It will take a few more months
of legal maneuvering before American finally throws in the towel and agrees to
a US Airways merger. American executives and directors will no doubt have to be
bought off with golden parachutes, while trade creditors such as Hewlett-Packard
and Boeing will likely be brought on board with promises of future contracts.
That’s how things work in the bankruptcy racket. And all of it will be
negotiated behind closed doors by legions of bankruptcy lawyers whose
$1,000-an-hour fees make those $250-an-hour pilots look like pikers.
For years now, Corporate America
has viewed the bankruptcy court as a blunt instrument by which failed
executives and directors can shift the burden of their mistakes onto
shareholders, employees and suppliers. The
auto industry bailout orchestrated by the Obama administration posed the first
challenge to that assumption. Now the unions at American airlines have
taken another step in curbing this flagrant corporate abuse and restoring the
rule of law.