distressed

What CNBC’s ‘The Profit’ Gets Wrong

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A few years ago I received a call from a television producer who wanted to verify that I was, indeed, a well-known turnaround consultant. This took me back because “well-known” was not necessarily in my marketing vocabulary. But I figured if someone from TV wanted to talk to me, I could at least become “less-obscure.” […]

Summer Shorts

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This week I had hoped to be on a beach. Not sure if that’s going to happen, but here are two beach-appropriate short reads. Please consume while wearing flip-flops:   I. Capping CAPM A Google search on the Capital Asset Pricing Model returns over 1.2 million hits. This model, taught in finance courses as “Cap-em,” indicates that […]

The Guaranteed Middle Market Employment Stimulus Plan

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Further stimulus of the economy is required. The 9.2% national unemployment rate, leaving 14 million able workers at home, demands it. But there is no appetite to revive the Obama administration’s fiscal stimulus, which apparently intended to give states block grants to keep doing what they were doing, or to provide nimble political ear-markers with […]

What it REALLY Takes to Turn a Business Around

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I have been doing turnarounds for over twenty five years, and along the way, I’ve accumulated certain prejudices about what types of businesses are easiest to fix. Wholesale distribution and retail/restaurant chains are among my favorites, because there are usually enough profitable parts of the business — a core product or very profitable locations — […]

What it Really Takes to Turn a Business Around

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I have been doing turnarounds for over twenty five years, and along the way, I’ve accumulated certain prejudices about what types of businesses are easiest to fix. Wholesale distribution and retail/restaurant chains are among my favorites, because there are usually enough profitable parts of the business — a core product or very profitable locations — […]

How to Manufacture a Debt Crisis

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In my career I’ve been involved with the rehabilitation and rescue of everything from corner restaurants to whole governments.  In fact, at one point I was managing a debt renegotiation for $32 billion in sovereign credit.   This category of potential clientele is the most interesting, given their size as well as the social and […]

Can troubled companies “grow out” of their cash flow problems?

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  When I meet managers of companies who have been having problems with the bank—as in, “we-want-our-money-back-now” problems—often the CEO will take me aside and confide that the real problem is that the bank “distraction” is preventing the company from executing the firm’s long-contemplated growth strategy.   The CEO has a geographic expansion in mind, or […]

Venezuela and AIG

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Today the house has approved the retroactive tax on bonuses paid to highly-compensated individuals in companies that have gotten government stimulus money.   I understand that there are possible issues on constitutionality in such a bill, as it appears to approach “legislative punishment.”  (see http://dealbreaker.com/2009/03/is-the-aig-tax-constitutional.php for a layman’s view of the actual bill and its tests.) My […]

Take the Temporary Tag Challenge

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So is it possible to turn around a car dealership? No one is buying cars now, are they? If no one is buying cars, how can a dealership survive? I suggest you take the challenge I’ve laid down to others: while you are driving in your own vehicle, look for signs of newly-sold cars. In […]

“We are what we repeatedly do…”

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Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” So says Aristotle.  In the question of how to manage a turnaround, many people who are currently dealing with troubled businesses do not have a lifetime of practice–of the habits–of managing a turnaround.  So this blog is written by one who does have that near-lifetime of […]