The recession has sped up the U.S. economy’s ongoing shift from forging iron to moving electrons and ones and zeros.
That will become clear June 8, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average kicks out General Motors and replaces it with Internet backbone giant Cisco. Dow Jones announced the move — along with the replacement of Citigroup by Travelers — after GM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy June 1.
The Dow was founded in 1896 and has long been dominated by industries moving steel or dollars. Most people can tell you what the 30 companies in the Dow do: Caterpillar makes bulldozers, Boeing builds airplanes, American Express funds credit cards. By contrast, their only familiarity with Cisco might be a home wireless router.