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Microsoft got its credit risk management stress test when Circuit City approached insolvency just as the 2008 holiday season arrived. “We had to have our hardware and software on retailers’ shelves for the holidays,” says treasurer George Zinn. “The business expected it. But we could see Circuit City’s credit quality vanishing. So we chose to sell our hardware on consignment. It was there on the shelves for shoppers right up until Circuit City closed its doors. Then we sent in our trucks to pick up our hardware. It was the ultimate compliment to our collections team that we didn’t even make the creditors’ committee.”

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