How many people really believe that every one of the large companies that have gone bankrupt over the past year deserves to write off their debt and restart the brand?
Read between the lines, or perhaps ignore the lines. J. Crew forced the bankers to come to the table and forgive $1.6B in debt in exchange for access to more credit. So they get slapped on the hand for poorly managing J.Crew but get more debt to do it again. People have lost their jobs, landlords won’t get their rents, and the company has not exactly been doing well for years. Nobody tightened the reins for a long time. But now the same people get to rebuild it. Does that make sense?
Others such as Brooks Brothers have liquidated everything and are now owned by a licensing firm. That is promising. Brooks Brothers could build a new brand. Barneys on the other hand is not a fashion house. Brooks Brothers kinda is.
My favorite Warren Buffet quote is “only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked”. Over the past six months, there appears to be a lot of naked people. There were taking their clothes off very slowly but then the tide pulled out, bang, they were all naked.
I just wonder why we can’t learn from the past and bring on the new? Debt under a business that can’t ever swim out of it just doesn’t work for anyone except for the people pulling the strings.