GE breaks up: Electric shock

Posted: April 10, 2015 in economy
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UK Only Article: 
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GE breaks up

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An iconic firm abandons its finance business

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IT MUST be annoying for Jeff Immelt, the boss of General Electric (GE), when articles about his firm start with a reference to his predecessor, Jack Welch. Mr Immelt has been in charge of the world’s biggest industrial concern for 14 years. His latest move, GE’s exit from its vast finance arm, announced on April 10th, will mean Mr Immelt has changed the firm as dramatically as anyone in its 123-year history. But to understand this landmark in American capitalism—and why investors are so happy about it—you have to start with Jack.
GE’s finance arm is one of America’s largest financial entities, with assets of half a trillion dollars, about the same as Lehman Brothers had in the run-up to the financial crisis of 2008. It does everything from consumer loans to property. It exists because of Mr Welch. When he became the head of GE in 1981, his initial mission was to make an industrial champion fit again, by cutting costs. …<div class="og_rss_groups"></div>

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