I think America’s system of easy bankruptcy is one of the jewels of our economic and political institutions, because it allows people who genuinely cannot repay their bills to get a fresh start as quickly as possible. I think non-recourse mortgages are an excellent idea, which I would like to expand, not destroy. I think that America’s incredibly deep credit markets indisputably do a lot of harm to the minority of people who simply cannot control their spending as long as they have access to credit, or who ignorantly rely on high-cost credit to smooth their cash flows—but they are also the reason for our mobile labor markets and the dynamism of our entrepreneurial system, and on balance do much more good than harm. ” — Megan McArdle

There is a reason for the altogether singular indulgence shown in the United States toward a trader who goes bankrupt. An accident like that leaves no stain on his honor. In this respect the Americans are different not only from the nations of Europe, but from all trading nations of our day; their position and needs are also unlike those of all the others. — Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol II, Ch. 18 (Concerning Honor in the United States and Democratic Societies, 622 Mayer ed.)

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