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November 09, 2008

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kim

What's good for General Motors, is good for the USA.
=================================

sbw

And what's good for General Motors may be to have the assets purchased by another automobile manufacturer. And the liabilities? Well, my goodness, the liabilities are the result of economic extortion of the sort that Adam Smith railed against.

Now that Obama is committed to transitioning workers to new, more productive jobs (he is isn't he?) and now that our retired people will be taken care of (Obama will do that, won't he?), we can get back to the streamlined, market-based economy that is the American Way.

clarice

The real President says he won't do it IIRC; the President Elect (read his sign) doesn't take office until the end of January and GM says they haven't enough cash to last til the end of the year.

jimmyk

Put GM out of its misery, I say. No extraordinary measures. DNR.

I do wonder what hit the taxpayers will take on all of GM's pension and medical benefit liabilities.

sbw

Where the rubber meets the road, er... where the foot meets the pedal, when was the last time you drove a GM car?

I owned a Chevy wagon back in the '80s, IIRC, but, they had nothing worth getting as a replacement. Since then, every GM vehicle I have been forced to drive as a rental, has been uncomfortable to sit in, hard to drive, poorly built, and aesthetically pathetic.

That helps me conclude that it is time to put GM out of my misery.

clarice

Me, too..

And read PJO'Rourke on how conservatives blew it:

[blockquote]Reagan managed to reach out to blue collar whites. But there his reach stopped, leaving many people on our side, but barely knowing it. There are enough yarmulkes among the neocons to show that Jews are not immune to conservatism. Few practicing Catholics vote Democratic anymore except in Massachusetts where they put something in the communion wafers. When it comes to a full-on, hemp-wearing, kelp-eating, mandala-tatted, fool-coifed liberal with socks in sandals, I have never met a Muslim like that or a Chinese and very few Hispanics. No U.S. immigrants from the Indian subcontinent fill that bill (the odd charlatan yogi excepted), nor do immigrants from Africa, Eastern Europe, or East Asia. And Japanese tourists may go so far as socks in sandals, but their liberal nonsense stops at the ankles.

We have all of this going for us, worldwide. And yet we chose to deliver our sermons only to the faithful or the already converted. Of course the trailer park Protestants yell "Amen." If you were handling rattlesnakes and keeping dinosaurs for pets, would you vote for the party that gets money from PETA?

In how many ways did we fail conservatism? And who can count that high? Take just one example of our unconserved tendency to poke our noses into other people's business: abortion. Democracy--be it howsoever conservative--is a manifestation of the will of the people. We may argue with the people as a man may argue with his wife, but in the end we must submit to the fact of being married. Get a pro-life friend drunk to the truth-telling stage and ask him what happens if his 14-year-old gets knocked up. What if it's rape? Some people truly have the courage of their convictions. I don't know if I'm one of them. I might kill the baby. I will kill the boy.[/blockquote]


http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/791jsebl.asp?pg=1>We blew it

Dave Munger

Hey, for those of you who participated in the electoral college prediction survey last week, the results are up here:

http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2008/11/casual_fridays_electoral_predi.php

Thanks for adding a little balance to the results!

Pofarmer

GM has been trying to get the govt to take over it's health care and pension liabilities for some time. Those amount to an astronomical number per car. As far as GM products, it's pretty much all we've had for the last 10 years. I can count the trips for service on, well, no hands. A GM bailout, without somehow taking care of their UAW problem, is money down the drain. However, do you really want to let all those 100's of thousands of jobs go down the drain, and all the subsidiary jobs? What about Chrysler and Ford? They ain't to whippy either. Do we really want no domestic Auto makers? These huge, businesses got too big to succeed, and, unfortunately, they may also be seen as too big to fail.

Porchlight

O'Rourke fails to note that the Dems support allowing the hypothetical 14-year-old to get an abortion without her pro-life parent's consent. So without pro-lifers in the conservative coalition working for parental notification laws, it hardly matters how the hypothetical pro-life friend views the hypothetical pregnancy of his underage daughter.

Not a convincing essay, on the whole. And O'Rourke was always a social snob.

Pofarmer

Had an anecdotal story from BIL yesterday. One of his coworkers daughters managed to total her car. Went car shopping and found an 11,000 car. No loan without a credit score over 700.

Pofarmer

Get a pro-life friend drunk to the truth-telling stage and ask him what happens if his 14-year-old gets knocked up

There are plenty of folks around here raising childrens and grandchildrens kids. It's not hard to figure out at all.

Barney Frank

We just bought a GMC Acadia and it is a marvelous SUV. Much more comfortable, better looking and supposedly at least as reliable as the next best Mazda. The Toyota and Honda were miles behind in nearly all categories.
GM has precisely one problem. Its three letters long and it starts with a U and ends with a W.
Where GM (and Ford for that matter)is free of the UAW it competes very well and is profitable and growing.
If GM declares bankruptcy it will undoubtedly be through Chapter 11 to rid itself of its legacy healthcare and pension albatrosses and to reemerge competitive, not as a liquidation sale.

centralcal

Porch: Our talk radio station has an hour of Auto Talk on Satudays. They said the same thing as your BIL: auto loans are now requiring 700+ credit scores.

boris

Of course the trailer park Protestants yell "Amen."

On this issue I side with Steyn's take over PJ's.

There will be much more said about this, but in short I think John McCain biggest problem was that the GOP had lost any sense of intellectual or ideological definition and John McCain didn't bother to offer any definition of his own until helped by Joe the Plumber. And by then it was too little too late.

It seems the trailer park protestant vote is necessary to win. One interpretation of success of Reagan and GWB (and one assumes Palin) in getting that vote is they don't require trailer park protestant policies, they just need to be trusted.

Captain Hate

To Hell with GM. Where's my green job?

Rick Ballard

"No loan without a credit score over 700."

Po,

The most important thing is that no nasty banker is relying on character references in making the loan. No need for the girl to butter up her minister and the nasty banker has to offer the very same terms to any trash that walks in the door. Of course, he's now barred from making any discretionary loans based upon character assessment but that's a very small price to pay for the total equality of the barnyard.

See - everybody is now equal. 700 isn't too tough at all. Wait 'til it bumps to 770.

R C Dean

The fundamental political realities here are two:

(1) There is no way that the Big Three will be allowed to shed their unionized workers. What's being talked about isn't really a bailout of the the automakers, its a bailout of the unions.

(2) There is no way that all those unfunded obligations to union workers will be written down. Taken on by the taxpayers, sure. Written down in bankruptcy or otherwise, no way.

So, realistically, the only options on the table are just how the transfer of billions of dollars of tax money to support the unions will be structured.

Charlie (Colorado)

Yes to (1), at least: the UAW knows they'll take a big shot to the shorts if GM finds a way out of the contract pension and health provisions. The truth is there's no way out for GM except bankruptcy or something similar that gets them loose of all the additional costs.

I've got an idea: let's set up a national single-payer health system and just enroll GM union workers and pensioners; we'll call it a pilot project. Let's see how they like it.

Charlie (Colorado)

Maybe we could make a deal with Canada, and let all the Detroit people go over the border to Windsor.

Rick Ballard

"The truth is there's no way out for GM except bankruptcy or something similar that gets them loose of all the additional costs."

Precisely. GM does not want a bailout. It wants to file Chapter 11 as Barney Frank described above. Doing so will reduce the burden of the pension and health care plans by at least 25% (the government guarantee on pensions is, IIRC, 75% of what the plan "guaranteed"). The announcement that they are out of cash and President Bush's refusal to offer any more is Kabuki. GM wants to get through Chapter 11 ahead of Ford.

clarice

Yes, Charlie.
As for O'Rourke, the central theme of his article that the Reps must reach out to more groups is a theme I agree with..I think it is essential for the party to continue in the face of increased urbanization and immigration and the ipact of multiculturalism and just plain bad teaching --

glenda waggoner

Barney Frank:

We just bought the Buick Enclave which is a sister to the Acadia. It is the best car I've ever had. Roomy, tight turns, great gas mileage, all the whistles, plus we get the GM discount. My husband's brother retired from GM last Feb.--The problem is not the UAW pensions(he gets a pittance),but it's the free health care that costs GM so much, They don't even pay premiums- nothing on meds, even aspirin. The unions steal theirs off that. They make some good products-I have no regrets about not having a Toyota anymore, and I gave my
pretty new Tahoe to the lovely daughter and it's still going great!

glasater

As the "car" reporter on CNBC maintains--who's going to buy a vehicle from an auto company that's in chapter 11 or bankruptcy?

thise

Congress doesn't need Governors, especially vals' . It's NM and Los Alamos where Plame traded the laptops for Iranian ones. What's the maintenance and how long does it run. The 40 year house option makes more sense.

The pensions are too big the auto industry has to fail and the US government is not going to guarantee pensions for non government corporations. If they had got a federal job at CIA like Val, they'd be fine. Buy insurance.

They need to make air cars.

If GM gets rope, so do I and my SOCIAL SECURITY starts at the same time like their pensions for the SAME AMOUNT.

Rick Ballard

Glasater,

Very few are buying them now. The Goldman Sachs driven oil scam went a bit farther than the Masters of the Universe planned. I would think that suppliers would be joining potential buyers in realigning their thoughts about the advisability of continuing a relationship.

glasater

My working rig is a 2003 Chevy pickup with four wheel drive. It is a more comfortable ride than any deluxe auto I've ridden in recently plus it's gotten me out of some pretty tricky situations when I've been out in the back woods so to speak. It gets pretty fair gas milage on the road and as you might discern, I'm not going to give it up easily.
All this talk about battery powered cars is just a joke to those of us who live in the hinterlands and wide open spaces:-)

hrtshpdbox

A Chapter 11 by GM would strand untold American holders of their corporate bonds. GM and Ford have used the capital markets extensively, and many bondholders who bought investment-grade GM and Ford bonds years ago are now looking at paper trading at 20 cents on the dollar, with the bulk of the decline occuring over the last year. There is the expectation, among bondholders and almost everyone else, that GM won't be able to meet their commitments; I hope it won't come to pass. I don't care if it's another foray into anti-free market economics; if a bank has been offered relief despite their own malfeasance, then I can't see why an important American company and significant employer like GM shouldn't get some help as well. If we're giving a pass to people who took on bad mortgages, and to bankers who loaded up on fat subprime yields, then there's no reason to just allow an American brand to die without trying to help it out, without trying to prevent the massive corporate debt chaos that would ensue.

matt

GM deserves to rot and die. Their management is moribund and they need a complete overhaul of their union contracts and pension funds if they are going to survive. They have outsourced huge parts of their business to China. Work rules are a joke, and in the most recent contract, the company allowed Saturn, the one efficient group, to die on the vine. America cannot afford to prop up bad management.

clarice

The rationale for the still poorly articulated bailout was to unfreeze capital , a problem affecting every aspect of our lives. Once we start bailing out stockholders in invidiaul company and individual mortgage holders we should be encouraging Joe the Plumber to sharpen those pikes and march on D.C. because that would be just another kind of Ponzi scheme where those close to the party in power take no risk and those who are prudent subsidize everyone else no matter how profligate or silly they have been.

bad

Bernardine Dohrn and Tom Hayden are all revved up about social activism becoming chic again.

LUN warning: NYT rtory

Rick Ballard

hrtshpdbox,

Would a GM/Ford secured debt holder be better off or worse off under bankruptcy? Wouldn't that necessarily depend upon the treatment accorded debt holders by the bankruptcy referee?

I believe that GM actually transferred the pension and health and welfare programs to the UAW last year. Could a bankruptcy referee actually knock out senior debt or what amounts to a promise which can't be sustained to deliver money to the UAW?

I really don't know the answer to the questions but I'm not at all sure that bondholders would suffer any worse under Chapter 11 than they are suffering today.

PaulL

Interesting that everyone is commenting on GM and not a word on the mini nuclear reactors. I think they sound great. It sounds like all the technology is perfected. Now there's just the little matter of keeping politicians and environmentalists out of the way.

bad
Before the election, Obama told others that he favors declaring that carbon dioxide emissions are endangering human welfare, following an EPA task force recommendation last December that Bush and his aides shunned in order to protect the utility and auto industries.

Obama is probably hoping Bush lets GM go under so he won't take the blame for it with his carbon dioxide emissions policy.

LUN

Lesley

Perhaps, a place to begin is not to refer to people as "trailer park Protestants." What a condescending pejorative. Sometimes, I think people who have escaped the meteaphorical trailer park are the nastiest of all, assuming an elitist veneer hoping no one will scratch beyond their surface. To me, it says more about the definer than the defined.

bad

PaulL, the mini-nuclear reactor possibilities are intriguing.

clarice

PaulL, I didn't because I first posted the article last night on another thread. It may just be poppycock, but I don't think so and if we can tie down the enviros, this is a wonderful possibility..I agree.

PaulL

One of those mini nuclear reactors would be just the ticket to power Al Gore's place. Or John Edwards's, if any of you remember him.

bad

Lesley, I remember when being thrifty and a good steward of all resources was an attribute to be admired, regardless of one's income.

Then it became fashionable to not cook, not sew or mend, not garden, not repair but replace with something new.

Along with those days came a contempt for those who could live on very little. Yet that "make do" existence was very "green" by it's nature.

Porchlight

Perhaps, a place to begin is not to refer to people as "trailer park Protestants."

That was how I took it, too. We can reach out to other groups without insulting the ones we already have. And the abortion remarks were gratuitous. But O'Rourke is correct that we need to work harder on making the case for small government.

Lesley

Bad - so true, so true.

Bad this is for you, my dear one:

This morning at church, a one-year-old boy and his mother were baptized. The mother was baptized first and her little son watched the process intently from his father's arms. When the minister picked up the boy, the boy bent down, reached his hand into the baptismal font, and proceeded to baptize himself, wetting his hair down a la Piper Palin.

...."and with this cross, I mark thee as Christ's own forever." It was a beautiful moment.

Porchlight

Yet that "make do" existence was very "green" by it's nature.

Great comment, bad. The concept of frugality and the admonishment of spendthrifts is ancient, but the greenies sometimes seem to think they were the first to come up with it. I remember once a liberal friend was talking about the "liberal guilt" involved in buying a house that was way bigger than one required. He teased me "well I guess you don't have that problem." I explained that I'm conservative and thus I dislike waste. (As it turned out when we compared sq. footage, his condo was bigger than our house, and we're raising kids in ours whereas he and his wife had none.)

bad

What a lovely story, Lesley. Thank you so much for sharing it.

truthynesslover

this is how the game is played;
Total Fees Over 6 Years: $261 million
Gross Performance Over 6 Years: 1%

$261 million over six years. Amazing! The hedge-fund manager was clearly a genius for going into the hedge-fund business.

But what do I mean "gross performance over 6 years: 1%"? The hedge fund manager had five good years, didn't he?

Well, he had five years in which he matched the S&P 500. And he also had the sixth year, in which he again matched the S&P 500... and lost just about every penny he "made" over the prior five years. So the hedge-fund manager's clients didn't do quite as well as he did over the period. Specifically, he made $261 million. They made, in aggregate, on a gross basis, $10 million.

Really?

No, of course not really. Because, every year, while the hedge fund manager was subtracting the fees that eventually added up to his $261 million, he was reducing the amount of capital the clients had in his fund. On a NET basis, therefore -- which is the only basis that matters -- the hedge fund manager's clients LOST $203 MILLION OVER THE SIX YEARS. That's an aggregate loss of 20%.

To summarize: Over the six years Capital Compensation Partners was in business, the firm made $261 million, and the firm's clients lost $203 million. All the risk, meanwhile, was borne by the clients, who got obliterated in the end.

See how smart hedge-fund managers are?

bad

TL

I guess that attitude of "I'll do well while screwing you" is why that group contributed heavily to Obama. Kindred spirits and all that....

Pofarmer

But O'Rourke is correct that we need to work harder on making the case for small government.

How are you gonna do that? We just voted in the biggest big govt Lib that's ever run for office in the U.S. Jay Nixon is already busy telling us in MO how he's gonna reinstate the programs that Matt Blunt cut so we could actually afford to do things like fix our roads. The govt is busy doing things for which is has no mandate while ignoring the core purposes of govt.

clarice

truthy, I hope my partner Mr. PUK sees that..those guys did even better than our S.C.A.M. operation did. DRAT!

clarice

bad"Then it became fashionable to not cook, not sew or mend, not garden, not repair but replace with something new."

I'm not sure that's quite true. Around here, people make those choices largely on the basis of economics. I love to knot and needlepoint, but don't do it out of need because frankly for years --beginning in the 1980s--handmade knots and needlepoint of high quality was being imported and sold here for less than the cots of raw material..Much the same with major sewing repairs--cheaper to buy new imported stuff.

Most small appliances are not easily reparable and it's cheaper to replace them with (imported) ones sold at very competetive prices by big box (often online) retailers.

As for food, I notice that the supermarkets are increasing their carry out depts and prepared foods sections and often can provide good quality stuff at little more than the cost of raw ingredients--something very appealing to most households around me where both partners work long hours and where if their are children, after school events further cut into preparation time.

clarice

***knIt and needlepoint***
***competitive prices***

Rick Ballard

In re Blue Sky Hyperion:

Do you have a working prototype?

John R. "Grizz" Deal: We're leveraging the design of a very common reactor, called a TRIGA reactor. There are 60-something of those reactors around the world. They are the only reactor that the NRC has licensed for unattended operation, meaning it's so safe that you can literally walk away from it. It's walk-away safe.

So we're taking that basic concept and then we're applying for some engineering modifications to get heat out of it. Right now, those reactors are not used to generate electricity or heat for electricity; they are used for academic purposes. You don't really get a working prototype until you get a license. You have to do it all simultaneously. It's kind of a chicken-and-egg scenario.

I would comment further but my BS detector exploded and I need to try and clean up the mess.

I'll be back later to sell shares in my SoLunar Windmill company though. We use proven technology to coat the blades on the windmill with a very special PV film that actually generates energy from moonlight as well as sunlight. It's an incredible breakthrough and we anticipate huge revenue from the sale of the idea.*

*On advice of legal counsel SoLunar Windmills must specifically disclaim the possibility of revenue being derived from any product sales. The spoilsports.

clarice

PUK can sell it in the EU, Rick. They'll buy anything.

Porchlight

How are you gonna do that?

I wish I knew, Pofarmer. As you pointed out in the other thread (I think it was you), it's a catch 22 - if we obstruct successfully, we look like we're taking people's candy away; if we don't obstruct, we're abandoning principles and just giving up.

So I don't know what to do. Watch and see, per Noemie Emery's essay yesterday, is not a bad place to start, I think.

matt

i want one.....with the extra power for another 19,999 homes I imagine I can develop my own high energy laser beam/leaf blower and then no one will mess wit me....

clarice

Pick fights very carefully and keep the troops together and on message when you fight.Looks like Cantor will be minority whip...and that's a good thing.


As for Europe, part of me thinks out worst mistake was ignoring Ike's warnings about letting them off the hook for their own defense. It would be nice to have a test case.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

We need to start looking into Cantor's history a little bit. Are the records of his behavior in kindergarten available or is he going to try and hide something?

I'm very happy that he is getting the whip job, I just want to be prepared for DirtyDem behavior.

Did you know that Obama is a liar, cheat, fraud and thief? Most of the people who voted for him don't. They'll know about Cantor's kindergarten record before they know about the rent boy's real record.

bad

As RFK,Jr. is considered for an EPA post, read this Jonathon Adler article for a refresher of Jr.'s attacks on the Bush administration.

LUN

bad
Laurie David, the wife of the real Larry David, is a global-warming crusader who rails against SUVs and preaches the virtues of energy-saving light bulbs. Meanwhile, she lives in multiple houses and flies around in private jets that burn more fuel than the average person could save in a lifetime of switching off lights.

The Davids own a summer home on Martha's Vineyard, where they heard from authorities for building a 21-by-16-foot stage and a large stone-and-concrete barbecue pit near protected wetlands, while ripping up native vegetation and planting sodded grass. A neighbor reportedly asserted that the Davids went ahead on their construction without the proper permits to be ready for a visit by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He had inspired Mrs. David to become an environmental "activist."

RFK, Jr. has many friends who follow his "green for thee but not for me" standards.

LUN

Soylent Red

bad and porch...

Among the bitter clingers I run with, there is definitely a hunkering down mentality developing. There is a lot of undertone about the coming Obama Depression and how we will deal with it (remember when people lived with their parents because they didn't want a job?) when it happens.

We have all agreed that, in some respects, a depression might actually be beneficial.

centralcal

Have we heard anything from our crusing pals today?

I've been busy planting pansies and snapdragons (yesterday) and housework today (yuck).

I see KLO says that Fred and Mitt don't want head of the RNC and the concensus choice is Michael Steele. She also said Arnold is being a little to revealing in his remarks (something about the marital bed).

I's can't wait to hear a report from Jane and JMH (or Laura and Caro).

clarice

Cantor is well-regarded by the local press as far as I can tell. Yes, oppo journos will continue to carry O's water, but he's not an outsider which makes the job harder,Rick.

bad,RFK,Jr. is an idiot and I'd be astonished if the new Administration would be so willing to pick unnecessary fights so soon..Better to give Caroline some symbolic, high profile post that brings her to DC often and permits lots of photo ops--oi.e., the Board of the Smithsonian or Kennedy Center .

bad

Soylent

Perhaps it is my bitter clinger side, but I see no economic gain in tossing a pair of jeans into the garbage rather than repair the seam.

And in less than an hour, I can put a healthy, tasty meal on the table for less than the cost of fast food.

It's not rocket science.

Rick Ballard

"It's not rocket science."

Consider the mental agility displayed by our troofer trolls here. Cracking an egg is rocket science for someone operating at that level. They have trouble with Velcro fasteners, let alone shoelaces.

SWarren


I’ve been on the run the last couple of days, so just catching up on previous threads.

Bad,
That story you link from American Spectator “UNPRECEDENTED AND SECRETIVE” is downright creepy.
I know that its common practice for a new administration to cover the cost of the inaugural through a donation fund. But this looks like they have set up a (tax-exempt??) vehicle, ongoing beyond the inaugural. Quote:

"with no limits on the contributions it can receive and no requirements to divulge the names of individuals or organizations that give it money."

A slush fund with no transparency, hidden donor names, to do what?? Fund nefarious activities.

As well, the nonprofit may also serve as a haven for Obama supporters and campaign loyalists who for one reason or another can't be employed by the Administration or in the federal government. "There are some people who have been with us from the beginning who are clearly political liabilities or who won't be able to qualify for a job, say, because they can't get a security clearance," says another aide, who was unaware of the unique Obama transition project's tax status. Regardless of the purpose, Obama campaign officials say there is no intention of shutting down the 501(c) 4 Project after the transition is over.


As well, the nonprofit may also serve as a haven for Obama supporters and campaign loyalists who for one reason or another can't be employed by the Administration or in the federal government. "There are some people who have been with us from the beginning who are clearly political liabilities or who won't be able to qualify for a job, say, because they can't get a security clearance," says another aide, who was unaware of the unique Obama transition project's tax status.
Regardless of the purpose, Obama campaign officials say there is no intention of shutting down the 501(c) 4 Project after the transition is over.

Huh???

bad

SWarren, perhaps I just missed it, but I haven't seen any other news outlets covering that story.

It seems to be the perfect vehicle to allow massive amounts of foreign money into the Obama camp and to allow pay-offs to those who are political liabilities and unable to get a security clearance, etc...

Soylent Red

Rick and bad...

It might as well be rocket science. Most of the skill sets necessary have been systematically destroyed by consumerism and snobbery. What does the local triumph of public education know about growing food or sewing?

My greatest bash against unrestrained libertarianism is that we would soon have packs of nanny staters wandering the streets looking for food, incapable of fending for themselves.

And that is the other cut of a depression. All of those people, plus those verging on their level of stupid, will be pushed right into the arms of Government.

clarice

I heart Soylent but if he thinks he's going to live in my basement while he plays John Galt......Hmmm....Soylent, how good are you at household repair jobs and cat sitting?

clarice

SWarren, hmm..I am picturing those O nominees who've gone thru the hooror of the nomination process, who are sitting in their offices trying to get their jobs accomplished and getting "advice" and "interference" from the employees and officers of this group who seem to be a shadow govt. I see blood in the streets and this time it isn't ours.(IOW looks like the kind of mayhem only a marxist outlook, inexperience and too much money and power could concot.)

Pagar

"We use proven technology to coat the blades on the windmill with a very special PV film that actually generates energy from moonlight as well as sunlight."

Does that mean that there will now be a market for moonbeans, as well as used emissions? We'll all be rich.

Soylent Red

Clarice:

I love your cat and can swing a hammer. How do you feel about large dogs and late night visits by women of dubious virtue?

** Cuts ribbon to Feldman's Gulch **

Rick Ballard

SR,

Demographics tend to make me think that a depression is not in the offing. There isn't really anything "wrong" with the economy and there is no surge of youth coming that would tend to raise unemployment much beyond 8% (at worst).

The rent boy's puppet masters don't want a depression, they just want more milk for less feed. We'll see how they intend to try and do it by March.

clarice

There's a separate entrance.I'd never know who was coming and going.You'd have to ask Gaia's permission about the dog(s).

hrtshpdbox

"Would a GM/Ford secured debt holder be better off or worse off under bankruptcy?"

Nobody can know for sure. In a Chapter 11 a senior bondholder would be due some of the proceeds from asset sales or other settlements. GM hasn't defaulted on any of their bonds (they're paying interest on time and honoring maturities), and it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility that with an assist (and improved business practices, and a less moribund auto market, etc.) that bonds will continue to mature at par. A GM bondholder only suffers now if they feel compelled to sell bonds prior to maturity, at current devalued prices. Again, though, the presumption is that the company either extends maturities (continues to pay interest but won't pay back principal until a later date) or defaults - last I looked a GM bond with a maturity about a year from now has a yield-to-maturity of about 75%.

George S

["Unless the government steps in, analysts warned, GM could face bankruptcy, endangering the livelihoods of about 100,000 North American autoworkers and hundreds of thousands of others whose jobs depend on the industry."]

I love that phrase: "Unless Government Steps In". Never mind the fact that government already stepped in with rules and regulations, CAFE standards, air bag, seat belts, emission standards, union favoritism, and health care mandates, etc, that doomed GM to red ink (see Airlines, Regulations to). If government steps in with (our) money again, I'll just bet that the UAW will say, "oh geez, no thanks, our salary and benefit package stomachs are too full right now - please, tend to your legacy costs instead."

Right now, bankruptcy might be the best medicine. If the Fed pours in money to GM, it will be that much quicker the next crisis rolls around as management will not correct the mistakes that got them here, the UAW will never be restrained, and a congressional staffer will attend every project develpment meeting. Bankruptcy would give GM the opportunity to stop paying all those benefits to people who do not now, or ever have worked for them. They can also restructure their debt obligations to current workers' retirement and health packages. Then they'll have the best shot to rise again and make money.

I say go for it. They have no problem making money in South America where Congress is out of reach.

Ralph L

I believe that GM actually transferred the pension and health and welfare programs to the UAW last year
IIRC, it doesn't go into effect until next year.

Jor

I'll just second the auto-industry bailout. GM employs lots and lots of people. We've bailed out a bunch of financial companies with people who were a lot more careless. Also Toyota is reporting some trouble too (not bankruptcy) which makes me think the broader economic picture (Rather than traditional piss poor american auto management) is the cause this time.

bad

Obama wants slum lord Valerie Jarrett to take over his senate seat.

LUN

bad

WSJ:

Barney Frank wants to slash Defense spending by 25%. Charles Rangel wants to bring back the draft. John Conyers, who has called for slavery reparations, is also sympathetic to Europeans who want to indict Bush administration officials for war crimes. And Henry Waxman is angling for steep energy taxes to combat global warming.

Pelosi must be pissed at not getting a mention.

LUN

clarice

Well, how brilliant would it be to try to appease Granholm and Dingell and Pelosi and the unions by bailing out Detroit and at the same time appeasing Waxman by adding on new energy taxes?

Oh, my!

bad
The co-founder and chairman of parent Franklin Bank Corp. (FBTX) (FBTX), Lewis Ranieri, is credited with inventing mortgage-backed securities two decades ago, but apparently was unable to save his own company from getting ensnared in the home-loan bust.

The bank's failure is a bitter irony because it is the mortgage securitization business of which Ranieri is known as a pioneer - the repackaging of home loans as bonds that are sold to investors - that was at the heart of the mortgage and credit crises.

Perhaps there is some justice after all...

LUN

Pagar

One might want to review this article from Atlas Shrugs to see how government management of any industry or your 401k money will turn out.

"Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. Now we are trusting the economy of our country to a pack of nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling booze? "

LUN

"The testimony of Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economic policy analysis at the New School for Social Research in New York, in hearings Oct. 7 drew the most attention and criticism. Testifying for the House Committee on Education and Labor, Ghilarducci proposed that the government eliminate tax breaks for 401(k) and similar retirement accounts, such as IRAs, and confiscate workers’ retirement plan accounts and convert them to universal Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) managed by the Social Security Administration."

Do we need to review how much money is in the Social Security Lockbox?

Pofarmer

There isn't really anything "wrong" with the economy

yet.

bad

Pagar, the government run whorehouse probably failed because of nonstop dipping in the till...so to speak.

pagar

Article

Typepad keeps kicking out my LUN. So the link here is actually the Atlas Shrugs post.

truthynesslover

How come India has natural gas powered cars and we dont?How come g.m. destroyed the electric car even though they were extreemly popular in cal.?How come we dont have solar powered flexible panels on the cars top hood and trunk that goes into the battery?

pagar

Bad, while in the military, I worked parttime jobs in the various NCO/Officer Clubs at a lot of different bases. It seemed like every week or so somebody in the system would think they had invented a new way to steal from the clubs.
Course this was before computers, so it's all changed now, I suppose, but there really were not many new ways to steal, just some thieves that hadn't done as much research as they should have before embarking on their criminal careers.

Rick Ballard

"Do we need to review how much money is in the Social Security Lockbox?"

Sure. Looks like $2,364,518,919 combined OASI and DI as of August.

Extraneus

If we're giving a pass to people who took on bad mortgages, and to bankers who loaded up on fat subprime yields, then there's no reason to just allow an American brand to die without trying to help it out, without trying to prevent the massive corporate debt chaos that would ensue.

It's been a long time since I read Atlas Shrugged, hrts, but even at that tender age I doubted whether Rand described the way the government would really take control of the means of production. Bailouts seem much more realistic (precipitated by some softening up with regulations, of course).

Steel and railroads in the book, banks, insurance companies and auto manufacturers in real life. What could go wrong if the government only "steps in" when there's trouble? As long as they don't put too many strings on it.

Hey, if oil prices go low enough, that industry might need some federal help at some point, too. Maxine Waters would surely be willing to lend a hand. Uncle Sam might even see to it that the health care industry could face some hard times down the road. Another recession or two and he'll be all set.

The Constitution is a "flawed" document, after all, only proscribing "negative rights." Maybe a couple of Obama appointees on the boards of these too-big-to-fail corporations might make more sense.

I'm not trying to start an argument, but I think this bailout business is a bad idea.

bad

Ryan Lizza on the Obama campaign LUN. How many of these people will end up in the shadow cabinet?

matt

apparently Obama is preparing to reverse a number of Bush's executive orders, including offshore drilling, ANWR, sfederal stem cell research $, etc, etc, etc....in addition, he apparently privately assured Poland's PM that we would continue to move forward on missile defense while announcing publicly that he will kill the program....

violence in Iraq is already climbing.....

welcome to Obama's world.....

kim

Looks like our cruisers will have smooth sailing. Paloma crashed and burned in Cuba.
=================================

sbw

Well, other people have been known to calm the waters.

truthynesslover

Obama says "thanks for the crap economy and the two wars ,a pakistan ready to be overthown by al-queda and a nuclear n. korea!"Heck of a job!We had all better hope he will at least have the intrgrity to get the best and brightest working for our country as opposed to what weve seen out of bush the last 8 years.Losing an election is one thing but being a sore loser and not wanting whats best for your country is delusional.

Ranger

As well, the nonprofit may also serve as a haven for Obama supporters and campaign loyalists who for one reason or another can't be employed by the Administration or in the federal government. "There are some people who have been with us from the beginning who are clearly political liabilities or who won't be able to qualify for a job, say, because they can't get a security clearance," says another aide, who was unaware of the unique Obama transition project's tax status. Regardless of the purpose, Obama campaign officials say there is no intention of shutting down the 501(c) 4 Project after the transition is over.

Hmmm... This sounds very close to a conspiracy to evade federal law, if the intent of this system is to employ people privately in government service to avoid the fact that they are ineligable for employment with the government under federal law.


bad

Another FM/FM insider considered for the Hope-They-Changed team.

Jamie Gorelick for Attorney General.

LUN

Extraneus

Wouldn't that make for a potentially entertaining confirmation hearing, bad? I know the R's are cowards, but Jamie Gorelick for AG? If they can't go after her, the Republic is really lost.

clarice

I don't see that,ranger. I do see a possibility for a general confusion and intra party war though..

clarice

I doubt that Gorelick would be nominated so soon after FM/FM and the bailout. If she is I'd be rather certain she has some really good evidence of really damaging stuff on a lot of people on the Hill.

Ranger

Losing an election is one thing but being a sore loser and not wanting whats best for your country is delusional.

Posted by: truthynesslover | November 09, 2008 at 08:48 PM

You mind like how the left has acted for the last 8 years?

You mean like Pres. Elect Obama acted when he said that if he had known the surge would work as well as it has, he still would have opposed it because it was more important to defeat Bush than to defeat al Qaeda in Iraq?

Ranger

I doubt that Gorelick would be nominated so soon after FM/FM and the bailout. If she is I'd be rather certain she has some really good evidence of really damaging stuff on a lot of people on the Hill.

Posted by: clarice | November 09, 2008 at 09:07 PM

Yes, that would be a fun confirmation hearing...

asking her if she would turn a blind eye to corruption in the Obama administration like she did at Fannie Mae...

then ask her if she inteneded to re-created the was she set up before 9/11 that let the highjackers carry out the attack.

Extraneus

Yeah, Ranger, this talk of uniting behind Obama for the good of all is just pathetic. Neither he nor they deserve it, for one thing. Just think about how they harmed us and our standing in the world in order to argue that our standing in the world has suffered.

Considering the harm he'll do unopposed, I don't see the slightest downside to opposing him on all fronts from day one, which is what I intend to do however I can, starting with whatever economic actions I can take.

Can anyone name one thing they want to do that isn't harmful? Seriously. One thing?

clarice

Extraneus--buying a hypoallergenic puppy?

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Wilson/Plame