Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome has a great phrase from Bartertown law, which perhaps I’ve even improved here:
“Bust a deal: spin the wheel”.
The wheel is a wheel of fortune with various punishments for breach of contract, including death.
Somehow I thought of that when I hear many supposedly free market, rule-of-law Americans saying that the government should force AIG to breach its contracts with its employees and not pay them the bonus amounts specified in the contracts, changing the law if necessary so the employees cannot have recourse to the courts to get their contracts honored. Even primitive societies believe that people should keep their contracts or pay damages.