The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The New Age Of Vertical Integration

When I was very young, conglomerates which controlled the entire chain of production were still somewhat popular. Companies didn’t like outsourcing or offshoring; if a widget went into their product, they wanted to own the factory, or eat least effectively control the supplier. Toyota had lots of suppliers, sure, but they were close the factories and they were under Toyota’s thumb: subsidiaries in all but name.

But business fashion changes, and the mantra of the day became “concentrate only on core business, get an expert to do everything else.” It often did reduce costs, but at the price of losing control. It didn’t work for everyone, General Electric under the over-praised but actually incompetent Jack Welch gutted itself. Following GE’s lead, other companies like the Big 3 auto producers started thinking they were financial companies and in the business of making money, not products.

Didn’t work out well for those who followed the fad whose business model didn’t actually support it.

But it did work well for many, at least in terms of increasing CEO and executive stock compensation. Growth actually slowed in the economy overall, but the economy in neoliberalism exists for companies, not companies for the economy, let alone society.

This era is now ending. Climate change is here, and infrastructure in foolish countries like America is failing repeatedly. China and the US are gearing up for a Cold War, Covid revealed that world shipping is fragile and not always cheap, and that no one can actually understand modern supply chains.

Supply officers panicked and started stockpiling goods, putting further pressure on supply chains and driving up prices for both shipping and materials, BUT if we didn’t have an era where trade and shipping and even production will become more and more subject to shocks, it would just be a passing fad.

But smart CEOS will now be reeling in their supply chains: rationalizing them so they know exactly where all the parts are made; the parts are made close to where they are assembled (if not in the same plant complex) and insulating them from problems with  3rd party shippers. The smart ones will pursue both vertical integration AND will have some geographic distribution (but not too much) so that geographical problems (wildfires, marine inundations, hurricanes, food riots) don’t shut them down entirely.

Those who don’t stand to lose their business entirely if a shock takes out a key part of their supply chain they don’t control or understand, or which supplies generally and is not bound to them.

We’ve been thru a very stupid era, and it’s not over yet, but it’s ending. Central banks can print money, but they can’t print machines parts, oil or food, and the limits of their power to deal with actual, real, non-financial shocks to the system are about to become evident.

Indeed, central banks, by funneling money to rich people and corporations which would have otherwise gone bankrupt have done almost everything within their power to make the system more fragile and worse run.l

When the food riots hit your country, remember to pay a visit to the central bank officers, past and present, to see how they are doing and to express your appreciation for their service. Perhaps you could also see the welfare of neoliberal politicians.

(Accurate job feedback has been removed from our elites, and they need it badly. When you have the chance, remember to help them out by providing it.)

Midas was a fool, but electronic bits are even more worthless than gold when the real world comes knocking.

(My writing helps pay my rent and buys me food. So please consider subscribing or donating if you like my writing.)


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 8, 2021


Humanity’s Completely Broken Feedback Systems


  1. DMC

    Call this the era of the chickens coming home to roost. Old school Adam Smith type capitalists would have agreed with the proposition that competition was supposed to be putting weak companies out of business. It’s like predators culling the herd in nature. So instead we’re left with a bunch of over financialized essentially too weak to make it on their own companies still in business. The apologists for capitalism say it is a self-regulating system and just wish government would get out of it until it’s time for a massive hand out to keep businesses that should have died up and running and lousing things up for everyone.

  2. Jason

    Just a reminder, National General Strike on October 15.

  3. Astrid

    Will they? What we have witnessed in the last 15 years is that the market does not discipline bad business practices and in fact encourages unsustainable practices even after they blow up spectacularly. If Wall Street gets in real trouble, the CEOs and shareholders go crying to the Fed and Congress and gets bailed out.

    My investment strategy was to dollar average, but I got spooked a couple times by peer market stupidity (not even to bet against it, but just stay away from the valuations that make no sense, we got out in 2007 and 2020 before the major dip, but then didn’t jump back in fast enough. At this point, I don’t think it even really matters anymore. We’re all just rearranging deck chairs on the USS Fed Ops.

  4. Ché Pasa

    Systems are chaotic, have been for quite a while. Looks to me like we may have 5 years, max, before system collapse. Given the continuing multiplicity of crises, collapse could come sooner.

    That doesn’t mean everything goes away suddenly like with the Giant Asteroid. Forms and rituals continue. Cities continue. Many people continue. Collapse for most societies is gradual, and in some places doesn’t appear to be happening at all. Things change, though, inexorably, and it’s harder and harder to keep up.

    The other side of the confluence of crises may or may not be recognizable to those who live through it.

    The amazing thing to me is that so far no one has taken advantage of the many opportunities to pull the plug on the FIRE sector once and for all. Nope. Maybe sometimes held for ransom, but essentially nothing else.

    Our little valley is filled with smoke from the fires in California a thousand miles away. It’s thick and noxious and you can taste it. The New Normal.

  5. Kurt Frederick ZUMDIECK

    Sometimes I can’t help myself and start to rage in public about the blatant incompetence in our oligarchs. Favorite one right now is Elon Musk, part-time fool, full-time gaslighter (anybody who has a company named Boring, wtf) as he has taken the transformative power of EVs and turned it into a buffoonish effort to make the fantasy of self-driving cars into an inextricable part of a car’s appartus, and indeliably link it to EVs.

    Trust me, I was a sucker once for Elon’s charms and vision. But he choose the EPIC bribes instead – his obscene pay package is the GREATEST act of corporate self-dealing ever. Now that he dropped both the radar and the lidar components from his self-driving hardware, I can guarantee you the pipe dream that every Star Wars/Star Trek dork who thinks he can press one button in his car and zoom home while watching Netflix on his console is now really a suicide pact.

    My father’s firm pioneered LIDAR back in 80’s, for the demented Reagan-era, purple crayon drawings of a Star Wars system, with the Ruskie ICBM’s popping in the sky. When I told him of the use of Lidar in Musk’s car for self-driving, he calmly said it will never work, without 100k worth of hardware and a max speed limit of 25mph.

    Musk knows this now and even mocked his own concept of self-driving, before saying he won’t go on investor conference calls anymore.

    Maybe if I was more cynical, I would say Musk is a malevolent force, instead of just incompetent.

  6. Hugh

    “smart CEOS”

    Oxymoron of the day. They will continue to drive their companies into the ground, cash out on the stock options before the end, and retire on their separation packages. After all, these are the guys who thought just in time supply chains thousands of miles long were a brilliant idea.

  7. Jason

    The news today is that the dems are going to attempt to pass a three and a half trillion dollar budget bill – which actually includes some of the elements Biden ran on, and which Sanders has been working on and promoting along with Schumer – the news is that they will attempt to pass this via reconciliation, as was suggested months back by Bernie et al, but shot down by Biden et al.

    We’ll see what becomes of it. It’s already a shell of what was originally proposed, though if the blueprint were to pass as is, it would help a lot of people.

  8. Temporarily Sane

    I keep hearing that “neoliberalism is over” and that we’re now in the “post-neoliberal era” but so far I don’t see any evidence of this.

    Reversing the offshoring that’s been taking place and making the neoliberalized western economies more self-sufficient is a huge undertaking that companies won’t willingly participate in because it will destroy their current business model and lose them money. It will take a mandate from the state to make this happen and that goes directly against the prevailing ideology.

    Given how spectacularly the US and its satrapies messed up their Covid response, to say nothing of the non-response to climate change, I wonder if these countries are even capable of radically shifting their focus and overcoming the neoliberal ideological quagmire.

    The continuing tone deafness and government via PR release attitude in the MSM and western capitals makes me very skeptical that governments and their cadres of fully indoctrinated “experts” understand what the problems are and what is required to fix them.

  9. different clue

    Free Trade was created to allow the businesses to far-flungify their supply chains. The only way to force business to re-localise or at least re-regionalize supply chains is to abolish Free Trade. If the US could be withdrawn from every Free Trade pact and treaty and agreement it is now in, then the US could exclude foreign production rigidly enough that domestic production would be the only production permitted for domestic use in many cases.

    But as long as we remain under Free Trade, there will not be the re-localization of supply chains which makes sense to Ian Welsh, and to me, and which would make sense in a making-sense world. Which we do not now have.

  10. Hugh

    Even under the WTO and GATT before it, there were exceptions to free trade for environmental protection, national security, and other, as far as I know, unstated important goals. Saving the planet from burning up seems like it fulfills all three of these exceptions.

  11. Ian Welsh

    If governments and corporations won’t end the current distributed methods of production and trade, they will be ended for them anyway.

    This isn’t about options and it isn’t some ideological “there is no alternative”, they’re simply going to keep breaking down worse and worse. People will adapt or die or be radically impoverished.

    I’m not trying to convince governments to change any more. They will or won’t. I’m just letting my readers now how I see things going down.

    I always warned that reality would eventually impose itself, it has begun to.

  12. someofparts

    I wonder if covid could be a litmus test on this. Listening to the local news today it struck me that the management of covid is a bigger circus, a bigger clown-show of fraud and incompetence that it was when it started. Could the parts of the world that emerge as capable of keeping the pandemic under control be a marker for the parts of the world that will adapt and survive?

  13. Plague Species

    I have nothing in common with anyone who has an investment strategy and in fact, anyone who has an investment strategy is my enemy and they should be your enemy too if you, like me, don’t have an investment strategy.

  14. Plague Species

    The one vector, the most prominent vector, that enables this virus to spread at the rate of velocity it’s spreading and to mutate at the rate it’s mutating, is Growth. This virus is a pandemic because it feeds on Growth economies. From a climate chaos perspective and an environmental apocalypse perspective, this pandemic is a blessing and final warning, as devastating as it currently is and will continue to be. Doing what is necessary to achieve global herd immunity related to this virus and thus end the pandemic will also go a long way in mitigating some of the worst effects of the environmental apocalypse to come. It will require a massive contraction of the world economy. Globalization can be no more and will be no more one way or another. Is humanity up to the challenge of contracting voluntarily? Short answer is, no. Long answer is, no. Investment strategies in the face of this truth, are an absurd and insane bad joke.

  15. Jason

    I find this encouraging:

    “Flash Mobs” in favor of culture and humanity and against diktats from on high:

  16. bruce wilder

    Like T S, I have been looking in vain for this “reversal” of neoliberalism — so far, few signs of it. Globalization, financialization are not fundamentally about “free trade” or the Smithian specialization of labor — the driving force behind them has always been the (upward re-)distribution of income (downward re-)distribution of risk. Privatize the profit, socialize the losses, as they say.

    The ideology of neoliberalism is a bit of bafflegab built on neoclassical economics, which conveniently ignores the uses of bureaucracy in the economy — both private and public management and regulation by means of rules and hierarchy to administer the rules. So, you cannot productively think about the phenomena of vertical integration, globalization, corporate finance with the vocabulary of “markets” and “competition” and “the burden of regulation” or “free trade” or any of that noise. This is by design.

    Smithian specialization of labor is a real thing and an economically valuable thing, but it has very little to do with the “allocation of resources” which economics as an academic theory obsesses about and waves its rhetorical hands at. The real action since the 1880s has been in the building of vast systems of coordinated production and distribution by bureaucracies. As Hannah Arendt observed, the stock-in-trade of bureaucracy is political power (in the very broad, but true sense of social organization to motivate and coordinate common effort and achievment). Economically, bureaucracy regulates production processes to control error and focus waste. As bureaucracy’s greatest early student, Max Weber, observed, it “may well continue to do so until the day that the last ton of fossil fuel has been consumed.” It was the application of fossil fuels in supplying energy for production that allowed people to specialize in control. As long as production required human animal energy at base, it could never be much more than craft with the a thin sheen of mercantile management in organizing production and distribution.

    Here’s the thing about “vertical integration” and why it might seem to a “business fad”: control is not a constant, not an ingredient one allocates as in a recipe for bread. Control is creating a system and then honing the system, not unlike the way one might struggle to learn to ride a bicycle and then, as one masters the skill, it requires less and less energy and attention and resource, as habit takes over. So, developing new processes of production and distribution on a greater scale required elaborate bureaucracy, but continuing them did not. Control is dynamic and fades in the limit of equilibrium.

    It is why the opportunity for a “neutron” Jack Welch manifests: a lot of businesses can just coast on habit for a long way down the road, without the expert staffs that were required originally to set them into motion. A kind of cyclicality is built into the dynamic.

    Neoliberalism had its historic “moment” circa 1980 because 1980 was an inflection point in several coinciding cycles of politics and economics. One of those involved the aging of the great business corporations that had grown up in first half of the American century, during the elaboration of manufacturing process engineering, and then the gentle decay of those bureaucratic corporations, following Michel’s Iron Law.

    I do not think societies “reverse” cycles. Maybe the pendulum swings forward and swings back. Maybe someone nails the pendulum to the wall.

    One obvious thing is that all that fossil fuel we burned is now added to the carbon cycle and will remain with us for centuries, with some certainly catastrophic consequences.

    Another is that the heydey of mass democracy that accompanied mass production is now only a memory. The social struggle now is still over “control”, but it is about information, communication, calculation, made ubiquitous. The kinds of coordinated production that required enormous efforts in the 1930s are, with current knowledge, far easier.

    In some respects, the economies of scale have shifted in ways that could make it possible to apply the possibilities of control opened by the information revolutions to production on a socially more distributed (if not exactly “smaller”) scale. There’s a lot to be said for craft beer, in other words. If certain mass-produced components are readily available, lots and lots of clever people could build custom cellphones in a garage.

    What stands in the way of that is the distribution of income and wealth, created in the last “neoliberal” wave. Bureaucracy by means of globalization and financialization right now serves to channel income upward and risk downward onto a precariat. The quality of the product, the quality of life — these are corrupted by the drive of the people in control of these giant instruments of political power to monopolize wealth and centralize power in their own hands.

    My thoughts.

  17. Plague Species

    What’s Aletho News? Anarchists for Trump?

  18. Valerie

    Thanks for the James Corbett video, Jason. He does excellent work, going all the way back to his brilliant 5-minute piece on 9/11:

  19. Hugh

    James Corbett is a Canadian living in Japan who has never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t immediately embrace and promote. From the sources I found, he is described as an anarchist and libertarian.

    The aletho of Aletho News probably comes from Greek ἀληθῶς meaning “truly” so truly news.

  20. Plague Species

    Hugh, here’s the entire definition for aletho.

    (Greek: true; nothing concealed; real [from a-, “no, nothing” and letho-, “forgetfullness, oblivion”])

    Nothing concealed? Try finding who or what is behind Aletho News. I tried and can find nothing. So that, at least, is concealed.

    An anarchist in Japan. That’s quite a juxtaposing contrast, considering Japan’s pencahnt for conformity.

  21. Jason

    “Aletho News” is run by a guy who years ago used to comment as “atheo” at Information Clearinghouse. He did an excellent job pointing out the fallacies in the official 9/11 narrative on that site. He also debunked a lot of Chomsky’s nonsense, as I recall.

    He at some point started Aletho News. The site largely posts articles about Israeli atrocities, articles skeptical of global warming, and articles about CIA and “deep state” malfeasance, both in the U.S. and abroad.

    I think the site’s owner and operator – “atheo” or “aletho” – lives in Vermont. I wrote to him years ago and we had a brief back-and-forth about global warming.

    As with anything, use your own intelligence to disseminate.

    If you read my original post, I simply opined that I found the “flash mobs” the people were engaging in to be encouraging.

    I didn’t post the video in order to convince people to start reading Aletho News or to become “fanboys” of James Corbett.

    Is their any intelligent life out there?

  22. Hugh

    OT Andrew Cuomo has resigned.

  23. different clue


    “Quality of handling of coronavid” could be as good a marker of survival-friendly social coherence as any other. A problem arises when analysing big or huge countries like India or America or Brasil. These countries may have regions or zones where a majority of the inhabitants are reality-based and would prefer to conduct a reality-based management of various emergencies and/or long-range problems, such as coronavid. But they live under a central government devoted to reality-prevention and fantasy-based management of all these same problems.

    So in the big or huge regionally diverse countries under aggessive dismanagement, the reality-based regions have the added obstruction of trying to counter national government obstruction and sabotage of their own wannabe reality-based approach of choice to problems. So any region strong enough to defend its own reality-based approach in the face of national government obstruction and sabotage reveals itself as “even stronger and more survival worthy”.

    The same may be true within states. We see that some school districts in Texas are imposing Mask Mandates in defiance of their CoronaLeper Plague-Spreader Governor’s forbiddal of such mandates. If the regions hosting those school districts are strong enough to face down the governor and defeat and short circuit his malicious plague-spreading behavior within their own geographic jurisdictions, they may well be more social-cooperation survival-ready than the rest of Texas.

    In which case, to heighten their own Separate Survival Chances, they would have to become economically successful stealth separate city-states within Texas. And that would require a much higher level of analysis and understanding and preparation. Maybe they will be capable of that, too.

  24. Jason

    This is interesting. For now anyway, Nancy Pelosi is siding with Progressive Democrats. The Progressive Congressional Caucus sent her a letter outlining the intent of a majority of its members to withhold their support for the bipartisan infrastructure deal without Senate movement on the larger3.5 trillion dollar bill that contains the social policies.

    The NY Times reports,

    “Senate Democrats have moved to advance a budget blueprint for the $3.5 trillion in spending, but the actual legislation is unlikely to materialize until the fall, and that is the vote that progressives want to see approved.

    Together, the two measures encompass President Biden’s entire economic agenda. The speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, has repeatedly said she will not take up the bipartisan legislation until the Senate passes the larger spending package, causing some consternation among her moderate members.”

    This is a clever way to get much of Biden’s economic agenda passed. How far will “moderate” Dems go to kill it?

  25. Jason

    With Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s resignation, it is unclear what will become of the close allies whom Mr. Cuomo has appointed to influential positions at the state’s most powerful agencies, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Empire State Development.

    Leadership of the M.T.A., which operates New York City’s subway, buses and two commuter rails, is in flux.

    The White House press secretary noted that Cuomo’s resignation was the outcome that President Biden had called for. The president and Cuomo have not spoken since the attorney general’s report was released, she said.”

    Cuomo’s built up quite a machine in NY politics and, accordingly, said machine has a symbiotic relationship with many of the more deeply entrenched players behind the scenes. Together, they resist and actively work to prevent progressive policies.

    There are at least some progressive elements among many of the the players now in a position to exercise power in Albany and the region.

    Biden is being pushed to a large degree by public progressive pressure, and now to at least some degree by progressive politicians, who themselves are being called out and pressured by the larger public progressive grassroots.

    These developments may produce only a modicum of actual positive change at the institutional level. The policies, if enacted, will produce tangible benefits for many. Most importantly, established convention begins to change, because the overall zeitgeist is changing.

    The kids are alright.

  26. Hugh

    American politics has lurched to the right. So progressive is used to mean liberal,
    liberal means Establishment,
    moderate/centrist means conservative,
    conservative means fascist.

    If I had to guess about Pelosi, I would say she is backing the $3.5 trillion bill for Biden, not progressives.

  27. Jason

    Hugh, I agree with everything you wrote., from the incessant movement of U.S. politics to the right over the decades, to Nancy Pelosi’s reasoning and motives.

  28. Soredemos

    @Kurt Frederick ZUMDIECK

    I don’t think Musk is malevolent, as in he’s deliberately trying to make things worse. I think he’s 80 or 90% pure cynical grifter, but whatever part of him is genuine really does earnestly believe he’s pushing us in the right directions. He’s very much a product of the Silicon Valley, American-centric (that he isn’t American is irrelevant, he’s internalized our cultural narcissism) techno-utopia swamp. He’s settled on, for instance, doing cars ‘better’ because he can’t conceive of a world that isn’t built around the automobile (and in fact he goes further, he vocally hates the very idea of public transport. Remember, this is the kind of guy who names his son X Æ A-12. Musk runs on pure selfish egotism; he can’t bear the idea of having to rub shoulders with plebs on a regular basis). Tesla was stupid enough, but all his Boring Company nonsense where’s basically ‘innovated’ subway tunnels but worse and for cars only is pretty revealing of his fundamental lack of imagination.

    EV cars are not transformative. Aside from the fact that I’m still not convinced they’re actually better, either in terms of carbon emissions over the full life span of the vehicle, or in general (ask the poisoned Congolese kids digging up the rare earth minerals for the batteries how much better an EV car is), focusing on them misses the much bigger point that personal automobiles are inherently a disaster. They’re disastrous in basically every conceivable way: environmentally, socially, in terms of infrastructure, even right down to the level of individual health (the adipose astronauts of the United States need to get out of their horseless carriages and start walking more). The actual transformation would be shifting away from cars, not trying to make cars better. Cars are an obviously useful tool that have their place, but building all of society around them has been a disastrous experiment.

  29. Ché Pasa

    Looks like the Dem haters might could have some issues if this keeps up. If they don’t get their dose of betrayal they’ll prolly get their strokes, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?

    So. Betrayal is guaranteed, but what form it will take this time is yet to be seen. We can assume it has to happen, though, because it always does. And any good that comes from the current legislative push will be due to Republicans going along with it, not the good intentions (ha) of Democrats.

    The paradigm shifted. Neoliberalism isn’t dead, not yet. But business as usual is not an option.

    Politics and politicians won’t solve our problems — many are now beyond solving. But they’d better show that their interests include something for the masses, or… I think January 6 showed them just a taste of what could happen if they don’t. Maybe.

    And with the removal of Cuomo and the more and more likely recall of Newsom, Dems can no longer sit on their hands or constantly serve the Overclass and expect to survive.

    Their minds have been concentrated.

  30. Jason

    Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group:

    “I think we are in a situation herewith this current variant where herd immunity is not a possibility because it still infects vaccinated individuals.

    And I suppose what the virus will throw up next is a variant which is perhaps even better at transmitting in vaccinated populations. And so that’s even more of a reason not to be making a vaccine programme around herd immunity.

    I don’t think there’s anything the U.K. can do to stop the emergence of new variants, they’re going to happen. And if anything, we need to focus now not on what might stop new variants, because I don’t think we have the facility to control that. We need to be focused on how do we prevent people dying or going to the hospital.”

    Pollard goes on to say that there will be 65,000 deaths during the course of this week due to covid (globally), despite the fact that we have over 4 billion doses of the vaccine deployed globally. He states that that’s more than enough to prevent those deaths, yet people keep dying.

    He moves to immediately focus on vaccinating only the most vulnerable people around the world.

  31. Jason

    Here is a link for Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, speaking to Channel 4 News in the U.K, as quoted verbatim in my previous post:

  32. melissa

    Yet here in the U.S. they’re attempting to further divide us by vaccination status. This was posted over at NC a little while ago:

    “This afternoon NPR was doing a segment on Covid Vaccines. It included an ethicist from NYU arguing for a class action lawsuits against the unvaccinated, an observation by the host, pulled from her nether regions that Covid cannot mutate in the vaccinated, and a preview of an interview tomorrow with some guy who is really REALLY angry about his status as a vaccinated individual with break through Covid because he is certain that Covid is spread only by the unvaccinated. Full blown Fox news approach.”

    Exactly the opposite of what the director of the very pro-vaccine Oxford Vaccine Group said. Truly Orwellian.

  33. Jason

    The New York Times has recently posted a piece naming Biden’s nominations for top law enforcement posts in the country. From the Times:

    Biden Nominates Damian Williams as U.S. Attorney in Manhattan

    The selection is part of a slate of nominations for top law enforcement posts in the country, including for three offices that tend to investigate the Justice Department’s most prominent cases.

    Many of the nominations were expected after senior lawmakers this year advised Mr. Biden on their picks for judges and U.S. attorneys. Presidents typically defer to such recommendations when selecting top prosecutors.

    Mr. Williams, who clerked for Mr. Biden’s attorney general, Merrick B. Garland, is likely to oversee major trials of Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime companion of Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of helping him recruit and sexually abuse minors; and Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbek man charged in a 2017 truck attack that killed eight people on a Manhattan bike path. The government has said it will seek the death penalty if he is convicted. Ms. Maxwell and Mr. Saipov have both pleaded not guilty.

    In Virginia, Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, recommended Ms. Aber oversee the Eastern District office. The office has prosecuted high-profile cases of leaks of government data, including that of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst convicted in 2013 of leaking archives of secret military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks.

  34. Stirling Newberry

    Welch was not incompetent, he just was out for himself. GE? Who cares. Jack didn’t.

  35. Hugh

    Welch cut a 100,000 jobs at GE in the 1980s. He built up its financial sector. Who needs workers or making things when the real money was in money? So what if GE pretty much went bust in the 2008 meltdown? Jack was long gone. He only got a $400 million retirement package and had to scrape by on a $734,000 a month stipend. It wasn’t even enough to fly commercial. He had to use the corporate jets.

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