Bankruptcies: Belly Up in Hungary

Last week's announcement read like the obituary of any failed company. Because of falling demand, lagging technology and tough competition, IGV, a business-machine and precision-tool manufacturer, was going bankrupt. The difference was that IGV is based in Budapest, and the liquidation was ordered by Hungary's Minister of Industry. It was perhaps the first admitted bankruptcy ever in the East bloc.

In theory, bankruptcy, like unemployment, ought to be impossible in a Communist country, where the means of production are controlled by the state. But Hungary has been tampering with Marxist economic dogma since 1968, and it now permits the existence...

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