General Electric (GE)
In 2008, the industrial conglomerate General Electric surprised many when, as a result of the freezing in commercial paper markets, it needed to convert to a bank holding company and take a $139 billion debt backing by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company.Many familiar with the GE for its steady returns and epic strings of profitability found it crazy that the world's largest engineering company would qualify as a bank and need debt guarantees from the government. However, a reliance on the $60 plus billion revenue earning GE Capital division and the short term funds needed to run it put GE into crisis as credit markets froze after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. In October 2008, Warren Buffett took a $3 billion warrant in General Electric, which inspired enough confidence in the company for it to sell an additional $12 billion worth of stock to raise much needed capital -- the investment was one of Buffett's big
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