If either GM or Ford were to declare bankruptcy, it would be for reorganization. Neither is going away. Still, the impact to the American, and wold economy, would be profound. There is hardly a city in the central part of the country, from Minneapolis and Montreal down to Baton Rouge and Atlanta, that does not have a significant part of its industry tied to the automotive sector. Thirty thousand lost jobs at GM can easily translate into a hundred thousand in total. What happens if GM reneges on its retirement obligations, cuts pay, or pressures suppliers to lower costs? These things can add up to more shock to the economy.