Timesizing®
[Commentary] © 1999 Philip Hyde, The Timesizing Wire™, Box 622 Cambridge MA 02143 USA (617) 623-8080

Bankruptcies Prior to July 31/99


7/24/99  2 more bankruptcy mentions slip out -

  1. Forstmann & Co. seeks bankruptcy protection [under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code], Dow Jones via NYT, B3.
    A New York [City-based] textile manufacturer...has suffered from deep price-cutting in the industry that has accompanied a flood of imports from Asia.
    [Another case study to add to the folder "The Downside of Braindead Free Trade."  So "free" trade ain't free. You pay for it in lost jobs and wages and consumer base and domestic markets in your own economy. No mention here of how many jobs are being lost.]

  2. IBP, beef processor, to purchase pork plants [from bankrupt Thorn Apple Valley], Bloomberg via NYT, B3.
    ...Thorn Apple Valley sought protection from its creditors in March after a costly meat recall and a drop in hot dog exports.
    [So what's the connection between an "apple valley" and pork plants, you ask? All we came up with was, you serve a suckling pig with an apple in its mouth....]
7/21  2 bankruptcy mentions slip out -
  1. Loan for Loewen, by Timothy Pritchard, NYT, C4.
    A bankruptcy court has approved a request by the Loewen Group Inc. of Canada, one of the largest funeral home operators in North America, to draw on a $200 million survival loan aarranged by First Union National Bank. Now Loewen, which filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada on June 1, must get creditors to agree on its reorganization plan.

  2. Levitz Furniture Inc., NYT, C4.
    ...Boca Raton, Fla., sold two portfolios of furniture stores and warehouses to a joint venture of Klaff Reality LP, Chicago, and Adler Funds, for an undisclosed amount of cash and assumption of debts, totaling $93 million, as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan. [Followup -]
    Levitz and Seaman form management and services unit, Dow Jones via 4/08/2000 NYT, B3.
    Levitz Furniture Inc., a retailer based in Boca Raton, Fla...has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy since 1997....
    [That's kind of long, isn't it?]

6/24/99 Gyncor Inc., New York Times, p. C4 (NE).
...Chicago, a reproductive services chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

6/21 Women rank 1st in bankruptcy filings, by Christine Dugas, USA Today, front page.
Women are the fastest-growing group declaring bankruptcy, surpassing men and married couples in total numbers, new data shows. Women accounted for 39% of bankruptcy filings in teh 12 months ending March 31, says bankruptcy expert and Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren.
Warren blames divorce for the trend. "If a woman is divorced, she is 300% more likely to file for bankruptcy," she says. Other experts cite the low incomes of many elderly women and their susceptibility to financial fraud.
Warren released the data as Congress is considering a bill that would make it harder to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.... That would hit women doubly hard, consumer advocates say....

6/12 [Hechinger Inc.] operator of Home Quarters seeks bankruptcy protection, Bloomberg via Bos Globe, F1.
...The number three US home-improvement retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection, battered by years of losses and competition from fast-growing rivals Home Depot Inc. and Lowe's Cos. The closely held retailer, which opened its first shop after World War I, will shut 89 stores, or about 40% of its 206 stores.
[Jobs lost? Let's estimate 10 forty-hour equivalent jobs per store to make it easy - and extremely conservative if these stores were anything like Home Depot - giving us 890 jobs lost.]
It operates the Hechinger, Home Quarters, and Builders Square chains.... Hechinger is the latest in a string of smaller competitors such as Grossman's [and north of Boston, Somerville Lumber] to be forced into bankruptcy or [completely] out of business by Home Dept and Lowe's....

6/11 Lauriat's to close [all 71 of] its stores, [lay off all ?? employees] - Bookseller couldn't rival megachains, by Heather Kamins, Bos Globe, C1.
...Lauriat's hoped to curb years of financial distress, during which it closed 50 stores and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, by reaching to to an underserved portion of the market: suburban readers seeking stand-alone, neighborhood book stores with knowledgeable salespeople, personal attention, and local interest titles.
[Guess we just didn't perceive a big chain staffed by twenty-somethings as "stand-alone, neighborhood book stores with knowledgeable salespeople, personal attention, and local interest titles." Wasn't that a Lauriat's in Lexington Center that had those two great old curmudgeonly guys who knew everything, but they got replaced by cheaper, younger staff who knew nothing?]
In the late 1980s, Lauriat's ranked amoung the largest chain bookstores in the nation, managing almost 120 Lauriat's, Encore Books, Royal Discount Bookstores, and Book Corner stores with annual sales of $120 million..\.. Lauriat's is the second area book chain to fall victim...in the past month. Waterstone's Booksellers moved out of Boston in mid-May..\.. Lauriat's found itself caught in a battle between the superstores [such as Barnes&Noble and Borders] and Internet giants [like Amazon.com] on one hand and small-town favorites on the other.... "They were sort of in an anomalous position...," said Rusty Drugan, executive director of the New England Book Sellers Assoc.
[And the prices of new books are so high relative to the prices of time-tested used books. Now all we need to know from intrepid reporter Heather Kamins is exactly how many jobs are we losing here? Let's suppose that at a conservative estimate each bookstore in the chain involves 3 forty-hr/wk equivalent jobs. Three times 71 stores gives us conservatively 213 forty-hr equivalent jobs lost "for good within a week," as the article puts it - though we fail to see much good in it.]

[This isn't exactly a bankruptcy but...]
5/28/99 TLC Beatrice to be liquidated - Sale of top black-owned firm to benefit investors, family, AP via Bos Globe, C2.
NEW YORK - TLC Beatrice International Holdings Inc., once the nation's largest black-owned company, is being liquidated as part of an evolovoing strategy that followed...a detailed examination of its growth potential [that] convinced management that was the best course.... In 1987, TLC Beatrice reported revenue of $1.8 billion - the first black-owned company to have more than $1 billion in annual sales.

5/25 DeLorean bankruptcy wraps up, AP via Bos Globe, D2.
...Accounting firm Arthur Andersen has agreed to pay $27.8 million as part of a settlement on behalf of DeLorean's creditors [which] will take care of 90% of the...bills.... Except for a few loose ends...this marks the end of the litigation on behalf of the creditors that began more than a decade ago..\.. The defunct auto maker...owed an estimated $86 million to [roughly 250] creditors when litigation began....

5/19 Loehmann's files for bankruptcy protection, Bloomberg via Bos Globe, D2.
...[A seller of] designer clothing at discount prices in 22 states cited slumping sales and reduced profits as it filed for Chapter 11...in Wilmington, Del. The Bronx-based company [has] 69 stores and about 2,800 employees....

5/06 House OK's bankruptcy measure - Bill sets income curbs; veto is theatened, by Robert Rosenblatt, LA Times via Bos Globe, C1.
WASHINGTON - The House approved yesterday a controversial rewrite of the nation's bankruptcy laws, making it harder for people with incomes of more than $51,000 a year to walk away from their debts.... The bill passed easily, by a vote of 313-108. The Senate hasn't yet voted on parallel legislation..\..
[So let us get this straight. We're going to

  • repeal tough banking laws so it's easier on the rich, for whom it's already the easiest
  • toughen easy bankruptcy laws so it's harder on the poor, for whom it's already the hardest
  • ease visas for cheap foreign labor and
  • keep pushing for free trade so everyone in America has to compete with sweatshops all over the world.
    What a Congress! And we're supposed to feel good about headlines on the following page that "Manufacturing rebounds as economy expands." Ri-i-ight. With capitalists like this, who needs communism to destroy America?]
    The administration has raised the prospect of a presidential veto, arguing the bill is too harsh on debtors.
    [Go for it, schlickmeister!]

    5/01 GE unit to [finish buying bankrupt] Montgomery Ward, Bloomberg News via Bos Globe, F2.
    WILMINGTON, Del. - General Electric Co.'s finance arm will acquire all of Montgomery Ward Holdings Co. Inc., seventh-largest US department store company, as part of the retailer's bankruptcy reorganization plan, court papers show. GE Capital Inc. is paying $650 million to acquire the 43% of Montgomery Ward stock it doesn't already own plus Ward's Signature Group direct marketing arm.... The plan calls for secured creditors to be paid in full, while unsecured creditors will get an estimated 26 to 28 cents on the dollar.... Montgomery Ward, a 125-year-old Chicago-based retailer, has been under bankruptcy court protection since July 1997 when it filed for Chapter 11 after years of anemic earnings and dwindling sales. Under the plan, Montgomery Ward would emerge from bankruptcy in August after it is approved by a bankruptcy judge in Delaware....

    4/28/99 Tougher bankruptcy law looms - Senate panel passes bill consumer groups say is biased toward banks, credit card firms, by Marcy Gordon, AP via Boston Globe, p. D3.
    WASHINGTON - Major legislation that would make it harder for people to erase their debts in Bankruptcy Court cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, but key issues such as consumer protection in the credit card industry remain to be resolved.
    [Details, details! Of course, those $29 late fees can mount up!]
    Across the Capitol, a parallel bipartisan bill edged toward a vote by the House Judiciary Committee....
    [So is it bipartisan in the Senate too, or just in the House?]
    The legislation, being pushed by banks, credit card companies, and retail businesses [who] complain that too many people take shelter under more lenient [than Ch.13] Chapter 7, which erases debts..\..is opposed by consumer groups, unions, civil rights groups, and some lawmakers.
    [The usual suspects.]
    The Senate Judiciary panel voted 14-4 to approve the bill....
    [And who were these Soft On Consumers, Customers, Clients, Employees, Citizens, Minorities, the Poor - who were, we demand to know, these SOFTEES who want to put off complete economic collapse a while longer?! Their names immediately, so we can CUT their campaign funding!]
    Four Democrats opposed it: Sen Patrick Leahy of Vermont..., and Sens. Edward Kennedy of Mass. [what happened to richkid Kerry? or maybe he wasn't on the panel], Russ Feingold of Wisconsin [gotta watch them folks in Wisconsin - that's where the GOP started its 50-year run of progressive legislation until Taft dropped the pearls to the swine and we started the 25-year tussle for the mantle of "The Good Guys" (thereafter flourished, with ever diminishing luster, by the Dems)], and Charles Schumer of New York. Afterward, Schumer said he [would propose requiring] credit card companies to clearly disclose the expiration dates of introductory "teaser rates" [and] prominently list...the fee charged for late payments [- ditto] over the Internet.
    Some 7.8 million people opened credit card accounts in the last five years in response to Internet promotions, Schumer said.
    [Hell with Asia and Latin Ameriky - gotta git us our own currency crisis HERE in the good ol' US of A!]
    ...Clinton likely would veto a bill that did not include such consumer provisions. Lawmakers are concerned about the rising tide of bankruptcy. Despite the strong economy, the number of Americans filing personal bankruptcies last year reached a record 1.4 million. Big credit card networks, notably Visa and MasterCard, and retail-business groups say their losses from forgiven debts in bankruptcy have forced them [oh poor dears, they didn't wanta do-it, they didn't wanna doowit - we 'forced' them toowit] to raise interest rates for consumers who handle credit responsibly.
    [Isn't this like taxing what you want? And by Milton Friedman's law, you gradually get less and less of whatever you tax.
    [But we get the picture. Toughen bankruptcy laws, boast of lower bankruptcies. Toughen unemployment definition, boast of lower unemployment. Toughen welfare requrements, boast of lower welfare.... what have we forgotten....]

    4/21 House committee eases [tougher] bankruptcy legislation, Reuters via Bos Globe, D2.
    The House Judiciary Committee made progress on legislation to change bankruptcy legislation and make it harder for consumers to wipe out their debts....
    [A step backward toward debtors' prison?]

    4/20 New Haven's Starter [Corp.] files for bankruptcy, AP via Bos Globe, C9.
    ...The company listed assets of $118.1 million and liabilities of $120.5 million. Employees [how many??] at the headquarters and at a manufacturing plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, were told to go home yesterday.... The company was founded in 1971 and became one of the largest manufacturers of team-licensed sportswear, contracting with pro basketball, baseball, football, and hockey [teams, some major-league,] and more than 100 universities.

    4/20 Caldor selling nine additional store sites, Bloomberg via Bos Globe, C9.
    ...to Kmart Corp. [2], Target [2], Stern's, Home Depot Inc., Ames Department Stores Inc., and two landlords for $17.3 million. Caldor, in bankruptcy proceedings since 1995, received bids for nine of 30 leases it put on the block during a court action.... Norwalk, Conn.-based Caldor said in January that it would shut all 145 stores and put 20,000 people out of work....
    [Page down for additional Caldor stories on 3/17, 2/11, 1/23, 1/09.]

    4/08 Zoom Telephonics buys [most] Hayes Corp. assets, Dow Jones via Bos Globe, D9.
    ...purchased the brands and most of the assets of Hayes Corp. of Norcross, Ga., which is liquidating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection...[to gain] access to the corporate and value-added-reseller markets where Hayes, the pioneer maker of personal computer modems, remains a strong brand name..\.. Frank Manning, president of Zoom, said the company plans to resume building Hayes modems at the same factories in China where they had been built....

    [Executive Crime dept. - justice or joke?]
    4/07 Keating pleads guilty to fraud - US judge sentences ex-savings and loan boss to time [already] served, Globe Wire Services via Bos Globe, E6.
    LOS ANGELES - Charles Keating Jr., whose failed Lincoln Savings and Loan symbolized the thrift industry's crash in the 1980s...under a plea deal with federal prosecutors...won't be fined or forced to pay restitution, and he will not be put on probation....
    [So Keating gets his wrists slapped.]
    Lincoln's 1989 bankruptcy had a domino effect of the US thrift industry, sending scores of other savings and loans into bankruptcy as well. Lincoln's failure ultimately cost US taxpayers $2.6 billion, making it the costliest thrift crash in US history.
    [So let's see, how many million bucks did he make for going to jail for 4-5 years? And where do we apply?!]

    4/06 [Bankruptcy] Judge lets CoreComm buy [most] USN assets [for $39.5m+], Bloomberg via Bos Globe, C5.
    ...Chicago-based USN filed for Chapter 11 protection Feb. 19, citing $115.3 million in assets and $285.9 million in liabilities....

    4/02 ImmuLogic [Pharmaceutical Corp.] board votes to liquidate company, Dow Jones via Bos Globe, E7.
    [Is this a delayed result of Congress's short-sighted transfer of US pharmaceutical companies from mainland USA to Puerto Rico - as described in Barlett & Steele's 1991 America: What Went Wrong?]

    3/17/99 Caldor allowed to sell 11 stores to Kmart [for $75m], Bloomberg via Bos Globe, D9.
    ...bankruptcy court....
    [Compare Caldor story below.]

    3/02/99 Bankruptcy filings set record for 3d year, Reuters via Boston Globe, p. D2.
    More than 1.4m individuals and businesses filed for bankruptcy [in 1998], a 2.7% increase over [1997] and the 3d consecutive record, according to...the Administrative Office of the US Courts.... Filings by individuals increased by 3.6% to 1.4m [almost triple 1988's 0.55m, although] filings by businesses fell [9,000] by 17% to about 44000....

    [Compare Caldor story above.]
    2/11/99 Caldor union members question severance pay, AP via Bos Globe, C7.
    ..."Basically 10,000 [union] employees are splitting $2.3 million and [10,000 non-union] employees split the $17 million," said Carole Neville, attorney for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.... After 3 years of bankruptcy [Judge James] Garrity gave final approval to Caldor's plans to close 145 stores in 9 states, including 23 in Massachusetts....

    2/04 Hospital set to shut down - As many as 890 workers may lose jobs at Boston Regional, by A. Pham and D. Kong, Bos Globe, C1.
    Officials at [the 195-bed] Boston Regional Medical Center in Stoneham yesterday announced to employees plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today and close the hospital within 72 hours.... The hospital had 38 overnight patients yesterday.... Many...will be discharged before the hospital shuts down. Those who need longer hospitalization will be relocated to nearby facilities.... For months, the hospital has been unsuccessfully searching for a buyer or financial backer.... The hospital, which was founded by the Seventh Day Adventists in 1899, has a full-time staff of 600 and a part-time staff of about 290.... Hospital officials have publicly blamed their financial woes on declining reimbursement from managed care insurers and Medicare... But industry observers also note that Boston Regional is located in an area congested with hospitals [5 others within a 10-mile radius]. Hard economics have slowly pared the number of hospitals in Massachusetts. The closure...would leave 83 acute care hospitals in the state [vs. 105 ten years ago].
    [Yes and full employment economies are also 'congested' with jobs, we suppose.]

    1/29/99 Alpha-Beta closes headquarters, [lays off 92% of its staff,] liquidates assets, Bloomberg via Bos Globe, E11.
    WORCESTER, Mass. - a [biotech] company said it will cut its work force [by 85] to seven from 92 and liquidate its assets less than a week after it halted clinical trials on a drug that prevents infections [but that initial studies showed didn't work].... It will close operations in Rhode Is. and Mass. [after investing millions in the two states]. The remaining employees will work in Denver at its MycoTox Inc. subsidiary.

    1/25 GE Capital to buy assets from Japan Leasing - $6.6b deal is biggest acquisition ever involving Japanese company, Bloomberg News via Bos Globe, A11.
    TOKYO - GE's finance subsidiary, the world's largest nonbank finance company, will buy Japan Leasing's industrial, commercial, and office-equipment leases for less than face value....
    Japan Leasing collapsed last Sept. in Japan's biggest bankruptcy....
    [What's that old saw about "sending good money after bad"? And note this is in the Last Great Hope sector - the service sector.]

    [Service sector - retail - ]
    1/23 New England 'discount institution' [Caldor's to lay off 20,000 &] close down, by Chris Reidy, Bos Globe, frontpage.
    NORWALK, CONN. - Caldor Corp., which grew from a mom-an-pop store in 1951...said yesterday it plans to go out of business, a move that would...close all 145 stores [including 22 in Massachusetts]. Operating discount department stores in nine Northeastern states [Caldor's] expects to conclude its going-out-of-business sales by mid-May.
    For much of the [90s, Caldor's] has struggled in a crowded [market niche] where there are not enough consumers to keep all of the many stores prosperous.
    [Why do we call the market niche 'crowded' if the economy is really robust and growing? The truth is, the market niche is fine but consumers are vanishing as wealth keeps concentrating in the top income brackets where there's neither time nor need to spend it.]

    1/16 GITIC's empty coffers, The Economist, 66.
    ...On January 11th the Guangdong International Trust & Investment Corp...was forced by the central government to file for bankruptcy. This is, by far, China's biggest-ever corporate failure - though there are worries that the record may soon be challenged by another, non-financial, company, Guangdong Enterprises (GDE).... Current guesses are that GITIC's liabilities outstrip its $2.6 billion in assets by more than half. It owes foreigners more than $1 billion. Western lenders now think they will be lucky to recover 60 cents on the dollar. The many banks that lent to GITIC without registering their loans with the central authorities may get no cents at all....

    [And an item showing the domino effect of bankruptcy -]
    1/09 Caldor stops paying suppliers, Bloomberg via Bos Globe, E1.
    ...as it tries to negotiate with creditors who want the company to sell its 145 stores. The discount retailer [has been] in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since 1995....

    1/05/99 [260] Town & Country layoffs, Bos Globe, C9.
    ...or 75% of its domestic employees, blaming weak sales during its "busy" fall season. The Chelsea-based [jewelry maker] employs about 350 workers in the United States. As of Oct. 27 the company employed about 800 worldwide. The firings came in its Chelsea, New York City, and Dallas locations.... The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 17, 1997.

    12/18/98 Acton-based CML Group files for bankruptcy - Maker of NordicTrack plalns to sell assets, liquidate firm, by Jeff Feeley, Bloomberg News via Bos Globe, A75.

    12/12 Last computer maker in state near bankruptcy, by Jerry Ackerman, Bos Globe, F1.
    Massachusetts' last computer manufacturing company, Nexar Technologies Inc. of Southborough, is preparing to declare insolvency.... The company...has reduced its payroll to 23 employees from 80 in June.

    11/17/98 Russian banks prepare for suits from the West, AP via Bos Globe, C2.
    Facing widespread bankruptcy, Russia's banks prepared for a stream of lawsuits from partners from the West yesterday when a three-month moratorium of foreign debt repayments ended....
    [So the USA thinks it's going to ramp up one of its premier makework campaigns, litigiousness, against bankrupt Russian banks. Isn't this like trying to "squeeze water from a stone"?]

    10/31/98 Owners seen putting 125 High St. [Boston] on block, by Richard Kindleberger, Bos Globe, F1.
    If a sale goes through, 125 High St. would join a parade of other high-profile office properties that have changed hands in the past year and a half. Those include the Prudential Center, 225 Franklin St., 100 Summer St., and, most recently, 75 State....
    [And compare the parade of high-profile retail stores that have gone bankrupt in the last couple of years, some national, some Boston-area - Woolworth's, Montgomery Ward, Jordan's, Lechmere's, Somerville Lumber, Grossman's.... Oh yeah, this is a real "boom economy"!]

    10/10 Yen's Rise Against Dollar Is Threatening Japanese Exports, by Stephanie Strom, New York Times, p. B1.
    ...It could even prolong Japan's worst postwar recession....Up until this week, the yen had been weakening for months, a reflection of the litany of economic problems confronting Japan: debt-laden banks, rising bankruptcies, falling domestic sales, plummeting business confidence and a stock market that has continued to flirt with 12-year lows.

    10/10 Modem Maker In Chapter 11, Reuters via New York Times, B2.
    The Hayes Corporation, the company that introduced the personal computer modem in 1981...filed [for bankruptcy...] for the second time in five years.... Ron Howard, the vice chairman and chief executive, said Hayes would shrink its operations to achieve profits at a sales level that could be sustained....
    [Don't tell us an American executive is actually getting concerned about sustainability in the longer term?! - the Ecological Age dawns! - But with "shrinkage" in terms of workforce instead of workweek, the concern is still getting expressed in an unsustainable way.]

    Now a cloud with a silver lining (pukpukpuk) -
    10/09 It's Boston Chicken once again for stores, AP via Boston Globe, p. C2.
    ...Boston Chicken company plans to return to its origins and will propose to a bankruptcy court that the name Boston Market be dropped. The restaurant chain...closed 178 of its stores, which operate under the Boston Market name. Michael Jenkins, the company chairman, told Nation's Restaurant News the company will propose...plans to return to "a traditional franchise system where they pay us and not the other way around where we are paying them." [Huh?!?]
    [Boy, how dumb can CEOs get? They had a great little chain going here with a cute chicken logo. Then they wanted to offer turkey, ham and meatloaf and they thought they had to change their name to something bland with a forgettable logo, as if chickens don't eat meatloaf. Loss of focus. Loss of quality. Loss of customers. And what's all this stuff about them paying franchisees??? Double dumb, apparently. Let's hope they restore chickenhood and quality to their flagship store in Porter Sq, Cambridge, Mass., a mere 6 blocks from our vast international campaign HQ here in Somerville - we always used to go there when they first opened up and for a couple of years. Then service got sloppy and surly, food quality declined, and we went back to Marcella's and even Star Market for roast chicken. Now we go to StopNShop in Arlington instead of Boston blinkin Market just 6 blocks away.]

    9/28/98 Biggest postwar bankruptcy hits Japan - Japan Leasing Corp. in $17.9b collapse, Bloomberg via Bos Globe A9.

    9/24 Bill to tighten bankruptcy law advances, by Aaron Zitner, Boston Globe frontpage.
    WASHINGTON - With Americans piling up debts and banks earning billions of dollars in the process, the Senate voted 97-1 yesterday to make it tougher for many people to use bankruptcy laws to escape their unpaid bills. The Senate legislation, which differs in key ways from a House bill that is harder on consumers, comes amid a debate over who is at fault for the nation's explosive rise in bankruptcies.
    [Great, why don't we just bring back debtors' prison?! "You stay in here until you pay back every cent!" Right. The wealthy downsize their own markets even more. Suicide with everyone else dragged in. Jonestown on an America-wide scale, with our top executives and bankers playing the Reverend Jimmy Jones. We tighten the laws for banks' customers and loosen the laws for banks - laws that were forged in the hard experience of the 1930s. Dumb dumb dumb.]

    8/15/98 Asian retailing: Going cheap, The Economist, 55.
    A year ago, stores were packed with free-spending locals and tourists. Asia was the world's fastest-growing retail market.... But the glitzy malls they filled...now stand as symbols of all that led to Asia's crash....
    Yaohan's operation outside Japan has declared bankruptcy, closing dozens of department stores....

    For more details, see our laypersons' guide Timesizing, Not Downsizing, which is available online from *Amazon.com and at bookstores in Harvard and Porter Squares, Cambridge, Mass.

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