Imagine you’re a high-flying auto exec in Detroit with a big mansion in Grosse Pointe, kids at boarding schools back east, club memberships, a nice boat, box seats for the Lions’ home games and so on. Then one day, a day like today, you open up The New York Times to learn that the castle is really made of sand and its collapsing all around you.
Just two months after celebrating its 100th birthday, General Motors is facing the grim prognosis that it may not survive to see another year unless it is rescued by a bailout from the federal government.
Shares in G.M. sank to their lowest point in 65 years, to $2.92, on Tuesday, the day after the company revealed in a federal filing that its “ability to continue as a going concern” is in substantial doubt because it may run out of money by the end of the year.
I guess it’s a good time to be humble. What other posture is available to an institution with both its hands out?