Financial crisis can have an ironically soothing effect on management. Suddenly you can mark a bunch of stuff down, fess up to fiscal disasters and blame it all on the recent "economic whirlwind." If you are clever, you can also claim some largess from pandering politicos at the same time. Sound like anyone we know? How about General Electric? Jeffrey Immelt had the poor manners to permit GE to disappoint a few times already. And now, after lowering their profit forecast for the second time in 6 months, they've also had to suspend a long-standing stock buyback program. Ouch.
GE hasn't seen $20 since 2003, but seems quickly headed there today. Seems like their Associate Membership in the Lamprey Longs isn't doing much for them.
A frequent Dealbreaker reader suggested to Bess yesterday that they should just merge with Morgan Stanley and become General Stanley. Think of the potential for skits at the annual shareholders meeting!
I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.
- Major General Stanley, The Pirates of Penzance