3372 – The Crooked History Of Bankruptcy In America w/ Melissa Jacoby

Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak with Melissa Jacoby, law professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to discuss her recent book Unjust Debts: How Our Bankruptcy System Makes America More Unequal. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on SCOTUS’ affirmation of presidential immunity, Joe Biden’s Presidency, Boeing’s plea deal, Bannon’s prison time, Oklahoma and Texas Supreme Court decisions, the failure of the US aid pier in Gaza, Israel’s attempted annexation of the West Bank, the French snap elections, and the Bolivian coup attempt, before diving deep into the Supreme Court’s recent decision to officially place the President of the United States above the rule of law, and unpacking what exact acts might fall in the purview of this decision. Professor Melissa Jacoby then joins, briefly giving her own reactions to recent SCOTUS developments, before diving into the concept of bankruptcy in a society that runs on debts as a much-needed safety valve for the individual (or family), a need directly contrasted by the staunch moral stigma around the “personal-failing” of bankruptcy when it comes to people – a stigma that is not applied when it comes to corporations. Stepping back, Professor Jacoby walks through the major role the 2005 bankruptcy act (BAPCPA) played in making the bankruptcy system even more inaccessible for the individual, walking through various stories told in “Unjust Debts” that exemplify the problematic and unreliable role bankruptcy plays in practice, and why the contrasts between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy (and who is filed into which) exacerbate these issues. After expanding on the particular role race plays in the bankruptcy system, Sam, Emma, and Melissa briefly touch on how corporations can take advantage of bankruptcy law – particularly when it comes to avoiding paying fair damages – and wrap up with hopes for the future of bankruptcy law and policy.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma unpack the developing conversation around Biden’s future as the Democratic candidate for president, with Rep. Jamie Raskin and Mika Brzezinski exemplifying the Democratic establishment’s worried (and worrying) response, and parse through the politics that got us to this point. They also touch on Donald Trump’s continued use of “Palestinian” as a derogatory term for Democrats, Biden’s leadership problems, and Bannon’s prison Tim, before wrapping up with some (satirical) ponderings about how SCOTUS’ presidential immunity decision could play out in practice, and the Trump Campaign’s new tact for the Black vote (it’s a doozy!), plus, your IMs!

Check out Melissa’s book here: https://thenewpress.com/books/unjust-debts

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