David’s Bridal files for bankruptcy, plans layoffs

Revelations 13:16-18 “Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

Important Takeaways:

  • David’s Bridal filed for bankruptcy protection days after the company announced it would lay off more than 9,200 employees across the nation.
  • The wedding retailer said in a press release Monday that its stores would remain open and fulfill orders without delay as the company looks to sell all or some of its assets. Its online platforms will also remain available to help with customers’ wedding planning needs.
  • David’s Bridal started as a small bridal salon in Florida in 1950. The chain now has about 300 locations across the country.

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Michael Snyder reports on 5 disasters that we were warned about that are happing now

Revelations 13:16-18 “Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

Important Takeaways:

  • #1 We were warned that a great commercial real estate crisis would be coming, and now it is here.
    • With recent stress in the regional banking sector, sentiment in US commercial real estate (CRE) – and especially the office sector – has turned negative as investors prepare for potential spillover effects (with JPM, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs all joining the gloom parade), especially as high-profile defaults continue to make headlines as borrowers face higher debt service costs and refinancing becomes much harder ahead of a $400 billion CRE debt maturities this year alone…
  • #2 We were warned that there would be widespread layoffs as economic conditions in the United States deteriorated. Sadly, that is now happening all around us.  For example, on Monday accounting firm Ernst & Young announced that they will be laying off thousands of highly paid workers…
  • #3 We were warned that the largest corporate debt bubble in the history of the world would eventually burst, and now corporations are beginning to default on their debts at a rate that should deeply alarm all of us
  • #4 We were warned that we would witness a dramatic surge in bankruptcies in 2023, and that is precisely what is happening
    • Bankruptcy filings across the United States rose for the third straight month in March in all major industries. A total of 42,368 new bankruptcies were filed last month, according to data from Epiq Bankruptcy, a provider of U.S. bankruptcy court data, technology, and services.
  • #5 We were warned that the rest of the world would eventually start rejecting the U.S. dollar, and now “de-dollarization” is happening at a “stunning” pace

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Investors looking for stable assets as Gold hits record high in Japan

Ezekiel 7:19 “They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall become abhorrent; their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord; they shall not satisfy their souls, or fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become a stumbling block.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Retail price of gold in Japan hits all-time high of $67 per gram
  • The retail price of gold in Japan has hit an all-time high of 9,000 yen ($66.94), according to data released by one of the country’s largest producers and sellers of precious metals, Tanaka Kikinzoku, on Monday.
  • The record price was fixed amid investors’ growing interest in stable assets following the bankruptcy of one of America’s largest banks, Silicon Valley Bank.
  • On March 10, the California Department of Financial Protection announced the bankruptcy of SVB, the 16th-biggest lender in the United States. It served mainly employees in the technological sector and companies financed with venture capital. It became the largest bankruptcy of a US bank since the 2008 financial crisis as estimated by the CNN TV channel.

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Stress of high inflation with no pandemic aid show Bankruptcies on the rise


Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived

Important Takeaways:

  • Now that pandemic aid has vanished, bankruptcies are on the rise
  • Total bankruptcy filings in January shot up 19% in January to 31,087, up 19% from a year ago, according to data from Epiq, a legal research firm. The number of Americans who filed for bankruptcy across Chapters 7, 11 and 13 shot up 20% in January from a year ago.
  • The surge in filings comes as rising interest rates and high inflation continue to stress household budgets.

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Bed Bath & Beyond reporting major losses, possibility of bankruptcy filing coming soon

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Bed Bath & Beyond looks for capital infusion, buyer ahead of likely bankruptcy filing
  • The retailer is in the midst a sale process in hopes of finding a buyer that would keep the doors open for both of its major chains, its namesake banner and Buybuy Baby, said the people, who weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
  • A Bed Bath spokeswoman said Wednesday the company doesn’t comment on specific relationships but has been working with strategic advisers to evaluate all paths to regain market share and enhance liquidity.
  • Earlier this month Bed Bath warned it may need to file for bankruptcy after its turnaround plans failed to substantially boost sales and repair its balance sheet.
  • The company reported net losses that exceed $1.12 billion for the first nine months of the fiscal year.

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Party City filing for Bankruptcy

Party City Store

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • America’s largest party supply store files for bankruptcy
  • The largest party goods and Halloween specialty retail chain in the United States said in a regulatory filing that it reached an agreement with debtholders to cut its $1.7 billion debt load
  • Party City has for years battled competition for party goods and decorations, especially from big-box chains and online retailers that sell a wider variety of merchandise.
  • Target in particular has increased its party supplies and special events merchandise, said Neil Saunders, an analyst at GlobalData Retail.
  • Between 2017 and 2021, Party City’s sales dropped 8% to $2.2 billion. The company projected sales to remain flat in 2022. The company also lost money every year between 2019 and 2021 and said was on track to lose up to $199 million in 2022.

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Genesis Global Capital prepares for Bankruptcy

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Crypto Firm Genesis Is Preparing to File for Bankruptcy
  • Genesis Global Capital is laying the groundwork for a bankruptcy filing as soon as this week, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
  • The cryptocurrency lending unit of Digital Currency Group has been in confidential negotiations with various creditor groups amid a liquidity crunch. It has warned that it may need to file for bankruptcy if it fails to raise cash, Bloomberg previously reported.

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Texas utility regulator ousted after comments to investors disclosed

By Kanishka Singh and Gary McWilliams

(Reuters) – The third and last remaining commissioner of the Texas utilities regulator resigned under pressure on Tuesday after the release of comments to investors vowing to protect utility profits and dismissing financial hits from a cold snap on municipal power companies.

The resignation came soon after the disclosure of inflammatory comments by the Public Utility Commission Chair Arthur D’Andrea in a March 9 call with Bank of America utilities’ analysts. The call took place two days before he was to consider rescinding billions of dollars in payment to utilities.

His stance against repricing helped sink a proposal this week to cut $4.1 billion from charges in the final hours of a deadly February blackout. The regulator and state grid operator raised power prices to about 400 times the normal rate over five days. But they left the pricing in place for 32 hours after the emergency passed, spurring state officials to call for a partial repricing.

On the March 9 call, D’Andrea told investors and analysts he had “tipped the scale as hard as I could” to prevent repricing and would keep “the weight of the commission” against it, according to a recording of the call published Tuesday by Texas Monthly magazine on its website.


Municipal power companies that could benefit from repricing proposals would get through the financial hit, he advised the investors. Several have had their credit ratings downgraded, raising future borrowing costs.

Referring to San Antonio’s city-run CPS Energy that has contested $200 million in power charges, D’Andrea dismissed the impact in remarks to Bank of America analysts: “They’ve got a lot of money. They’re fine.”

High costs from the storm have led four Texas power companies to seek protection from creditors in bankruptcy court. Electricity firms have failed to pay $3 billion in storm-related charges, amounts that eventually would be passed to all Texas utilities and their customers.

“Tonight, I asked for and accepted the resignation of PUC Commissioner Arthur D’Andrea,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement released late Tuesday. He plans to name a replacement in the coming days.

PUC spokesman Andrew Barlow did not immediately reply to a request for comment.


In his call with Bank of America, D’Andrea also claimed he had job protection after two of the three PUC commissioners resigned. Lawmakers could “secure promises from me” that they could not get if there were other commissioners, he said.

“I expect it to be this way for a while, at least a year, with just me,” he said of the commission’s makeup.

Earlier in March, Shelly Botkin resigned from her post at the PUC, a week after former Chairman DeAnn Walker resigned.

The Bank of America recording threw new light on the commission’s much-criticized handling of a deadly February blackout that killed more than 56 people in the state and could saddle power companies with bills for decades.

The state’s independent market monitor testified power grid operator ERCOT, which is overseen by the PUC, made a $16 billion pricing error by keeping prices high for 32 hours after widespread outages ended Feb. 17.

Electricity retailer Brilliant Energy LLC on Tuesday became the fourth company to file for bankruptcy protection since the storm. Its bankruptcy court filing came a day after Griddy Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with $29 million in charges for power.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams in Houston, Kanishka Singh and Derek Francis in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin and Marguerita Choy)

Texas regulator warns lawmakers against rollback in storm power prices

(Reuters) – The head of Texas’s power regulator told lawmakers on Thursday that any effort to retroactively reduce the power prices levied during a recent storm would lead to lawsuits that the state could lose.

The state’s power grid operator raised power prices sharply during a February freeze that pushed two power companies into bankruptcy. Others have warned of potential bankruptcies. Top officials this week called on the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas to immediately reduce about $16 billion in power prices.

Any repricing would trigger lawsuits that the commission would lose, PUC Chairman Arthur D’Andrea bluntly told lawmakers at a hearing in Austin. Commodity contracts used to hedge power have closed and any repricing “will have consequences” for the state’s power, agriculture and other markets, he said.

“If I do it, I get sued and lose right away,” he told a state committee. The legislature could attempt to change the pricing by passing a bill, but it also would face lawsuits and could lose, he added.

The state independent market adviser has recommended a pricing of the final 32 hours of the five-day emergency and called for some service fees to be cut, citing grid rules. Emergency charges amounted to $16 billion for power and about $1.5 billion for service fees tied to the power price.

The state’s governor, lieutenant governor and 28 of 32 state senators this week also called on the PUC and grid operator to “correct” the final 32 hours of power pricing, citing the recommendation and impact on utilities.

“These corrections are squarely within your authority, whether by your own action or an order to ERCOT,” the senators told D’Andrea in a letter on Tuesday, referring to the state grid operator by its acronym.

“I disagree” with the senators’ call, D’Andrea said. He has continually ruled out a power price rollback, arguing “it is impossible to unscramble” insisting the decision to raise prices during the cold snap was known to all grid users.

D’Andrea pushed back against the market monitor’s estimate of the power overcharges, telling lawmakers the amount was much smaller, about $3.2 billion.

Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE), which handles Texas power trades, last week closed contracts that covered billions of dollars in state power trades and has no authority to reopen settled contracts. ICE has deferred settling four contracts tied to the service fees that are much smaller in value, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Daniel Wallis)

Texas electricity regulator cuts some emergency fees tied to winter storm

By Gary McWilliams

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The Texas electricity regulator on Wednesday ordered cuts to emergency fees paid to generators amid a financial crisis in its power market, but adjourned without acting on calls to protect consumers from price spikes.

A mid-February storm temporarily knocked out up to half the state’s generating plants, triggering outages that killed dozens and pushed power prices to 10 times the normal rate. About $47 billion in one-time costs are threatening companies that sell, transmit or generate electricity in the state. Consumers will see higher prices as the costs are passed along.

In its first meeting since the blackout, Public Utility Commissioners (PUC) agreed to revoke charges for standby power services that were not provided. The size of the charges have not been disclosed.

“The PUC has acted with urgency and taken a big step in the right direction,” said Brandon Young, CEO of electricity provider Young Energy LLC. He said the changes would relieve some of the stress on providers and consumers.

The two-person PUC separately endorsed an independent market adviser’s recommendation for an about $2 billion reduction in other fees but took no immediate action.

As the state and federal governments launched investigations into the storm, commissioners backed a state audit of emergency prices that soared when demand spiked during severe cold weather. U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday demanded the state’s grid operator turn over documents and communications with officials from during the storm.

The state’s independent PUC adviser, Carrie Bivens, recommended cuts that could shave about $2 billion from business fees, though she provided no estimate of the total. Commissioners will meet Friday to consider that recommendation.

“I can’t understand why there was no action on immediate relief for consumers” at the hearing, said Tim Morstad, associate state director for consumer advocacy group AARP Texas. His group asked the PUC for protections for consumers being shifted to new utilities.

If left in place, the service fees could force out a quarter of the state’s about 100 providers and concentrate up to 80% of the market among three large utilities, industry experts said.

“There could be a number of retail service providers who aren’t able to remain in business if ERCOT does not relent on the demand for payment,” said Catherine Webking, an attorney who represents companies seeking fee cuts.

The PUC supervises grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which is facing a $2.46 billion shortfall from companies that have not paid their bills. ERCOT on Monday said it would begin naming businesses that have failed to pay and disclose the amounts each owed.

The crisis claimed its first victim Monday when Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc, whose members provide power to about 660,000 in the state, filed for bankruptcy after receiving bills for $2.1 billion from ERCOT. Brazos this week said storm charges could increase consumer bills by 2 cents per kilowatt hour.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Leslie Adler and Chris Reese)