And my radio says tonight its gonna freeze
People driving home from the factories
There's six lanes of traffic
Three lanes moving slow. . .
Dire Straits, Telegraph Road, 1982.
Mark Knopler wrote that song sometime around 1980 while on his tour bus on his way to a concert in Detroit, Telegraph Road is a major thoroughfare in the Motor City.
The "three lanes moving slow" of course means people leaving Detroit, and one way of another, we'll be seeing more of that soon.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) won't call the Big Three automaker bailout bill for a vote, the numbers aren't there. It looks like it will be up to the 111th Congress to choose to lend $25 billion to General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford.
Can they hang on until January? The CEOs are hinting they can't.
As I write this post tonight, bankruptcy seems like the likely outcome for these onetime industrial behemoths. A lot of men and women will lose their jobs. I have had that happen to me--it's traumatic. Those who are able to stick around will probably be making less money. But if the Big Three are going to survive, they're going to have to radically change the way their companies.
And Telegraph Road will have three outbound lanes moving slow.
Remember the first rule of capitalism: Businesses are supposed to fail. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing can prevent that, however.
Technorati tags: detroit automobiles cars economy auto industry business michigan Senate Harry Reid Dire Straits