Too big to fail? Cobb says that there’s a point where they must fail:
Xerox, for example, once owned American Express. Hard to believe, but true. While I was working there, ostensibly for the workstation business, Xerox’ most profitable division was Van Kampen Merritt Investments. They were playing money games on Wall Street but failing to be Xerox, the innovative product company. Soon, small companies like the PC printer division of HP and a company called Adobe kicked Xerox in what used to be some of their core competencies.
And then HP and Adobe started down the slippery slope, and so it goes.
As for Robert Van Kampen, who left his securities business in the hands of Xerox — who sold it to Morgan Stanley, who sold it to Invesco, who reduced it to a brand name — he spent his latter days in contemplation of the Rapture, Prewrath version. I’m pretty sure he didn’t believe in “too big to fail.”