Bloomberg confirms that 2020 was the biggest year for large commercial bankruptcies since the Great Recession in 2009. Led by the energy, retail, and consumer services sectors, 224 companies with liabilities exceeding $50 million filed Chapter 7 and 11 cases, far exceeding the number of large filings each year in the preceding decade. Bloomberg also notes that significant distress has continued into 2021, particularly within retail, entertainment, gyms, and real estate. [Bloomberg; Jan. 5, 2021]

CNBC discusses the historic decreases in retail lease prices in New York City, which were down in 2020 by up to 25% from prices in 2019. The price decreases have been driven in large part by bankruptcies of retailers along with other vacancies that have resulted both from the COVID-19 pandemic and from longstanding trends in brick-and-mortar retail. [CNBC; Jan. 8, 2021]

S&P Global Market Intelligence observes that the coal sector in the U.S. is girding itself for less favorable policies under a Biden administration and Democratic Congress. The already-struggling industry, worried that it is facing extinction in the U.S., plans to work with policymakers to avoid a too-rapid shift away from coal and to promote the continued use of coal in connection with cleaner, modern coal-fired power plants, infrastructure projects that rely on steel produced using coal, and other cutting-edge uses of coal. [S&P Global Market Intelligence; Jan. 7, 2021]

The Detroit Free Press reports that Loves Furniture has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy less than a year after going into business. Although not quite a "Chapter 22" serial restructuring, Loves was formed to purchase stores and other assets from Art Van Furniture during its 2020 bankruptcy. Out of the 32 stores Loves previously operated, only 13 remained open at the time of the bankruptcy filing, which the company hopes to keep open through the bankruptcy process. [Detroit Free Press; Jan. 7, 2021]

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