Which big company is most likely to disappear within 5 years?

I am sure that Sears and KMart stores are slowly dying out. They are running out of brands to sell (they already sold the Craftsman name) and have lost their value proposition as America’s leading retail store long ago. Soon they will have nothing left to sell for cash and have to shutter their doors.

GE is in the same boat, but their demise is taking a lot longer.  GE is in a cycle where they are selling assets, and that may lift their stock price, until their next crisis.

This article is a partial list of companies on the “Death Watch”: Great American Companies in Serious Danger of Disappearing Forever

When management can get a bigger payday dismantling the company rather than setting an example and saving it –  any large company in America can be aggressively scuttled using a well known pattern of greedy corporate dismemberment.

I suggest a shot of whiskey with these articles:

Sears may be destroyed from the inside — by Wall Street engineering | The Star

This is how you destroy an American icon – NY Post

Risk and Ruin: Enron and the Culture of American Capitalism (American Business, Politics, and Society), Amazon books

It’s not just Sears:

Will Corporate Greed Destroy Our Healthcare System? – Physicians weekly

But there is hope; look at Marvel:

How corporate greed nearly destroyed Marvel’s superhero empire

How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In , by Jim Collins.  Available on amazon books.

I may be a despairing optimist, but it’s hard to be grounded in a world of corporate greed and insanely huge executive compensation. In my investing strategies, I have part of my portfolio relegated to companies I can feel good about owning. It’s time we all found our corporate heroes and support their efforts.

See you at the next Kmart closing (who doesn’t like a bargain).

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The Last Word

Financial Armageddon when both spouses are unemployed

Recent articles in the news have stated that there are many homes in default or foreclosure because not one but BOTH of the primary wage-earners are currently unemployed.
when you couple that with the current economy, where jobs are extremely scarce and pay scales have declined, we have a recipe for more financial Armageddon in our midst.

I am concerned about this because unemployment, and the financial collapse of a families finances affect all of us, and cause our own worth to diminish as the crisis escalates.
Among professionals, a drop in credit score (caused by a home in default or late payments on credit cards and loans) can make you a “risky” hire, and you would never know why, they would just pass on hiring the person with a low credit score (sucks if that’s you). If they told the applicant the truth, they would be open to a discrimination lawsuit.

You also need to be aware that all the “workout, Debt-Settlement, and modification packages” are “attempts to collect a debt”, and the lenders want to get paid, and are sympathetic to your plight but not so much that they will actually reduce payments, lower interest rates, or otherwise assist the debtor. In fact, their reporting of late or missed payments and subsequent “penalty interest rates” put additional hardships on the unemployed, and can further jeopardize the employable status of someone who is unemployed and in debt. Many of these people take jobs where they are under-employed, or making barely more than minimum wage. After the phenomenal years we have had, many of us have stacked on debts that are more than pocket change; They need thousands of dollars a month to break even, and must start to pay down the debt or risk further financial destruction. This is made more difficult when there is additional costs to save money – returning the leased or mortgaged car; cancelling certain contracts (cell phone, satellite TV, etc.), and selling the second home (if it is not underwater financially). There is alos a tremendous emotional cost, as these people suffer from isolation, depression, and other maladies where treatment may take months – and they may not have adequate health insurance!

This is important to us for many reasons. If this segment of the population fails financially, it will continue to drive employment, home prices, salaries, and business opportunities to levels that will drastically affect every neighborhood in America. THE AMERICAN DREAM IS AT RISK, and major change has to occur in the way debts are managed so that these people can re-group and find their way to earning again.