Sunday, December 01, 2002

Shameful Joy

In my post below, I questioned how Conseco Finance could possibly make a profit, given their comically substandard business practices. Within an hour of writing those words, I sat down to read Saturday's Pioneer Press (did you know they print these things out on paper too and you can buy them at stores?) and what headline, pray tell, graced the front page of the business section? Conseco Finance Concern Builds. It seems they are on the brink of bankruptcy and their creditors have the same question as me - "what exactly is the business model here"? My two favorite quotes are:

"That company is no longer a viable business the way it is standing," said Doug Hansen, vice president of Nu-Trend Homes, an Omaha, Neb., manufactured-home dealer that has worked with Conseco Finance for more than 20 years.

And most beautifully:

"I think they're a sitting duck at this point," said Matthew Park, a consumer finance analyst for Thomas Weisel Partners. "If you're going to buy any of Conseco Finance's business, you'll swallow poison. Companies have to decide if they have the stomach for that. Very few have."

A professional financial analyst describing Conseco Finance as "poison" in a public statement? (Insert vengeful, maniacal laughter here). That's certainly more obscene to their ears than anything I could have come up with the other day. I hereby declare my personal grudge against them over, they're already suffering enough.

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