECD member countries, with most seeing their CLIs drop below their long-term average of 100.
Only Germany, Russia and the United States kept readings above 100. Japan, meanwhile, stood out as the only country not yet headed for a clear slowdown, registering a modest 1-point decline in its CLI to 102.5 from 102.6.
“For all other major economies, except Japan, the CLIs are now pointing strongly to a slowdown in economic activity below long-term trend,” the OECD said.
The OECD CLIs are designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend – a turnaround in an indicator tends to precede turning points in economic activity by around six months.
The consensus at the moment is that many major western economies are teetering on the brink of recession, as they struggle to repay inflated levels of debt.
The OECD’s reading for the Group of Seven major economies — France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — slumped to 101.1 in August from 101.7 in July, while the reading for the euro area fell 9 points, to 99.8 from 100.7.
————————————————————————————————–
It’s politics, politics and politics

“If politicians do not wake to the fact that their muted response is the cause of the global crisis, what solutions do you expect from them to solve the crisis?”

Contributed by Oogle.

“If Congress does not act it will be because Republicans decided they did not want to do anything to help the economy,” Geithner said. “If Congress does not act, then growth will be weaker, more people will be out of work, we’ll be putting off the important challenge we have as a country going forward, and that’s not something we should do.” 
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said European leaders must go beyond a planned recapitalization of banks to resolve the continent’s sovereign- debt crisis. ————————————————————————————————–

By Tom Hals, Sue Zeidler and Caroline Humer

Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:57pm EDT 
New bankruptcy ripples may emerge in tough economy
 

(Reuters) – Three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers touched off a tidal wave of bankruptcy filings, corporate failures may be about to pick up again, with some big-name companies among those struggling for survival.
Companies in a range of businesses, including hair salons, restaurants, renewable energy, and the paper industry, have tumbled into Chapter 11 in the past few months.
The weak economy, lackluster consumer spending, a shaky junk-bond market and increasingly tight lending practices are also threatening struggling companies in industries as diverse as shipping, tourism, media, energy and real estate.
AMR Corp’s American Airlines may need to go to court to restructure its labor contracts, though a spokesman for the airline reiterated on Monday that bankruptcy is not the company’s goal or preference.
Kodak confirmed that a law firm known for taking companies through bankruptcy has been advising on strategy as attempts to overcome the loss of its traditional photography business falter. It has denied any intention of filing for bankruptcy.
Some bankruptcy and restructuring experts warn a fresh U.S. recession could trigger a string of failures to rival the one that followed Lehman Brothers, which in 2008 filed the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
“It’s getting busier for everyone I know,” said Jay Goffman, the co-head of the Global Restructuring Group at law firm Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. “I think 2012 will be a busy year and 2013 and 2014 will be extraordinarily busy years in restructuring.”
No one is currently predicting a second Lehman-type collapse. Its $639 billion bankruptcy came after a loss of confidence in the investment bank as asset values plummeted, leading to the drying up of credit lines.
In fact, predicting a bankruptcy wave at all is a tricky task, experts say. It could depend on several unknowns: how much money banks and other institutions are willing to lend troubled companies, whether the economy lands in a double-dip recession and what happens in the European debt crisis.
The sovereign debt crisis in Europe could be the most important X factor. Even the experts who say that a bankruptcy crisis is not coming because current low interest rates make it easy for companies to get cash to finance their way out of trouble, say that the euro zone’s problems could trigger defaults here.
“It is possible that one or two sovereign debt defaults would increase the pressure we’d feel in the U.S. credit market. Then we might see an environment like we had in 2008,” said Peter Fitzsimmons, president for North America for turnaround advisory firm AlixPartners LLP.
MORE FILINGS
Chapter 11 filings are picking up, bankruptcy data show. Ten companies with at least $100 million in assets filed for bankruptcy in Sept
ember, the most since 17 filed in April, which was the busiest month since 2009, according to Bankruptcydata.com.
For a graphic click here link.reuters.com/nuw34sp:
Recent failures included renewable energy companies Evergreen Solar and Solyndra. The latter collapsed in a politically-charged bankruptcy after taking a $535 million loan from the federal government.
Other recent bankruptcies include glossy magazine paper manufacturer NewPage Corp, which was the largest bankruptcy of the year and the largest non-financial company filing since 2009; Graceway Pharmaceuticals, which makes skin creams; Hussey Copper Corp., which makes the copper bars used in switchboards, and the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League.
So far this month, five companies with more than $100 million in assets have filed, including the Friendly’s ice cream chain – and wireless broadband company Open Range Communications Inc.
It is difficult to predict trends in filings. For example, experts who focused on macroeconomic credit indicators and default projections in 2006 or 2007 wouldn’t in many cases have been prepared for the severity of failures that followed.
In 2009, General Motors, Chrysler Group, LyondellBasell Industries and General Growth Properties all filed for bankruptcy, contributing to a record number of filings and topped the list of largest bankruptcies ever.
At the same time, some experts were predicting an even deeper and longer list of corporate collapses. But within a year of bankruptcy filings breaking records, banks and other financial institutions were buying debt and lending, making it easy for companies to finance their way out of trouble.
Two months after Lehman failed, the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed rates to near zero. Once confidence began to return to the debt markets, investors flocked to high-yield bonds sold by ailing companies, allowing them to refinance.
Other failing companies were able to “amend and extend” – or to critics, “amend and pretend” – by striking new borrowing terms with lenders that delayed debt maturities in the hopes the economy would rebound smartly and business would pick up.
Those measures often avoided operational overhauls, creating what some experts called “zombie companies” that cut staff and prices to survive, but were too sick to invest in new projects.
Bankruptcy court allows troubled companies to shed debt and also become more operationally efficient as they renegotiate labor contracts, as airlines have done, or reject pricey store leases, which retailers often do.
But these changes do not always work, especially when companies find little support among suppliers or creditors for their turnaround plans. Bankrupt book chain Borders, for instance, recently closed its doors after failing to find a buyer.
In addition, confidence in the economy and easy access to debt allowed companies to complete restructurings in 2009 and 2010 with business plans and debt loads that were based on an economic pickup that has now faltered. That could create the potential for trouble at companies that have already restructured once.

What we leave behind after we are gone

The wails of a newborn baby fills the air,
As the nurse lift the baby by its legs,
And gave it a very tight slaps,
She wrapped the baby with a clean cloth,
And hands it to the mother creator,
I can see it in her eyes,
Gleaming with a radiant smile,
A face filled with joy,
In a heavenly bliss,
Nothing in this world can compare,
This miraculous sight,
The birth of a newborn,
The aspirations of a new found parent,
A future of hope and great tidings,
Radiate across the room.

At the hospital bed,
A frail woman lay,
A woman who is advanced in age,
Lay sick in her final moments,
Her husband at her bedside,
Clapsed her wringkled hands,
Peace I can see in her eyes,
A Life well spent and blessed,
A face of inmost tranquility,
No fear of the journey beyond,
I can see, in her eyes,
When she grasp for her last breath,
And closes her eyes forever,
Tears roll down my face,
Knowing she has crossed the boundary,
The journey to world beyond.

Our Lifes are but a memory,
How fast time really flies,
In a twinkling of an eye,
We will be halfway across our journey,
The decisions we make,
The regrets of our youth,
Nothing beats having run a good race,
The memories we leave behind,
Friends and relations we make,
Will be forever edged in their minds,
It is sad that nowadays people are so preoccupied,
With the things of the world,
They have no time left,
To feed their spiritual souls,
When the time comes,
They will become – “The Forgotten”. 

I want to be “Remembered Forever.”
God’s promise to Mankind,
An everlasting life,
Beside the right throne of God Almighty,
God’s love for Mankind,
Extends beyond this world and universe,
One day will come,
When the world has passed away,
But God’s promises will never pass away.
If you place your total trust in Him,
And forsake all for the ultimate knowledge of God,
God shall provide for all your needs, 
And You Shall Overcomed.

Contributed by Oogle.