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Re: PC: Another Penn Central Book.

So, to sum up:
  1. The senior management of the Penn Central was blameless and all their actions were always altruistic and within good business practice.
  2. Planning to efficiently combine operations was a waste of time because the railroad was doomed to fail.
  3. Making sure that the computers from the two principle merger partners that kept track of thousands of transactions a day could interface was a waste of time because the railroad was doomed anyway.
  4.  Perlman "gunning" for subordinates because he personally didn't like them and not based on their work made sense and was acceptable (wherever I worked, the bosses wanted to see results and couldn't give a fig about personalities).
  5. Diversification was a good thing because the railroad couldn't make it without it. Well, with diversification the railroad (and Penn Central for all it's other ventures was primarily a railroad)  didn't make it and perhaps the senior management should have focused of the railroad; i.e., "downsizing operations", etc. (Admittedly hard to do after all; e.g., Saunders gave away the store to the unions to get the merger.)
  6. Executive Jet was owned by a subsidiary of the railroad, but it was still illegal for them to own it and Bevan, a least, was aware of that fact.
  7. Ultimately, all the problems faced by Penn Central and the cause of the collapse could be blamed on the  federal government.
Question. What about all the other railroads in that era, like Southern and  N&W, that didn't go bankrupt? They were operating under the same government regulations and policies that PC was.
Perhaps Penn Central was destined for failure, along with the other NE railroads that eventually formed Conrail. However, we have the luxury of hindsight, and may be  practicing the big no-no of historians, anachronism. Saunders, Perlman and Beven deserve some of the blame because they were in charge and were ultimately responsible. After all, being responsible is the function of leadership.

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