The Hostess debacle, and all the other recent outrageous statements by CEOs around the country planning on cutting off their noses to spite their faces/take their ball and go home by shutting down their companies (Aetna, PapaJohns, Florida real estate guy, etc.) really leave me speechless.

Their arguments are basically:  "Now my taxes and health care costs are going up!  Screw all of you for voting for the Black Guy!  I'm gonna shut down the company and retire!  Cuz I won't be able to make all the money I want to!"

For none of these d-bags was it a problem re: their companies no longer being able to run effectively or being able to make a profit; it was all about their bottom line in how much cash would be thrown off to allow them to continue to be multi-millionaires and billionaires.

It all comes down to:  Gee, I'll end up making only hundreds of millions of dollars instead of billions!  Fuck that!  Screw all of you, I'm goin' home and retire on the beach and you all can suffer!

Just like the "heroes" in an Ayn Rand novel.

What she--and they--completely ignore is the fact that:  If a CEO is unwilling to run a company and make money in a given industry, there are plenty of other hungry competitors in every industry that will immediately step into the gap.

The only person being hurt is the idiot deciding to forego profitable cashflow out of spite.

Imagine if Steve Jobs or Bill Gates felt this way; if either one of them had at any point simply decided that they, personally, were so important to a given industry that they could extort their preferred behavior from customers or politicians by threatening to retire or shut down their companies, the market reaction would have been--punish their stock, and reward any and all competitors that would immediately be able to step in and fill the gap in the market left by such foolish hubris.

The tantrum thrown by Hostess is in a similar vein.  "We're gonna hold Twinkies hostage!  If we don't get what we want from those mean old unions, there won't be any Twinkies anymore!"

And the ignorant believe it.

What would really happen?

If Hostess were to actually liquidate, some of their assets would be all their various brands that are household-names (twinkies, ho-hos, ding-dongs, etc.), and the accountants assign a value to each of these things.

The right to make these products is an asset that is bought and sold like any other intellectual property.

There is no such thing as Reardon Steel in the real world; given a recipe, anyone can build anything, including a Twinkie.

If the market wants something, it will make it happen.  Including twinkies, and there's nothing that a petulant CEO can do about it.

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