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GM's chairman takes the fall, but his company is still speeding downhill

IT IS PERHAPS A MEASURE OF HOW BAD THINGS HAVE become at General Motors: when America's biggest automaker posted a third-quarter loss of $753 million last Thursday, the announcement, incredibly enough, was taken as relatively good news. After all, the shortfall was $100 million smaller than predicted and $300 million less than the company lost in the same quarter last year. Rival Ford also reported a loss: $159 million for the quarter.

But the changes in GM's bottom line were nothing compared with the changes at the top. After months of bitter skirmishing with GM's board of directors, chairman and CEO...

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