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It’s always useful to put failure in perspective. While Citigroup is likely to announce a $20 billion writedown tomorrow, that’s difficult for most of us to relate to.
However, I bet most people that have traveled in the US have had the privilege of having their bags misplaced on a trip through Denver International Airport.
The original amazing DIA baggage system cost $300m. It never worked. The city eventually turned it over to United Airlines (the dominant carrier at DIA.) United Airlines stopped using it in 2005. It’ll now cost $9m to dismantle it and get rid of the scrap metal.