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Bankruptcy: Complex Financial Institutions and International Coordination Pose Challenges

GAO-11-707 Published: Jul 19, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 2011.
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The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd- Frank Act) created the Orderly Liquidation Authority (OLA) that can be used to resolve failed systemically important financial institutions. However, questions continued to be raised about the effectiveness of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (Code) and current mechanisms for international coordination in bankruptcy cases. The Dodd-Frank Act requires GAO to report on the effectiveness of the Code in resolving certain failed financial institutions on an ongoing basis. Among its objectives, this report addresses (1) the effectiveness of Chapters 7 and 11 of the Code for facilitating orderly resolutions of failed financial institutions; (2) proposals for improving the effectiveness of liquidations and reorganizations under the Code; and (3) existing mechanisms that facilitate international coordination under the Code and barriers to coordination of financial institution bankruptcies. GAO reviewed laws, judicial decisions, regulations, data, and academic literature on resolutions, and spoke with relevant government officials, industry representatives, and experts from the legal and academic communities about the effectiveness of the Code.

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Banking regulationBankruptcyFederal courtsFederal regulationsFinancial institutionsFinancial regulationForeign governmentsInternational cooperationInternational relationsLending institutionsReorganizationFinancial markets regulationSystems analysisFinancial analysisFederal reserve banksInformation sharing