Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bailout vs. Bankruptcy

It's been a while since my latest code update to - I'd say that account system I wanted to put in place has turned into a trickier set of code than I thought. I've been checking code in each day as I progress, but there is still one more feature to add, and add some time for more testing before deploying.

In the meantime, the code base has been plugging away and new people are finding the site each day - mostly through word of mouth on Twitter.

The Bailout.  Coming this January. A couple of people have been sharing links about the Congressional Bailouts that have been in the news - you can see the prioritized list of shared links on by visiting

One thing that I wish the media would highlight is that "Bankruptcy" is not a death sentence for a company - it's a very orderly way which to recognize a major reorganization. In the case of the auto companies, it's pretty obvious that they need some major changes. They're building the wrong product mix, falling way behind foreign competitors, are inefficient all through their distribution chains, and have negotiated very poor labor contracts.

I think the only sane way to save the automakers is to let them slip into bankruptcy; it's the only way to force all the interested parties into making the hard concessions needed to transform these companies into something Americans can be proud of again. The shareholders are going to lose everything, and the current batch of executives should get the boot. But there is much that can be saved (these companies are still projected to sell over $100B worth of product next year).

We have a well established legal process for companies to achieve this kind of reorganization and re-birth - let's let it work and get the hands of these companies out of the taxpayers' pockets.

I've been involved in many smaller companies that have gone through very tough times. The strongest companies learn to adapt to succeed (or at least survive) - in many cases the shareholders and founders have had to swallow some tough pills in terms of reduced valuations and losses. But we don't expect the government to step in to save us.

If there is a lesson to be learned here - I would hope that we ensure a diversity of companies serving any market; and never again get to the point where markets are dominated by so few competitors that we have companies that are too big to fail.

1 comment:

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