June 4, 2009, 3:42 pm
Anyone who doesn't know the economy is unwell has obviously been off the planet or in a cave for the last nine months. Despite the government's attempt to stop the bleeding, one company after another has collapsed ‚Äî the latest to join the list is General Motors, a fixture in American automotive culture. GM's situation, which included filing for bankruptcy this week, comes with an additional blow to the company, if not fiscally then to its corporate pride: the company's bankruptcy filing has disqualified it from inclusion in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, an honor it has held for eighty-three years, a record second only to General Electric's 102 years.
GM's loss, however, is technology's gain, as one more staple in the tech lineup will take the automotive giant's place. Cisco Systems, the networking powerhouse that claims as much as a 68% share in certain areas of the networking market, will be added to the venerable index on June 8 ‚Äî it will become the fifth technology firm in the current lineup, along with Hewlett-Packard, Intel, IBM, and Microsoft. Other members of the index, which includes thirty stocks considered to be a representative sample of the overall market, include such American corporate icons as AT&T, Coca-Cola, the aforementioned General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, and Walt Disney.