National Debt Clock

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Obama Motor Co.

"Treasury bludgeoned the bond holders in both Chrysler and GM to take pennies on the dollar, which will not make creditors eager to lend to the companies in the future."

"The new agreement simplifies some work rules and job descriptions but makes no reductions in hourly pay, pensions or health care for active workers. The agreement must also be renegotiated in two years by an Obama Administration running for re-election and weighing the need to keep Big Labor happy against the risks to taxpayer-shareholders."

"The Administration's concessions to the UAW also restrict the company's ability to import smaller, more fuel-efficient cars that it already makes overseas....GM is also selling its Opel operation in Europe as part of this restructuring, and the Washington Post reports that one of Treasury's sale conditions is that Opel's new owners must stay out of the U.S., and even out of China, where GM's business is strong. This is raw trade protectionism. It is also textbook cartel behavior and would be an antitrust violation if practiced by a business."

"The Obama Administration has been whispering to the press that it could start selling its stake within a year to 18 months, and that it hopes to be out of the business entirely in five years. But even assuming that the taxpayer investment stops at $50 billion, GM would have to be worth a cool $80 billion for taxpayers to break even on their 60% stake. By way of comparison, GM's market capitalization at its recent peak in 2000 was only $56 billion."

"The larger corruption will be when government tries to vindicate its ownership by favoring GM over Ford and the other auto makers that aren't wards of the state. The TARP legislation contained one blatant example in the form of a $7,500 tax credit for consumers who buy GM's new electric car, the Chevy Volt. "

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