After Eddie Lampert refused to advance any more cash to his failing retail chain, Crain's editorial board concluded Sears may be about to file for bankruptcy protection:
Tracking the slow-motion collapse of what used to be Sears Roebuck has been sort of like watching a glacier melt: You know it's happening, but it's tough to detect it with the naked eye. That is, until a Delaware-size chunk breaks off, which is what happened when the once-giant retailer recently unveiled a "liability management" plan crafted by Sears Holdings' CEO and largest shareholder, hedge fund tycoon Edward Lampert.
Of course, Crain's has lovingly maintained a decades-long tradition of predicting Sears' demise, and there's no telling if or when the company might ever seek bankruptcy protection. But bankruptcies, like avalanches, tend to happen quickly once they're triggered, and it's difficult to see how Sears can maintain its current course—shredding roughly $1.5 billion in cash each year to fund its business operations—without something big giving way, and suddenly.
We shall see. Whatever happens, it's almost a crime. But I've been saying that for years.