As I reported on Thursday, Borders announced that they wouldn't be able to pay certain vendors, which is incredibly bad news for a retailer who should be flush with post-Christmas cash.

Today brings news that two top Borders executives have resigned. Also today, investment site The Motley Fool called Borders "The One Retailer You Must Avoid." It seems as though Borders is preparing to go under. But if so, why is Publishers Weekly reporting that Borders, yet again, has secured financing from a new bank?

All signs point to a pretty terrific Christmas season for publishing. B&N did far better than last year. Amazon sold what could be a staggering amount of e-books. It appears that publishing might be making the transition to e-publishing in an orderly, profitable manner. In the first healthy Christmas for publishing in years, Borders still couldn't pull it out; in fact, it's quite probable that they experienced a dramatic decline. Common sense dictates that Borders should be at the end of its life. But here's why Borders might be able to cheat death yet again: The publishing industry is terrified of losing them.

(More after the jump.)

For a multitude of reasons, publishers don't want America to be a one-chain nation. The two biggest reasons: They prefer to have a competitor for B&N, and they're scared that the 10% of the book-buying public that frequents Borders will go to Amazon instead. Would publishers be willing to temporarily forgive a huge debt from Borders? The vast majority probably would. But if even a couple get squirrelly and demand their money immediately, it could mark the end of Borders.

The problem with Borders isn't that the publishing industry is dying. The problem is that Borders has been mismanaged for decades now. You can read a full explanation of the history of those problems in an exhaustive blog post at Brillig. If you want to read about how Borders ground-level employees are practically begging for the chain to die, you should visit I Work at Borders, which has been regularly updated all weekend long. The story is a long way from over.