Older Americans recall the jokes made at the expense of Allegheny Airlines in the 1960s and 1970s. Then it became U.S. Airways in 1979.
It went bankrupt in 2002.
It was able to stiff its 6,000 pilots by canceling its pension obligations in 2003. American taxpayers became responsible through ERISA.
It came out of bankruptcy in 2004.
It filed bankruptcy again in 2005.
This week, it may absorb American Airlines, which is in bankruptcy. The government will probably allow the merger.
What does this teach us? This: if you can get out of your corporate pension liabilities through bankruptcy, you can live long and prosper.
This strategy will work for municipal governments, too. Those retirees who think it won’t happen should take a flight on US Airways.
All’s well that ends well.
“If at first you don’t succeed, file, file again.”
Thanks, Uncle Sam!