In 1984, GM was the 7th largest entity on the face of the Earth. With a global reach well before that term - globalization - really had the teeth it does today. Now dragging into court to say, "help me! help me!" But the signs of this failure were long in the making.
From the NYT:
Auto workers took in the news that G.M. would shutter plants in Michigan,
Indiana, Ohio and Delaware, and plants in Tennessee and elsewhere in Michigan
were put on standby.
President Obama, speaking at the White House, emphasized that investing
more billions of taxpayer dollars in G.M. was not something he wanted to do, but
something he felt the government had to do to avert a financial calamity that
would hurt millions of people.
“We are acting as reluctant shareholders,
because that is the only way to help G.M. succeed,” Mr. Obama said, asserting
that the government’s backing, coupled with the painful restructuring that the
once mighty company is undergoing, “will give this iconic American company a
chance to rise again.”
bankruptcy petition, G.M. said it had $82.3 billion in assets and $172.8
billion in debts. Its largest creditors were the Wilmington
Trust Company, representing a group of bondholders holding $22.8 billion in
debts, and affiliates of the United
Auto Workers union, representing nearly $20.6 billion in employee
At one time the saying went: "What is good for GM is good for America." Well, it certainly took after the US in running up debt.