Add this to the list of things you thought would never happen. GE's market capitalization of around $80B today is almost the same as those of Apple or Oracle. It’s less than those of Cisco or Google or IBM.
General Electric, the conglomerate blue-chip company that once was known as the most admired with the highest market cap in the world is now worth less than the specialized tech companies, much maligned after the tech bubble implosion of 2000.
Lest you think that such reversal of fortunes pleases me, consider that as an ex-GE employee with many shares of this company in my 401k, my retirement savings have dwindled to dismal levels. GE was a company that set the criteria by which all others were measured against.
Who would have guessed that the rules of long-term investing would turn upside-down in such a short time. One wonders if the time has come to discard everything we have learned for generations and draw up new rules.
There are those who believe that the fear-motivated market freefall is terribly overdone. That soon the market will come to its rational senses and will correct itself in a hurry. I also believe that at these levels we must be somewhere near the bottom searching for a footing to climb back out. But as I witness the daily spillage of red ink, the voice inside my head keeps repeating: something has gone horribly wrong with capitalism.