‘We’re Going to See a Lot of Bankruptcies’: Former CEO

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Bob Nardelli, the former CEO of Home Depot, is warning about more bankruptcies hitting the U.S. economy, and blames lawmakers for their delay in coming to terms regarding the country’s debt ceiling.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of bankruptcies. Like Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We got Walmart not only laying people off but closing stores. We got Accenture laying people off. We got Amazon closing distribution centers. So, I think there’s a tremendous-mixed message,” Nardelli said in an April 14 interview with Fox. At present, the “complexity” of the American economy is “different than anything I have seen in my 52 years.”

Nardelli also blamed Congress’ inability to work together to raise the U.S. debt limit as creating a burden on businesses, saying that he is “definitely worried” about the situation.

The former Home Depot CEO says he is seeing “inventory builds” in a lot of public and private businesses. He pointed to the 2007–09 period when the banking meltdown took “everything down.”

“I think we’re in a very complex environment. And, of course, this debt issue only adds to that. It adds to the certainty of uncertainty, what’s going to happen.”

Surge in Bankruptcy Filings

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.

This is 17 percent up from the 36,068 filings in March 2022 and is the highest number of monthly bankruptcy filings since April 2021.

Data from S&P Global Market Intelligence showed 71 corporate bankruptcy petitions in March, a jump from 58 in the previous month. This is the highest monthly total since July 2020 and the fourth straight month of increases.

First-quarter corporate bankruptcy filings came in at 183, which is “more than any comparable period in the past 12 years,” S&P Global said.

By Naveen Athrappully

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