Bankrupt – Nationalize — Plan – Protest

February 17, 2009

in general, scenarios, Scenarios & Futures

I’ve just spent more time reading blogs, catching up on the “we are really screwed views” and know we as a country, economy and people we face incredible challenges. I don’t usually post things like this and particularly two in a row. For frankly I can’t really know the facts.

Quite separately yesterday I was asked by a old friend and scenario planner what I thought about GM. More loans or Bankruptcy courts. I voted for the latter.

Both the GM / Chrysler debacle and the banking fiasco / “rip-off” leave me wondering why the “legal” remedies aren’t being used. In GM or Chrysler’s case they are insolvent. I can see value potentially emerging. Both these businesses still make some excellent vehicles. Whether they are the right ones for the economy ahead is another question. Will they be bought by others? We don’t know. Can any of them standalone? Again we don’t know. I’m just certain that more loans aren’t the way to find out.

Similarly, I fail to understand, no maybe don’t want to accept where banking is headed. More bailouts? That’s not working. The banks are insolvent. If the banks are insolvent then the normal thing would be to nationalize them. That doesn’t mean that the government will remain the “banker” long-term.  But what we are seeing are shenanigans. I’m sure again there are legal remedies and a way forward. Maybe the banks should be headed to the Supreme Court. Those that have a few cents left will soon move their money out of govt banks and into “trusty” assets.

The rule should be massive simplification and transparency. We are likely to get the opposite.

We may as well start seeing if our laws and ways of governance will stand up to the challenge society is faced with. I’m disappointed with the Obama administration and Obama. There never was going to be much patience. He had the mandate to almost play benevolent dictator. He has the power to veto the crap that is being put forward and the “deals” that are being made.  There are other ways to govern. The banks are insolvent. Instead he’s out selling a “stimulus plan” which no-one is fooled by. I thought he could think for himself. Then I live in the state of California and if there was ever a government that can’t think for the betterment of the people then  California illustrates it. Sacramento is probably morally bankrupt too.

These plans aren’t about jobs and they are not about the economy. It’s about those in power trying to remain in power. Read same for the banks.

Over the weekend in some paper I read about the “pots n pans protests” that had taken place in Argentina. It’s nearing that point.

I think we should all be doing some planning. Organizations are still on auto pilot. The challenge is so obvious that it is time to do some really strategic thinking before it is too late. I think it will impact every corner of the business and it isn’t about sustainability anymore it is about grass roots support and survival. I don’t believe in predictions. I do believe in looking at plausible futures that challenge how we do business. Are you planning for a world where there could be 20% unemployment by this time next year? Higher in some parts of the country? Is it on your radar? How are you managing your inventories. What’s your forecast? It is time to think about shocking your system. You need the tools and people to do it. Scenarios and stories are one way to prepare for that.

I’m also ready to protest. I’m also ready for change I can believe in. Oh have I heard that slogan somewhere before?

And…  if I’m crazy you are going to comment and tell me.

  • Jon Husband

    I don’t think you’re crazy, as you know. I think this is very real and what is crazy (or more crazy than before) is 1) how tenaciously people cling to denial and a desire to live in the easy complacence brought about by having easy credit marketed and shoveled at you, and 2) the robbery of taxpayers being carried out in broad daylight by the powers in place (especially the first tranche of the bailout package, which Obama had no say in).

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