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way through the ‘90s, both of us observed that almost as soon as any company had been praised in the popular management literature as excellent or somehow super durable, it began to deteriorate,” the authors wrote. “Searching for excellent companies was like trying to catch light beams; they were easy to imagine, but so hard to grasp,” they concluded. Figure 3-4 lists the ten largest bankruptcies from January 1981 through December 2013, reminding stock pickers of big companies gone bust. Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, GM, and MF Global Holdings were among the big companies that ultimately failed, and the number of bankruptcies significantly increased from 19,695 in 2006 to 47,806 in 2011, and stayed relatively high even in 2013 with 33,212 business bankruptcies. Figure 3-4

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