Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chrysler's Fall From Grace is a Sad Legacy

As Andrew M. Greeley wrote in a novel:

"The fall from grace is steep and swift,

and when you land,

it does not make a sound,

because you are alone"

When people lose their jobs, you don't hear about them anymore in the news. All you hear is the statistical numbers. You don't see the consequences of ruin, abandonment, and lonely failure. You don't see the people struggling to make ends meet, behind on bills, losing their homes and vehicles. 

Some out of desperation commit suicide. Others harden themselves and stride on, determined to make a new start again, a fresh life. When a cataclysmic change such as job loss hits someone, it's about as stressful as losing a spouse or close loved one. Their lives are ripped apart; families separate, and hunger, pain, and sadness set in.

I know a great deal of people who work in the auto industry at Chrysler - mainly sales people. Where will they go? What will they do? Sure, you may be comfy in your government job working 8-5, but these poor people are right on the razors edge of the chopping block.

When a company goes bankrupt, usually one of two things happen:

1. The company cannot pay their bills anymore. All creditors and their demands for payment are temporarily halted. A trustee is setup if the company is going to chapter 11 and assets are liquidated.

2. A company gets restructuring financing and tries to climb out of the black hole. This is very difficult to do but possible IF you have support from your creditors.

I'm guilty as anyone else suggesting Chrysler pull the plug and rebuild from scratch. Maybe this should happen. It should have happened in December. The federal bailout cash was burned at a quick rate. Who is to blame? It's easy to point fingers at the CEO, Nardelli, who may take a huge portion of this. Certainly, he should not run Chrysler after it merges with Fiat. But this will only happen after Chrysler gets OUT of bankruptcy protection. 

Lets put this in perspective: Sure, the bankruptcy of Chrysler is very, very bad. But what is the worst? How about dying. Recently a photo surfaced of Patrick Swayze. Remember him? Dirty Dancing? How about Point Break? (see below)

Now look at what happens when cancer ravages your body - specifically, mestatising pancreatic cancer:


 A bankruptcy doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

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