Some Thoughts On Recent Events Within And Without The Diocese; plus Financial Crisis Advice

Four Dioceses have left the Episcopal Church, and, in the coming weeks, the constitution for a new North American Anglican province will be brought forth, hopefully knitting the parts of Anglicanism in North America that have left the Episcopal Church together. Then, the big issue is once the flag is up the pole, who salutes? The Primates? Canterbury? The Anglican Consultative Council? I honestly believe that if the Primates salute, everyone else will, too. However, it only solves half of the problem. If TEC is still a recognized part of the communion, what will really have been accomplished? Thence, we’ll have the issue of TEC rejecting the covenant at GC2009. If nothing is done about TEC rejecting the covenant, the Anglican Communion is over. I hadn’t had much to blog about lately, mostly because this thought has pretty much been a log-jam in my mind as regards Anglicanism. There, I’ve said it. Perhaps some will disagree on what the future may hold, but this is what I am seeing.

There was a recent meeting of the Communion Partner bishops and rectors, and I have absolutely no information on what came out of it. That’s interesting, in and of itself. Like the ACI, Covenant Communion, and others, they simply are arguing to slow down the process of realignment. I’m not sure why or how this makes any sense. The goal of ANY orthodox Christian within Anglicanism should be two-fold – the repentance or discipline of TEC, and, if the latter, the establishment of a North American Province. Considering the dawdling of the instruments of communion, should anyone be complaining about the timing of this? All anyone can do is keeping stirring the pot until this whole thing reaches a critical mass and something happens.

St. Mark’s Cathedral in the diocese has a new dean. He hails from Webster Groves, Missouri, and I’d be interested to see what Chris Johnson thinks of him and his move to Western Louisiana.

Other than that, not much is happening in Western Louisiana post convention.

On a personal level, I’ve been super-busy – bankruptcy and commercial litigation guys are in high demand due to this whole economy going in the toilet business. As a reminder, don’t buy gift cards this Christmas, as there will be mass bankruptcy filings by retailers after Christmas, except for Wal-Mart. When the stock market hits 5,000, buy in. Until then, stay out. Things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better. Our new treasury secretary who was just oh so certain that the Bear Stearns bailout avoided calamity and ultimately resulted in more money on main street, will dole out cash to Wall Street and others in even more bailouts which will not work.

Why won’t the bailouts work? Simple. If a company has too much debt, more debt is not the way to fix it. What is the government offering? Loans. The only way to fix this problem for any given company is to either infuse capital to pay off debt and create equity, or to write down the debt. That’s bankruptcy 101, folks, and it is what I do every day. Sure, if you give a heroin addict some more heroin, he’ll shut up for a while. But, it isn’t a permanent fix. Heck, even Obama is suggesting the big three try a pre-packaged bankruptcy. I hope his new treasury secretary follows that lead instead of his past positions.

In the end, GM, Ford, and Chrysler will all file for bankruptcy. Even the UAW President has said so. What is happening is that the big three and the union leadership are making a half hearted attempt to get a bailout so when they don’t get one the Union will agree to sufficient cuts to make the industry viable again without totally ticking off the membership, and also so the pension liabilities can be laid off on the PBGC. That way, the big three can quit losing a couple of thousand dollars per car they make and actually make $1,500 to $2,000 per car in profit. You know, profit, that thing corporations are set up to make for their shareholders.

So much of the Anglican Communion and economic crises are just so “duh”. That’s the frustrating part. The drama distracts from the truth, and we waste so much time on the drama.

16 Responses to “Some Thoughts On Recent Events Within And Without The Diocese; plus Financial Crisis Advice”

  1. 1 Tregonsee November 22, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    While a service rather than a manufacturing industry, the airlines regularly go through bankruptcies, pre-packaged and otherwise. Those that are fundamentally sound survive, or are acquired, and the vast number which are not vanish. Along the way in the process, pay, pensions, benefits, unprofitable routes, uneconomic aircraft and facilities leases are renegotiated or imposed by the BK court. About the only people who do not suffer are the senior management, and the BK attorneys. Messy, but it gets the job done.

  2. 2 Creighton+ November 22, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I think you are right on base, Brad.

  3. 3 Tregonsee November 22, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    +Cantuar is unable to take the needed steps to deal with TEC. It has been suggested that after the de facto establishment of a 39th province that perhaps the Primates representing the vast majority of Anglicans might do something such as bringing (+)+Duncan into the meeting with an ultimatum to +Cantuar. Seat him as a Primate and dismiss +Kate, or we leave, now. Perhaps too non-Anglican.

    The alternative will be a variation on the “Doctrine of Reception” in which North American Anglicans have two choices of Provinces with varying degrees of recognition. Being organization people, many will feel free to leave TEC who are put off by the messy free for all which constitutes the Anglican soup of small groups currently existing. Comparison shopping at its best. At some point, when the other options dwindle, TEC may yet be willing to negotiate an amicable process for diocese and parishes to find their comfort levels.

  4. 4 JustMe November 22, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    “The drama distracts from the truth, and we waste so much time on the drama”

    I have felt this way for a very, very long time.

  5. 5 Timothy Fountain November 22, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    God bless you, Brad. May you have respite from your labors and enjoy abundance with those you love at Thanksgiving. May your heart be filled with joy and your mind go in “neutral” for a bit.

    And be careful frying that turkey. Cocktails can wait until it’s out of the fryer.

  6. 6 Bob Maxwell+ November 22, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    That a Canterbury/Colonial Communion is ending is certain due to ++Cantaur’s choices. Whether Canterbury chooses to remain in full communion with the emerging restructured non-colonial Anglican Communion may be dependent on the ABC’s successor.

  7. 7 Tom (St. Louis) November 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    I know nothing about Fr. Owensby as a person or a priest but being Rector of Emmanuel in Webster in not a good sign. Lotsa luck with that!

  8. 8 John in the Middle November 23, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Emmanuel has been growing the last 5 years under Dr. Owensby’s leadership.

  9. 9 R. Scott Purdy November 23, 2008 at 3:04 am


    I concur.

    26 years experience in restructuring distressed large corporations (as a banker) has led me to similar conclusions.

    This crisis will only hit bottom when the banks conclude they have adequate capital to cover all the losses imbeded in their portfolios. Just looking at the timing to resolve those problem loans and positions identified so far around the industry, I don’t think we will “hit bottom” for at least six months, (more probably 9-12 or more). In the interim third-party refinancings will be sparse, and pricing will soar.

    It will take the average overlevered company two years to delever, and individuals will require about three years. This timing assumes no increase in interest rates – an unrealistic assumption as banks and credit card companies will charge more – so these time frames will face much pressure to lengthen.

    We are starting to see office vacancies resulting from layoffs. This will bring yet another round of real estate defaults.

    The situation in the third world is far more desparate, as food prices continue to skyrocket. Our situation is painful – theirs is potentially deadly.

  10. 10 R. Scott Purdy November 23, 2008 at 3:08 am

    I should have added that my comments are my personal view only, and do not reflect the views of my employer.

  11. 11 Christopher Johnson November 24, 2008 at 6:39 am

    I really don’t know Jake that well. He had just come on at Emmanuel in the late summer of 2003, right before the storm broke and I decided that I just couldn’t be an Episcopalian anymore. He supported Gene Robinson’s consecration, as did just about everybody in the Diocese, but the few encounters I had with him were cordial.

  12. 12 Christopher Johnson November 24, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    But I don’t think he’s hard-left by any means. Certainly there are many clergy here who are far more radical than he is. Anything I say will just be talk I’ve heard here and there so I’ll just say that I think he should do well down there.

  13. 13 Alice C. Linsley November 24, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Brad, the Anglican Communion (as we’ve known and not always loved it) may be over, but as Jesus said, a dead seed must fall into the ground for new life to spring forth in God’s season.

    The Communion must die in its present disfunctional form, but Anglicanism will survive and by God’s grace flourish.

  14. 14 Perpetua of Carthage November 25, 2008 at 5:18 am

    Hi Brad,
    Wow! You think the Dow Jones will go to 5,000. Do you think we are in for deflation? Or will all this cash result in inflation?

  15. 15 Fr. Rob Eaton November 27, 2008 at 4:41 am

    What would you like know about the CPR meeting?

  16. 16 One Small Voice November 27, 2008 at 3:52 pm


    why not ask Rob+ what happened in Houston? What is their so-called “strategy”??

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