On the last business day of the month, Julie calls us to the front of the room for the before-work huddle. Behind her stands the whiteboard where we display the day’s payments. Today, it’s different. Usually, there are three columns: one, in green ink, for payments that are booked immediately; another, in red ink, for next-day payments coming by overnight mail; and a third, in blue ink, for postdated checks. But today, the three column headings are all in green.
“What is today?” Julie bellows.
“Closeout,” we mumble back.
“That’s right,” she says. “Closeout. End of the month. On the board, there’s only money for today.” Our instructions are to extract something from the debtor today—period. Promises for future payments ...