Daily Archives: February 11, 2008

John Gapper

Squeezed in amid the political coverage on its front page this morning the Wall Street Journal had a fun piece on how chief executives in the US are starting to talk like sailors. They are using weather-related allusions to describe the market conditions facing their businesses.

The naval weather that best symbolises the condition of financial markets, it seems to me, is the opening scene of Master and Commander; The Far Side of the World, the film based on the Patrick O’Brian sea-faring novels. As you may recall, it opens on the Surprise, the ship captained by Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) coming under unexpected cannonball fire from a ship hidden in fog. Read more

John Gapper

The question of what Chrysler is going to do under Cerberus Capital Management is a fascinating one, since so many of the strategies typically pursued by private equity-owned companies run directly at odds to those adopted by the Detroit Big Three in the past couple of decades.

All the indications are from briefings given by Jim Press, Chrysler’s vice-chairman, here and here are that it will not only try to shrink the typically bloated product line up of Detroit companies but will also take on its dealers, which have been a drag on restructuring. That is quite a departure from the normal Detroit way of doing things.

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