You’ve no doubt heard of, or even participated in, the so-called online “dead pools,” where odds are placed on which celebrity will be the next to meet the Grim Reaper.

That’s a bit too morbid for me, but when it comes to business, I don’t mind participating in some death watches since it’s instructive to see how others can screw up a good thing.

I’ve been of the opinion for some time now that not only will it go, but Chrysler should go to cut down the glut in Detroit. Mind you, that’s 50,000 or more layoffs, but capitalism is either creative destruction or it becomes socialism, where government picks the winners and losers. And let’s hope our current president doesn’t become this nation’s Hugo Chavez.

Back to Chrysler: I came across a Yahoo Finance article about “15 Companies That Might Not Survive 2009,” and sure enough, there was Chrysler’s name right near the top.

Others on this dead pool include Krispy Kreme donuts and Rite Aid pharmacies, both of which I watched expand much too rapidly for their markets beginning back in the 1990s. (I don’t think Starbucks will bite the bullet, and it’s not on the list, but that coffee purveyor also got way too ambitious in its expansion plans.)

The name Trump, as in Donald, also appears on the list, but it’s just one of the The Donald’s holdings, specifically his casinos. It’s “deja vu all over again” here as his Atlantic City holdings were near bankruptcy and forcibly restructured during the last great recession in the early 1990s.

So, if you work for one of these 15 (or anywhere else where things are shaky), polish up your resumes and be prepared for an “interesting” 2009, as in the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”