A recessionary tale
What do you do?
If you're General Growth Properties, you file for bankruptcy. Which is just what the company did Thursday.
Chicago-based General Growth bought the Rouse Co. in 2004, getting Columbia, Harborplace & The Gallery, local malls and office space into the bargain. I was covering Rouse at the time, and the executives talked about it as an inevitable sort of thing: Big companies keep acquiring until there's nothing else they can acquire, and then they themselves get bought out. But I wonder if -- had General Growth and Rouse stayed independent -- both companies would have been better off today.
Jay Hancock opines in his column that founder Jim Rouse wouldn't have gotten into this trouble:
He never borrowed too much or risked the franchise to get a couple percentage points less on the mortgage. ... James Rouse took risks with malls and marketplaces, not finances. General Growth Properties did the opposite.