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On its face, it would surely be foolish to blame Daimler-Chrysler's extraordinary woes on the very dark history of Daimler-Benz. On its face, the combined company's deep decline is manifestly a function of bad economic judgments. After all, from the very start, the 1998 decision by Germany's Daimler-Benz to merge with Chrysler simply made no financial sense.
There can be no justice without memory. In 1998, Chrysler entered into an ambitious merger agreement with Germany's Daimler-Benz. Since that time, its economic well-being has generally and persistently deteriorated. Most recently, Chrysler's woes of falling stock prices and shrinking cash reserves have been aggravated by widening product deficiencies and burgeoning vehicle recalls.
Personal consumption drives our American economy. To uplift the financial markets and restore confidence on Wall Street and Main Street, everyone now wants the consumer to buy more. Without an aggressive expansion of consumer spending, corporate earnings will remain depressed, growth will stagnate, unemployment will increase, and stock values will decline even further. What then should we do?
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