10 iconic companies that disappeared

Even the giants of industry sometimes collapse, leaving little or no trace.

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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

18Comments
May 18, 2014 9:26AM
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This whole article describes what has happened to America!!! Take the steel industry for example, in the 80"s the steel companies and unions were telling everyone that" the threat is real from foreign steel" but no one including our top elected officials would listen. Car companies in the US bought cheap, poor quality steel from overseas, and yes the cars rotted away under our noses and eyes, but the car companies were happy because they sold more cars. Then in the 90's the American workers and families were beaten again by NAFTA which drove even more jobs, purchasing power and homeland security away from America. Now, most steel mills in the US are owned by Russia (Rouge, Mich- ex ford motor ), ISPAT ( ex Inland steel), ISP ( ex Bethlehem steel) and now US Steel which is barely holding on with most mills closed down.

Thank our ex presidents, and elected officials for most of this mess and don't forget the auto companies who got bailed out yet don't buy American.

One last thing, if we ever go back to a major war, where will we get our armored steel or any steel to protect our soldiers and the American people, from our enemies?????

May 18, 2014 4:27AM
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Re Bethlehem Steel: "Amid lower labor costs in other countries"?? Nice way of painting over "incompetency of businessmen"! Try "offshore manufacturing and a lack of U.S. patriotism". All of this veils corporate greed and the bending over backwards to make stockholders blissful. This is what their text books taught them in business school. A better bottom line, even if it means screwing America! You business clowns wouldn't last a week in engineering - college or on the job. Go get a real degree.
May 18, 2014 11:48AM
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The whole article is about the Peter Principal. The liberals, socialist and communist commenters will blame capitalism and corporate greed, while the capitalist will point out that labor cost (driven by unions and big government)doomed most of these companies. There is truth in both arguments however the underlying failure in all these companies is in the Peter Principal. They all reached their point of incompetence. Hundreds of small companies hit the break point yearly. These giants managed to grow far beyond the normal point through having special people in the right position at critical points in growth. However there is a point at which the sheer size will bring about the failure. If you are looking for the next Great failure look no further then our government. 
May 18, 2014 8:03AM
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IF ALL OF THESE BIG BUSINESSWOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THEIR PRODUCTS AN LESS ON BIG BUCKS ,THIS COUNTRY WOULD HAVE BETTER PRODUCTS.LOOK AT THE CAR COMPANY*S.IF SOMEONE GETS HURT NO BIG DEAL ,JUST PAY THEM OFF.,SO THOSE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE SHOULD BE PUT OUT ON THE STREETS. THANKS
May 18, 2014 4:17AM
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Beancounters and pencil necks might consider Foot Locker to be Woolworths, but Woolworths is dead and gone. Thanks WW!!
Aug 20, 2014 1:10PM
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More companies are going away too. You can't start a company today without attorneys and accountants to keep the IRS and courts away. Now this has benefits to large companies the little guy is screwed. In California alone we have over 80,000 pages of state tax law you need to know, this doesn't include labor law, tort law, federal tax law and all the other millions of pages of laws. It's a short drive to Tijuana.
Aug 20, 2014 11:44AM
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60s and 70s, Unions did nothing but strike for more wages. Ford got smart and installed bots to do simple manual labor back in the 70s, vice paying some union A-Hole $45 grand a year to turn a bolt and nut. Woolworths fell the way of cheap merchandise and yet charged high prices. Lima Ohio had these and steel mills but..... we wanted more money so they Union members chose to strike every other contract and get paid higher wages and yet turn out low quality. When they laid those people off ; them former employees actually where Fords 40% customer base. Thus shooting there own selfs in the foot. The Mills just lost out due to Mine strikes in Minnesota over Union wages. Costing the Mills huge monies for raw material. Hows all in Ferguson Today?.
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And each and every one of these fell because of them being poorly run not due to any other factors. Woolworths could have still be competing to this day.
May 23, 2014 1:15PM
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What about HFC or Beneficial? (Ya know, those rip-off sub-prime lenders)
May 23, 2014 1:19PM
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Woolworth was in the UK, in 2007, when I studied abroad.  Don't know if they're still over there.
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