The likely bankruptcy filing of UAL Corp., parent of battered airline United Airlines, could have serious repercussions in the debt and equity markets, but should not - for once - mean a horrific loss for Wall Street lenders.

The Bush Administration last week rejected UAL's request for a $1.8 billion loan guarantee, which the airline desperately needed, and the company has indicated that without an injection of emergency financing it will likely file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company has lost more than $4 billion in recent years, and needs to pay about $1 billion in deferred debt obligations by year's end.

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