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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book provides a coherent overview of the insolvency systems found around the world. Its intended audience includes academics, judges, lawyers, and policymakers and focuses on businesses rather than natural persons. The chapter discusses the nature of the costs and benefits arising from the various policy choices legislators have made. The terminology of insolvency law varies even within a single language. For example, most of the world uses in English the term "insolvency proceeding" to refer to a legal proceeding related to the financial distress of a business. Insolvency law is often misunderstood as a sort of legal mortuary when in fact it is a hospital where the assets and the expertise of a business injured by management mistakes or the vagaries of the free market are recapitalized or rechanneled to renewed productivity and social benefit.

Keywords: insolvency systems; lawyers; policymakers



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