Monday, November 21, 2005

Is this the Beginning of the End?

“GM to Close Nine Plants, Lay Off 30,000” is one of the headlines on Fox’s website this morning. (Complete story linked via title bar) GM has been loosing money by the Billions each year for so long they think that’s the way everyone does business. The fellow who was holding the profit growth chart was new and during a board meeting he had the damn thing upside down; let’s blame it all on him.

“GM has been crippled by falling U.S. market share, high labor and health-care costs and other issues. It lost nearly $4 billion in the first nine months of this year.”

Let me put that last line into perspective, let’s say that a one horse operation such as a locksmith who specializes in a mobile automotive service business lost money every year, how long would it take for the rest of the business community to call his ticket? Take it in the other direction, how long would it take for that one horse locksmith to figure out that maybe he was doing something that needed immediate correction, pricing his services too high, doing less than superior work, poor attitude in public, purchasing a benefits package that was too expensive; lastly, that he might be in the wrong business and it was time to fold up the tent and find employment elsewhere to support his needs?

There is a secondary issue, more important than whether or not GM can figure out how to turn a profit and stay in business as a viable entity and that is the fact that because GM is so large, they also have a serious chunk of the nation’s economy. Think about the impact to everyone, regardless of owning GM stock or owning a GM product; how many related companies rely on GM opening its doors for business each day? How much of the inflated market would be destroyed, much as the market was damaged when Enron did a swan dive into the drowning pool?

I don’t even want to think about such a mess, especially as I go over the book of Revelations as it explains the "signs" just prior to the apocalypse. For all I know some of those hard to understand passages are direct reference to the fall of GM.

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