Dow Chemical is laying off 5000, closing 20 plants, and shutting 180 temporarily. Sony is laying off 9000 of 160,000 and cutting 10% of its capacity. The Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy, affecting the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, two dozen television stations and more. Blogher has good backstory on the use of the Tribune company as pure debt capacity, not to mention the continuous squeezing of the LA Times.
At the end of the day the story is simple. We tried it the Zell Way. We tried the debt and deal making way. We tried taking real companies and using them as financial shells. We let them all print their own money - any kind of security they could make up. The amazing thing is the total latitude these financiers have had, to do absolutely anything. And they wrecked everything. They were already wrecking news journalism. Now they have wrecked their entire companies.
When I look at the largest auto company in the world, one of the backbones of the American 20th century, and hear people talking about it disappearing this winter, I am amazed at the incredible fragility of the enormous wealth that the whole society ceded itself to.
The employees of Republic Windows and Doors are occupying their factory for the 5th day. The company had its credit line cut off by Bank of America - not long after B of A got $25 billion in taxpayer bailout funds so that it would maintain this kind of credit line. The State of Illinois announced that it is boycotting Bank of America. Meanwhile, the Chi-Town Daily News reported that Republic Windows and Doors owner's wife bought a similar factory in Iowa, suggesting a plot to dump unionized Chicago workers in exchange for cheaper ones in the countryside.
Why exactly are these nitwits running everything? Why are the rest sitting without jobs on the factor floor?
Meanwhile Athens is burning