Like a tornado sweeping through town, a government can take out a company in a moment that instantly reminds people they are not in control. If any survive, they are left to pick up the pieces and to try to rebuild their lives.
In Venezuela, General Motors employees are dealing with a financial crisis sweeping the country. The government seized the automaker's factory, leaving thousands jobless and wondering about how to pay for their next meal.
The seizure resulted from a decades-old lawsuit, but came to a head because the country is fighting for its political and economic life. Venezuelans are dying in protests over the conditions, and American businesses are also falling victim to the crisis.
It is a reminder to companies doing business abroad that everything can change in an instant.