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Ask the Times: Bankruptcy, high wires, and CEO salary


Detroit filed for bankruptcy last month. How many different kinds of "chapter" bankruptcies are there?

On July 18, Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which is a measure providing for reorganization of municipalities. It has been used by big cities such as Detroit and Stockton, Calif., little cities like Central Falls, R.I., counties and other entities such as utilities, school districts, hospitals, etc.

The other kinds of bankruptcies in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code are:

• Chapter 7, the most common, is generally for individuals, in which most assets are liquidated with the proceeds going to debtors.

• Chapter 11, in which corporations or partnerships and sometimes individuals try to reorganize to stay in business and come up with a plan to pay creditors.

• Chapter 12 allows for the adjustment of debts for people who fall into the "family farmer" or "family fisherman" classes.

• Chapter 13 is the second-most common form. It adjusts debts for individuals with income to allow them to keep their property and pay their debts over a defined time period, usually 3-5 years.

• Chapter 15 is the newest chapter, and sets a structure for cases involving people or assets in more than one country.

Stringing a high wire

How was the wire strung across the Little Colorado River Gorge when Nik Wallenda walked across it?

The 2-inch-thick steel cable that Wallenda used to walk across the 1,400-foot gap weighs 2.5 pounds a foot and was too heavy to be flown across the gorge by a helicopter. A crew from O'Connell Electric, in Victor, N.Y., flew a synthetic rope from one side of the Little Colorado River Gorge to the other. They attached the cable to the rope, and using a pulley system, pulled the steel cable across the gorge, which is near the Grand Canyon.

The cable anchors were buried 150 feet in the ground. A metal basket was used to carry crew members across the wire so they could attach weights every 60 feet. Those weights helped steady the wire from winds during Wallenda's 22-minute walk on June 23.

The same O'Connell Electric crew also installed the cable for Wallenda's walk across Niagara Falls in 2012.

Red Cross CEO salary

I would like to know the salary of the CEO of the American Red Cross.

Gail McGovern, the president and CEO of the American Red Cross since 2008, has a base salary of $500,000, according to the organization.

It said she hasn't received a raise during the time she's been with the Red Cross, but the cost of relocating from Boston to Washington, D.C. — about $475,000 — was included in her 2010 pay.

Ask the Times: Bankruptcy, high wires, and CEO salary 08/01/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 2, 2013 9:27am]
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