Millennial readers might be shocked to learn that once upon a time, General Electric was the platonic ideal of corporate America.
Led by a self-professed management mastermind and fetishized by MBA types around the world, GE was your dad's favorite company and he was thirsty AF to learn them Six Sigma principles. GE was synonymous with "American Business" and owned everything from your aunt's washing machine to Ross, Rachel, and all their "Friends." It was one of the original 12 stocks listed on the Dow for crissakes!
But these kids only know about today, and today GE looks like this:
Looking at that chart, you can see how GE's absurd thirst for ludicrous size in the size-obsessed '80s and '90s led to Jeff Immelt's mismanagement and John Flannery's all-too-Catholic attempt to martyr himself at the altar of saving GE from itself, a campaign that led to a 1 cent dividend and his firing. Looking at that chart you can feel a once-lionized American manufacturing behemoth shrink into a penny stock attached to a company that makes...stuff. Looking at this chart you can smell the fire crackling as Jack Welch and Ken Langone burn their stock in a bonfire while grumbling about "Obama" and taking no responsibility whatsoever.
Well, okay, the last one is kind of funny to picture.