Thursday, November 8, 2007

A bit more on losing $5,000 per second.

Yesterday, I think it was, though it feels like a week ago, I wrote a bit on GM's economic maelstrom, the fact that they posted a loss of $39 billion in a quarter, or as the title of the post indicates, $5,000 a second.

I think a financial holocaust that magnificent--perhaps the greatest financial loss by a single corpus since the beginning of time--can, it is to be hoped, teach us an
ur-lesson. And that lesson is very simple. The goal of advertising is to make companies appear and act human and likable.

What an odd statement, huh? But I see GM and the rest of the domestic auto makers, I see the airlines, the telcos, the movie-theatre owners, the super-market owners, the supervisors of rapid transit systems etc. as being infested and infected and in-fucked-up-the-arse by engineers and bureaucrats. Ah, they purred, the efficacy of planned obsolescence. Eureka, the reductive brilliance of "de-contenting." Voila, the untarnishable luster of chrome-coating. Such business practices, virulent for so many decades in the auto industry (and with slight adjustments the other industries I mentioned above) have killed those industries. In other words, in-human arrogance (no matter how human that is) and hubris have been their un-doing.

I shed no tears for GM. They've been fat, happy, lethargic or inert, for too long. They deserve no bailout. They deserve to die.

This took me eleven minutes to write. Another $3.3 million loss for them.

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