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General Electric was once considered the most valuable company in the world, a conglomerate that spanned industries and was respected specifically for its management prowess.

But over the last two decades, the company has imploded in slow motion. On Tuesday, GE announced it would break into three distinct companies, marking the beginning of the end for the multinational behemoth.

Axios Re:Cap host Felix Salmon is joined by Ted Mann, journalist and co-author of Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the fall of General Electric.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Nov 16, 2021 - Economy & Business

Why conglomerates break themselves up

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Three giant conglomerates announced their breakups in the past week. All of them are seeking to put their recent past behind them.

Why it matters: GE, Johnson & Johnson, and Toshiba weren't the last of the conglomerates. Giants both old and new remain. (Think 3M, or Softbank.) In today's financially-optimized stock market, however, the arguments for internal diversification have mostly lost the day.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

1 hour ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.

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