Did we ever need a better illustration of the hubris caused by a concreted in status quo than the sight of General Motors, the former pin up of American manufacturing might going into chapter 11 yesterday?

Ironically, over the past 25 years as GM struggled, it bought a number of other businesses, Hughes Aircraft for one, paying substantially more than the pundits believed they were worth, then turning them into cash bonanzas.

The question of why they could achieve this in their associated businesses, but not in their core should keep academics arguing for some time.

 However, it will not stop the chain saw being applied over the next 6 months, and the probability that a new, improved GM, free of the hubris of the past, will emerge, but it will not be without pain.

Here’s hoping the now most influential shareholder, the US taxpayer, is being managed by someone with sufficient cahunas to inflict the pain now, so that the patient may live.