NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- "Come down to Houston," William Snyder, leader of the Deloitte Corporate Restructuring Group, told Reuters. "You'll see there is just a stream of consultants and bankruptcy attorneys running around this town."
But it's not just in Houston or in the oil patch. It's in retail, healthcare, mining, finance. Bankruptcies are suddenly booming, after years of drought.
In the first quarter, 26 publicly traded corporations filed for bankruptcy, up from 11 at the same time last year, according to data from bankruptcydata.com. Six of these companies listed assets of over $1 billion, the most since Financial-Crisis year 2009. In total, they listed $34 billion in assets, the second highest for a first quarter since before the financial crisis, behind only the record $102 billion in 2009.
The largest bankruptcy was the casino operating company of Caesars Entertainment (CZR). Next in line were Doral Financial (DRLCQ), security services firm Altegrity, RadioShack (RSHCQ), and Allied Nevada Gold (ANV). The first oil-and-gas company showed up in sixth place: Quicksilver Resources (KWKAQ). It joined privately owned natural-gas drillers in crushing their investors.
Among the largest 15 sinners on the list are five more oil-and-gas related companies, but all clustered in the lower half:
This isn't the list of a single troubled sector that ran out of luck. This isn't a single issue, such as the oil-price collapse. It's a broader phenomenon: too much debt across a struggling economy. And now the reckoning has started.