Monday, June 1, 2009

Upside down

The symbol of all that was great and mighty in this country, GM, today filed for bankruptcy. It's place on the Dow, after over 70 years, is being terminated effective June 8. At least 72% of this former giant is now owned by the US and Canadian governments. In 1979, GM employed 600,000 people. In its reincarnation, it is anticipated that the number will have shrunk to 60,000.

Chrysler has, in a blink of an eye, filed for bankruptcy protection and pushed its plan forward with court approval. The auto industry is barely breathing.

Several months ago we were led to believe that bankruptcy was not a viable option for these giants. No longer do we find this to be the case. We have just altered our definition of failure, and find the casualties of this war to be acceptable.

On a related front, we have watched the price of a barrel of oil virtually double in the last several months, even as our economy continues to founder. We have seemingly chosen to ignore this problem amidst the sea of troubles that envelop us.

If one just happened upon today's events, having been in hibernation for the past 20 years, the response would have to be one of panic and fear. This would have to be viewed as the beginning of the end.

The Dow Jones average rose over 200 points today. I guess reality is what we decide it is.

No comments: