Monday, March 30, 2009

Funny, really...

Watching Rick Wagoner's auto da fé, I'm reminded that the SS General Motors hit the iceberg sometime back between the Vega and the Cimarron, back before he was even Junior Purser's Assistant, 3rd Class of the ship.

Now the senior officer left aboard, he's being criticized for the placement of the deck chairs.


pdb said...

What I find frustrating about the bailouts is that this is the perfect time for a chapter 11. GM is turning out the best product it has ever made. (My sister's Equinox is a wonderful brat-hauler that's priced way below its value). All that's holding GM down is the deadweight of the useless unions.

sctotw said...

What is scary though is that the "One" is getting away holding the money over there heads to get his way. Going to be a long 3 years and 10 months.....

staghounds said...

You're looking through the wrong end of the telescope, pdb, you Rethuglican Fascist.

The only thing that makes GM valuable is that it is a ready made conduit for delivering loyalty payments from "the government" to reliable D voters, and to buy new loyalty from stockholders.

That, and an unrealistic pension/medical benefits scheme which, when it fails, can be "rescued".

It value IS to be "bailed out". I say this in all seriousness.

This is a market forces issue. The board's decision to let the bailout happen is proof of how GM's greatest value is no longer as an enterprise doing business, but as an administrative convenience.

If our masters went to a profitable company and offered to "bail it out", the boar would never agree. Because if the business' greatest value was AS A BUSINESS, why would the shareholders want accept the control change, or to split profits with Washington any more than they have to with taxes?

Besides, if GM was worth more than the bailout sum in the real business world, someone would be right there to buy it.

Think about it, the bailout money is more than the outstanding market capitalisation, isn't it?

What, you thought GM's purpose was to create and sell high quality, inexpensive vehicles and thereby increase share value?

Who are you, the ghost of Billy Durant or Eddie Rickenbacker?

That's SO 1910.

If you study its history, actually GM was mainly a financial company created to profit from the shakeout of profitable/unprofitable car makers. It (as opposed to its carmaking divisions) has at least since 1920, been a financiers' and accountants' company.

Bram said...

When I worked the GM line in the 80's they were already taking on water rapidly.

Jay G said...

Yeah, and converting it directly into rust around the trunklid and wheelwells...

Rabbit said...

Now that GM warranties will be underwritten and guaranteed by the same group who couldn't turn a profit at a whorehouse, Fords just look better and better.

Coming in the 2011 model line, the new Chevy Trabant!


vw= jokarran. April the First came early, but it's no joke.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Funny, I was just thinking there might be a Ford in my future, too.

staghounds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Somerled said...

The leader reminds me more and more of Lázaro Cárdenas, president of Mexico from 1934 to 1940. He fixed the Mexican economy in much the same manner as El Presidente Obama is fixing ours right now.

Change--it worked for Mexico. It will work for the US of A. Welcome to the Third World.

Anonymous said...

What a shame John Z. DeLorean couldn't live to see this day. What a cosmic joke that Ralph Nader did.

We are all Ralph Nader now.

Anonymous said...

This post has been the inspiration for a new phrase describing what GM now is. No longer a car maker, its real purpose is being a

"power base expander".

Google it for the longer piece.

Or do we prefer "dependency expander"?

Anonymous said...

This post has been the inspiration for a new phrase describing what GM now is. No longer a car maker, its real purpose is being a

"power base expander"


1. A business enterprise, organization, property, or other thing which is designed to do one thing but is used or valued mainly for its ability to increase a power base, usually political.

"General Motors was worthless as a car company. But it made a great power base expander for the Obama administration."

It will be better than being #1 in hits for "crotchless Bibles".

Anonymous said...

I'm really surprised that GM has lasted as long as it has. When your operating overhead is a bunch higher than your competition's due to such little items as medical coverage and retirement pay/medical that the competition doesn't have, you actually don't have much of a chance.

For a given sales price, you just can't sell as much car.

However, bankruptcy could have let GM get out from under the overly0large-scale burden of the existing programs, restoring some hope of profitability. Now? No way, Jose.


Anonymous said...

Not that GM hasn't been in Global Progress with Claude Slagenhop for a full generation, but this idea of offering health insurance through one's employment (as opposed to through your church group, union, fraternal organization and what have you) was given to Henry J. Kaiser by FDR. All that's left of Kaiser's venture now is Permanente, on the receiving end of the Plan. Any business tied to live retirees and a declining customer base would be stuck to this tar-baby.

They played along, they got played. But there was a time they published a graphic-novel version of Road to Serfdom, said "What's good for America is good for GM" (no, I don't have that backward), and appeared to mean it.

Gewehr98 said...

Auto de fe'? What's an auto de fe'?

"It's what you oughtn't to do but you do anyway."

Tonight's word verification, boys & girls, is:


Go figure. :-)