Mar 30

Obama: GM Gets 60 Days to Restructure, Otherwise Quick Surgical Bankruptcy

 

GM President and COO Fritz Henderson will be replacing Rick Wagoner as CEO who will be stepping down at the Obama administrations request, in order to give GM a new fresh start.

The Auto Task Force decided that they do not believe GM nor Chrysler have met the restructuring goals that were required as of March 31st. GM will be given one more chance. They will receive enough aid to permit them to operate for another 60 days. At that point if sufficient, aggressive restructuring of debt has not occurred, bankruptcy will be enforced. The government is confident though GM with proper restructuring can be a viable successful company. And per President Obama “I’m confident GM can rise again.”

Chrysler not so much. It will be supported for 30 days, but the government has concluded Chrysler is not viable as a standalone company. If they have not completed a proposed merger with Fiat by then, they too will head into bankruptcy. If successful with their merger though, $6 billion in more aid would be given. (Late word has it the merger deal has been achieved.)

The Task Force also found that GMs current plan was not viable even if the economy improved.

Though not the administrations first choice a quick, surgical 30 day bankruptcy appears to be both companies best option for survival. The government could act as debtor-in-possession during the court proceedings.

Obama said bankruptcy would not mean liquidation for GM nor would it mean it would be stuck in courts for years, but rather would mean “using legal structure as a tool,” he said, to allow the rapid formation of a lean mean GM.

The government has also offered full support of any vehicle warranties through this time. As well an auto czar name Edward Montgomery, previous deputy Secretary of Labor, has been appointed help bring all parties to the table and produce effective restructuring.

In the end, the Volt will survive this process though your GM shares may not. GM sources have specifically told GM-Volt.com “the Volt is among the crown jewels of our recovery and is not in jeopardy.”

GM’s new CEO Fritz Henderson issued the following response:

“The U.S. Treasury has said that it strongly believes that a substantial restructuring will lead to a viable GM. Over the next 60 days, we will work around the clock, with all parties, to meet the aggressive requirements that have been set by the Task Force, and to make the fundamental and lasting changes necessary to reinvent GM for the long-term.”

“We have significant challenges ahead of us, and a very tight timeline. I am confident that the GM team will succeed, and that a stronger, healthier GM will play an important role in revitalizing America’s economy and re-establishing its technology leadership and energy independence.”

“The administration has made it clear that it expects GM to expand and accelerate its restructuring efforts. I want the American people to know that we understand and accept this guidance. The road is tough, but the ultimate goal – a leaner, stronger, viable GM – is one we share.”

Full Document of Government Conclusions: (New York Times)

This entry was posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 6:10 am and is filed under Financial, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 216


  1. 1
    Xiaowei1

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:20 am)

    ouch! This was really their only option. At least it should be quick.


  2. 2
    Brad G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:21 am)

    Ford must be feeling pretty good about not taking bailout money and letting the government in to ruin, oh, I mean run their business.


  3. 3
    Vincent

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:27 am)

    Nice, Rick couldn’t even come up with a plan for profit even if the economy was strong and yet many voiced being upset with his forced departure.
    A bargain is a bargain only if it has value. Even at $1 Rick was a huge liability.

    Now build the Converj and wake up.
    Build the batteries in the US.

    What a waste of talent in GM. There are obviously fantastic people within yet Rick is blind to it all. This is what is so frustrating.


  4. 4
    Jim I

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:32 am)

    Putting a former deputy Secretary of Labor in charge of producing an effective restructuring plan kind of shows who will be sitting at the head of the table, don’t you think?

    Or is it just coincidence that they did not bring in an enginering professional that might have some idea what needs to be done to kick the company’s manufacturing back into gear, or a financial wizard to put the books back into balance. No sir, we will put a person in there that makes sure that the interests of labor are understood and protected.

    I am afraid that GM is doomed…………

    This is truly unbelieveable!


  5. 5
    Vincent

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:37 am)

    Placing a GM veteran at the lead is ridiculous!
    Lets hope that gets fixed…like yesterday. What a bunch of absolute fools. WTF!
    Blow out the UAW. Let Rick drive them home in an Aztek.


  6. 6
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:42 am)

    Jim I #4,

    You and I are on the same page.
    Unions win every time. They suck a company dry.
    They suck a town dry.
    Although desperately needed in our past, they are a destructive force today and totally unnecessary.


  7. 7
    FME III

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:44 am)

    Tough love from the Obamanistas. And here I thought the government task force was a white wash to justify giving the car biz more and more money.

    This raises a thousand questions… impact on dealers, suppliers, product lines… not to mention the Volt. Yes, it is a crown jewel…. will it be handed to someone else to shepherd to the market?


  8. 8
    Vincent

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:46 am)

    If the Unions were as determined to fight to build quality as they are to fight for wages and benefits GM wouldn’t be in such a mess.
    Agreed, they are completely the Toxic asset.
    The questions have been raised on dealers, suppliers etc….months ago….if it were not for the Obama administration GM was already dead and buried…sadly.


  9. 9
    Keith

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:57 am)

    Government response , no we dont like that plan . No we dont like that plan either . No we dont like that plan either .

    If the government knows how to turn things around , then tell them what you want and they will either tell them that it can be done or no it cant be done and how to do it .

    What the government should do is place an order for something like ten to twenty thousand Volt type of cars and advance payment for them . The company GM , should make a commitment to only make cars that use the Volt technology (Chevy Volt , Cadillac Converj , and Buick Electra ) and conventional vehicles that are all Series Hybrid and high mileage with a factory or two to make commercial pick up trucks for business.
    No cushy plush pickup trucks for anybody , and no big ugly SUV’s for anybody including the government . Maximum engine displacement at 2 liters . ( good for 200 horse power )

    Chrysler should commit to making only the highest possible fuel efficient cars and commercial vehicles , Series Hybrids and Pure Electric vehicles and conventional Work type of trucks and vans , but no luxury SUV’s either .

    Ford has already stated that it plans to go Hybrid and Pure Electric with its production in the coming years .

    It would be good for the American automobile industry to make the change to high mileage Series Hybrids and Pure Electric vehicles now and lead the world in this technology for years to come .

    If the government wants to help , let them place and pay for orders of the new technology and leave the management look after the research , development and production of them .

    If I am running a factory that makes cars with V6 engines that get 24 miles per gallon and a customer wants a 4 cylinder Series Hybrid that gets 50 miles per gallon and is willing to pay up front for them , damn it , I will make as many as they want . If the price of fuel is high enough so that the cars are attractive to the general public I will even increase the supply by adding another shift to the production line . After all one client is good , but many clients is a lot better and makes more profit for my company .

    An adjustment on the retail price of gas and a known price would help too so I can forecast what my production numbers will be .

    Dont blame Rick for this , the blame has to be shared by the government for not setting a price for fuel like they have in Europe . ( $3. would be a good starting price )
    It is the American way , dont take the blame for anything , blame somebody else if you can .


  10. 10
    Dave B

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:59 am)

    Anyone else want to save up for a Tesla Model S, a Fisker, or on wait, the affordable Ford EV? Seriously, the UAW gridlock is the holdout that seems to be drowning itself. Do they not think Obama will cut their heads off and blame it on the “conservative” judge that takes this case?


  11. 11
    Aaron

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:04 am)

    Oh, it’s unions, not a broken health care system that costs GM $2000/vehicle in legacy costs that’s the problem. Now I’m clear. Thanks, guys. How DARE people fight for decent working conditions and wages. Why should the people that build the cars be able to afford them?


  12. 12
    MDDave

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:15 am)

    Aaron, fighting for decent working conditions and wages was a great, great thing 100 years ago, but not so necessary now due to improved government regulations. Go over to the UAW Web site and read about some of the crazy “benefits” they’ve managed to secure for their members. Besides, most of the non-union car companies seem to be doing just fine… no one there is complaining about the salaries and benefits, and their jobs are definitely more secure because of it.


  13. 13
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:23 am)

    The UAW has said all along that they are willing to make significant concessions, including cut-backs in retirement benefits. But the UAW has also said they will not make these types of concessions alone, and that the bond holders and other stakeholders must also do their part.

    To date, the bondholders haven’t really budged. They didn’t believe the government would entertain a bankruptcy.

    But today, the administration has called their bluff. 60 days from now, at midnight eastern time, if the bondholders haven’t made concessions, they stand to lose everything.

    It’s worth reading the document that Lyle linked in the article:
    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/business/20090330-gm-chrysler-fact-sheet.pdf
    The language is pretty clear. It’s a line in the sand.


  14. 14
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:23 am)

    “the Volt is among the crown jewels of our recovery and is not in jeopardy.”
    ___________________________

    What does “Volt” actually mean?

    Remember how much it has already changed since the reveal 2 years ago. Expect some more. The vehicle must become mainstream competitive quickly, especially if tax payer money is planned to be paid back with profit from it.

    Setting of a higher priority on price reduction is realistic.


  15. 15
    Guy Incognito

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:28 am)

    15.
    Guy Incognito Quotes:
    March 30th, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Not only is Wagoner out, but so is a majority of GM’s Board as well.

    A scathing article in Reuters today, and I quote:
    “We are left to look back and say that Wagoner’s appointment as both chairman and CEO in 2003 was little more than an act to ensure the dynasty of GM boardroom arrogance and failure continued.”
    -Howard Wheeldon, Senior Strategist at brokerage BGC Partners.


  16. 16
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:31 am)

    If you read carefully the document (what I did) I must say one thing, the language is plain and direct.
    it takes courage from an administration to write such things.

    JC NPNS !!


  17. 17
    guyman

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:34 am)

    Finally, some blood in the water!

    I’ve been saying this for a while, letting Chrysler die, just helps everyone else (namely Ford & GM) with the displaced sales volume. Hoping GM survives that long, and I still want my volt, but time will tell. – I’m glad Wags is gone (someone had to be sacrificed to get the bondholders to move), but I’m still not that optimistic that a deal will be done….

    BTW, Fiat would have to be crazy to join with Chrysler at this point, the gravy train for them is about to be abruptly terminated.

    There’s always the Telsa S…
    GuyMan


  18. 18
    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:39 am)

    In 80s GM management promised, and GM employees / unions accepted, to receive part of their compensation 20 or 30 years later (in form of retiree pension and health care benefits). To the average worker this must have appeared like a safe and conservative thing to do.

    Now people pay into social security and expect to receive something worth while in 30 years (or whenever they qualify).

    Trying to predict the future that far ahead really does require a crystal ball. The best you can do is make sure you sock enough away and assume a pretty low/conservative growth rate on investments — like maybe near inflation plus 2%.

    If you do otherwise you are risking heartache or expecting someone else to pick your debt (like the next generation).

    That’s the same whether you are talking about next generation of GM employees and management or social security payees.

    About the only exception I can think of to this is government employee pensions. Since the government (nearly) can’t go broke.

    Trouble is the average worker believes he/she will receive his/she pension/annuity, and probably has very little choice in reality.

    I see leaving debts (financial and environmental) to future generations as immoral (at least if you don’t also leave the fruits of those debts). Similarly I see bankruptcy — i.e. wriggling out of present debts as immoral. Similar y I see being indentured (due to debt) as immoral.

    So maybe the real problem is entering into unrealistic contracts in the first place. Now there’s an interesting problem:

    How to stop people (especially on mass) from entering into unrealistic contracts either personally, through employers or unions, or via government? Oh and of course, what exactly is an unrealistic contract, and who defines it?

    – so I see the next few months being interesting politically, as the administration attempts to deal with a mess bought on by unrealistic contracts (sub-primes being unrealistic contracts too).


  19. 19
    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:05 am)

    So, Lutz is gone, Wagoner is gone…Fritz is in, the bondholders held the line, the UAW didn’t capitulate enough and a GSB (government sponsored bankruptcy) is on the table as the best option.

    /shocker

    As for, “In the end, the Volt will survive this process though your GM shares may not. GM sources have specifically told GM-Volt.com “the Volt is among the crown jewels of our recovery and is not in jeopardy.”

    —if it goes into bankruptcy GM ‘sources’ have about as much pull as I do through my computer screen…a bankruptcy judge will make that call…although one has to assume this would turn into a gov’t pet project and would be written into the financing to pull them out


  20. 20
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:07 am)

    Mark Bartosik #18

    Well said and true.
    But something must happen. In Belgium the same move was done after WWII by a finance minister called Paul Gutt (He will be remembered forever by Belgian families as the author of the “coup Gutt”).

    What he did : he changed the money overnight and allowed only very limited conversion of old accounts in new ones. All the illegal (immoral) war profit were erased (with a proportion of some legal and moral savings). He used the move to change the system of pensions from a capitalization system to a system by repartition (from savings to taxation).

    This was a clever move to clean the economic system of immoral contracts and install a modern social security model still in force today.

    Regards,

    JC NPNS !!


  21. 21
    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:10 am)

    GM has a statement from Wags up:

    GM Message from Rick Wagoner

    On Friday I was in Washington for a meeting with Administration officials. In the course of that meeting, they requested that I “step aside” as CEO of GM, and so I have.

    Fritz Henderson is an excellent choice to be the next CEO of GM. Having worked closely with Fritz for many years, I know that he is the ideal person to lead the company through the completion of our restructuring efforts. His knowledge of the global industry and the company are exceptional, and he has the intellect, energy, and support among GM’ers worldwide to succeed. I wish him well, and I stand ready to support him, and interim Non-Executive Chairman Kent Kresa, in every way possible.

    I also want to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone who supported GM and me during my time as CEO. I deeply appreciate the excellent counsel and commitment of the GM Board and the strong support of our many partners including our terrific dealers, suppliers, and community leaders. I am grateful as well to the union leaders with whom I have had the chance to work closely to implement numerous tough but necessary restructuring agreements.

    Most important of all I want to express my deepest appreciation to the extraordinary team of GM employees around the world. You have been a tremendous source of inspiration and pride to me, and I will be forever grateful for the courage and commitment you have shown as we have confronted the unprecedented challenges of the past few years. GM is a great company with a storied history. Ignore the doubters because I know it is also a company with a great future.

    http://www.media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet?target=http://image.emerald.gm.com/gmnews/viewpressreldetail.do?domain=827&docid=53290


  22. 22
    k-dawg

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:19 am)

    Good info on the “plan”
    http://download.gannett.edgesuite.net/detnews/2009/pdf/Auto_Restructuring_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf

    PS: GM stock down 26% before the bell


  23. 23
    Exp_EngTech

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:21 am)

    “Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Monday called the chairman and CEO of General Motors a “sacrificial lamb” after the White House asked Rick Wagoner to step down as a precondition for government aid….”

    NEWSFLASH for Jen…..

    As both “Lamb” and CEO, He was baaaaaaaaaaaadddd….


  24. 24
    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:30 am)

    #22 k-dawg said:

    Good info on the “plan”
    http://download.gannett.edgesuite.net/detnews/2009/pdf/Auto_Restructuring_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf

    PS: GM stock down 26% before the bell

    ==============================
    It is unfortunate that hard benchmarks for concessions were not included in the release. I’m sure the PTF will vocalize exactly what they expect (or maybe Obama will today at 11AM) but it would have been nice to see it in writing.

    Something like a, “you must do this to avoid bankruptcy” clause…it is still a little ‘loosey-goosey’


  25. 25
    Maynard Keenan

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:31 am)

    60 more days? Come on! How many months more? I thought that was their last chance. Ok… now they got a last last chance. Or will there be a last last last chance?

    They had their chance and failed. But nobody has the balls for bancruptcy. Do you think balls can grow in another 60 days?


  26. 26
    Tagamet

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:41 am)

    Wow. I hope the constitutional challenges occur sometime soon. JC I (regrettably) don’t know much about your constitution, but I do know that this can’t be a great move for ours. Personally, I think Rick should have been gone long ago, but not by government fiat (coup IS a good term).
    Very sad day for my country. At least for me.
    Be well,
    Tag
    LJGTVWOTR!!*********NPNS**********VoltNation II: 7/4/2007


  27. 27
    Adrian

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:44 am)

    Can government do this to itself and threaten to fire all of them in 60 days? The kettle calling the pot black. I love it. Hypocrites.

    Ch11 should have been done 6 months ago. A new lean GM would already be up and running w/o bailouts and on the road to recovery.


  28. 28
    Daveo

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:45 am)

    Maynard, they still have lasties, double and triple lasties, double-triples, and last and of course not least the double dog last last last-lasty last.

    But seriously now, it sounds like it’s far too little too late, and we should have had a 2nd gen Volt and Cruze by now.


  29. 29
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:52 am)

    #23 Exp_EngTech Says: “Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Monday called the chairman and CEO of General Motors a “sacrificial lamb” after the White House asked Rick Wagoner to step down as a precondition for government aid….”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Sounds like you read fox news:
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/03/30/michigan-governor-calls-gms-wagoner-sacrifical-lamb/
    That’s the only site Google found with your exact quote.

    In any case, I think the governor is right, and the administration is right. The deadline is/was March 31st and there is no significant progress toward viability, so they needed to shake the tree here, and that involves new people at the top, including the board of directors. Whether Wagoner was good or bad, that doesn’t matter.

    Personally, I believe in deadlines, so I would have strongly considered structured bankrupcy now, even though that may be more likely to cause GM to fail. But I guess it’s worth noting that Obama’s team didn’t actually set this deadline, and given that the new administration is just appointing people, and with everything else the Treasury department has to worry about right now, I guess it makes sense to kick the can down the road another 60 days.

    But this new deadline appears very real. As #16 Jean-Charles Jacquemin Says: If you read carefully the document (what I did) I must say one thing, the language is plain and direct.
    it takes courage from an administration to write such things.


  30. 30
    Adam

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:55 am)

    I find this a bit ironic though… Remember back when GM bought out Hummer, and killed the EV1? Wasn’t that Lutz, and Wagoner who decided that fate? Now with the Volt coming out fairly soon, both clowns are gone?! I know Lutz has credit for the Volt concept, and Wagoner approved the production, but the fact remains.


  31. 31
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:56 am)

    #25 Maynard Keenan Says: They had their chance and failed. But nobody has the balls for bancruptcy. Do you think balls can grow in another 60 days?
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yep.


  32. 32
    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:04 am)

    Just to bring this around to the topic of the website:

    What do you think happens to all the development of the Volt over the next 60 days? Same as last 5 months I figure…not much.

    Do you think GM will be going ahead with the Hamtramck line, the engine plant, the battery assembly plant…giving out orders to LG, or other vital suppliers during this time? Pretty unlikely. What impact does 7 months of virtual inactivity have?

    How about the will behind the project? Wags and Lutz are now gone (well, technically Lutz’s last official day with any power is tomorrow). Does Fritz back the project with the same conviction?(he is a Harvard numbers guy after all). How about Kent Kresa (off the director list and from Northrop Grumman), who is now chairman? I think Fritz probably does…but is going to hold the line (and the deadlines) in a time like this?

    Somewhere there is a whole whack of the ‘Volt team’ sitting around with their coffees just talking about their future, and trying to keep/look busy for another couple months and not think about all this.

    /hope you fellas (and the project) survive all this


  33. 33
    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:09 am)

    #30 Adam said:

    I find this a bit ironic though… Remember back when GM bought out Hummer, and killed the EV1? Wasn’t that Lutz, and Wagoner who decided that fate? Now with the Volt coming out fairly soon, both clowns are gone?! I know Lutz has credit for the Volt concept, and Wagoner approved the production, but the fact remains.
    ====================
    It was Wagoner who made the call on the EV1 program.


  34. 34
    Tony Gray

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:16 am)

    Statik is correct again with post 24.

    Give me a plan…..no, not good enough, give me another plan. Nope, that ain’t good enough either, come back by the end of March. Still no go. Have another 60 days.

    How the hell can GM, or ANY subordinate for that matter, comply with such unclear guidance. I have worked for knuckleheads who were this cryptic in the past, and it was hell on earth.

    The government once again proves that it does NOT belong in the private sector. This would have been started on the road to eventual resolution, whatever that may be, six months ago without their meddling.


  35. 35
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:16 am)

    #14 john1701a

    “What does ‘Volt’ actually mean?”

    To me, “Volt” means an affordable, plug-in, E-REV sedan. The details have changed over time as the Volt gets fleshed out, but the basic idea hasn’t changed much. To me, the “affordable” part will come with increased production.


  36. 36
    Gary

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:17 am)

    30 Adam, the EV-1 died and Hummer was born when gas was around $1 per gallon.

    People wouldn’t care about the Volt either if electricity was $1 per kWh.


  37. 37
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:19 am)

    #30 Adam Says: I find this a bit ironic though… Remember back when GM bought out Hummer, and killed the EV1? Wasn’t that Lutz, and Wagoner who decided that fate? Now with the Volt coming out fairly soon, both clowns are gone?! I know Lutz has credit for the Volt concept, and Wagoner approved the production, but the fact remains.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right, but both the Hummer and EV1 decisions were made in the late 90s. Remember 89 cents per gallon?

    Also remember that U.S. gasoline prices are one of the lowest in the world, due to very low gas taxes. For example, right now in Europe, gas prices are around $7 a gallon. So its no wonder that 10 years ago U.S. auto companies concentrated on big trucks while foreign car companies concentrated on MPG.

    But then the movies Who Killed the Electric Car and An Inconvenient Truth were both released in 2006, and most people here only started to connect-the-dots between terrorism and foreign oil right around that time. Things have changed a lot in the last 3 years.

    And then in the of summer 2008, $4 a gallon scared the he11 out of people, and I think this has permanently changed the mindset of the U.S. auto industry. Hopefully, they will survive to change their ways.


  38. 38
    Edwin Mang

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:22 am)

    It seems that the GM Board could not convince UAW or the bond holders that they ment bussiness . After PATCO perhaps the Government Can .

    God Bless

    Tiger


  39. 39
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:23 am)

    So many opinions, so many a-holes.

    “Let’s teach ourselves that honorable stop, Not to outsport discretion.”
    – William Shakespeare


  40. 40
    N Riley

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:24 am)

    This news should make some of you happy. As if Wagner was the only thing wrong with GM. To me it is the wrong time to force leadership changes at GM. Policies are set by the board and that is where the government should be forcing changes. Not necessarily changes in personnel, but in policies. It has happened, so we will wait and see what happens now. Hopefully, good things will come of this. I can’t understand why GM could not convince the bond holders and the union to come to terms with them.


  41. 41
    Roger Moore

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:28 am)

    It looks like the Yanks like their GM shaken and stirred. Good move chaps. If you want to see how bad an auto industry can get I would invite you to take a good look at the U.K., it is a total basket case as well as the rest of our economy.


  42. 42
    hermant

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:29 am)

    Well it’s about time. Obama knows much more about running a car company than anyone at GM or Chrysler. His advisors are always right and very smart. Close plants, layoff workers, cut pay; that’s the prescription this place really needs. Trust him and his team and everything will turn out wonderful. I really look forward to buying my next car or truck from an Obama-nation like this. Wow, isn’t change great!?!


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    N Riley

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:33 am)

    #6 Rashiid Amul

    “Although desperately needed in our past, they are a destructive force today and totally unnecessary.”
    ————————-

    Sorry, but I disagree with you on the union being needed today. The democrats need them more today than ever before. They are a major force in the party and without them the democrats would be lost. So, they must do what is necessary to protect and expand union jobs. Millions of dollars for the election campaigns are at stake. Union dues support union bosses like princes and they get to rub elbows with politicians who are the true princes of today. Our ruling classes must have an income source that is dependable and expanding since the financial markets can’t be counted on as much.


  44. 44
    Koz

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:37 am)

    Dave G #13

    Exactly right. This is the hammer that was missing in the past. The government’s job in the next 60 days is to further develop a pre-packaged bankruptcy (Note I did not use the trademarked GSB). The threat needs to be real and implementable in 60 days time. The major bondholders with give, the UAW will give, and GM will make other cuts, but the problem will still be the small bondholders. They can probably holdout unless the bondlholders agreeing to cuts can be put at the head of the line for some return (perhaps stock in the good GM). Otherwise, once everyone else agrees to cuts, many of these smaller bondholders may hold out for more.


  45. 45
    jeff j

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:39 am)

    Are lord the great Hussein Obama a God that has never met one pay role in his life , who appointed a group of people that was no auto experience to guide him , gets to fire CEO’s , and pick a new one . Listen close you can almost hear are sons goose stepping up the road, in Obama’s private Army 250,000 ( americorps)
    http://www.americorps.org/
    Join the Obama party Now before Its to late !!!!! Only loyal Party members will be safe!!!


  46. 46
    Vinayababu

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:42 am)

    Obama administration has done the right thing in asking Wagnor to quit. The GM ship was slowly but steady sinking for the last several years and as the captain of the ship Wagnor could do nothing to arrest that trend.What Wagnor could have done for another 60 days to reverse that trend .


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    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:43 am)

    #40 N Riley Says: As if Wagner was the only thing wrong with GM… Policies are set by the board and that is where the government should be forcing changes.
    ————————————————————————————–
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090330/ap_on_bi_ge/gm_wagoner
    “GM board member Kent Kresa,… was named interim chairman and said new directors will make up the majority of GM’s board when a new slate is nominated for election at the company’s annual meeting in August.”


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:43 am)

    #35 ThombDbhomb Says:
    To me, “Volt” means an affordable, plug-in, E-REV sedan. The details have changed over time as the Volt gets fleshed out, but the basic idea hasn’t changed much. To me, the “affordable” part will come with increased production.

    ————-
    It means the same to me as well.


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    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:44 am)

    #40 N Riley said:

    This news should make some of you happy. As if Wagner was the only thing wrong with GM. To me it is the wrong time to force leadership changes at GM. Policies are set by the board and that is where the government should be forcing changes. Not necessarily changes in personnel, but in policies. It has happened, so we will wait and see what happens now. Hopefully, good things will come of this. I can’t understand why GM could not convince the bond holders and the union to come to terms with them.
    —————————————-
    They maybe (big maybe) had a shot to come to terms back in novemer, but the administration totally undermined the hearings saying they where going to back them regardless…everything since then has been seen as weakness.

    I think you have to look at this from the partes themselves, and what is being asked of them:

    For the bondholders you are looking at taking 33 cents on the dollar. If you own $100,000 of GM bonds, are you wanting to take $33,000, when you still might get close to that if GM is liquidated? Not likely.

    For the union worker making $35 bucks a hour, are you willing to take a 40% paycut to $21/hour when there has been such a lack of conviction by the government to draw that ‘end of the road’ line in the sand, because that is really what they want…they don’t want stuff like employees paying a $30 month co-pay, or cancellation of the job bank, or less paid time off…those are concessions, but superficial at best.

    It is almost impossible to ask any employee to take that kind of hit, people have a tendancy to live right up to their means…and 99% of workers are ill-prepared for this kind of pain. A 40% wage loss to most of these guys means they lose their house, new car, kid’s education, etc.

    What GM requires is real, hard changes that will destroy a lot of lives, a lot of families, which is unfortunate. The only thing that makes people make these kinds of sacrifices when the realize that ‘something’ is better than nothing.


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    ROBERT M. SPERRY

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:45 am)

    The UAW wouldn’t give any concessions to keep GM alive, so Waggoner gets fired and GM goes to bankruptcy. W


  51. 51
    JB

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:46 am)

    This from the WSJ.com:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123838449463268709.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    “The government body also took aim squarely at the Chevy Volt – GM’s heavily hyped electric car of the future – saying it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term.”

    Not sounding to good from a price stand point. I hope they don’t expect them to start all over?


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:48 am)

    N. Riley #43 says,
    Sorry, but I disagree with you on the union being needed today. The democrats need them more today than ever before. They are a major force in the party and without them the democrats would be lost. So, they must do what is necessary to protect and expand union jobs. Millions of dollars for the election campaigns are at stake. Union dues support union bosses like princes and they get to rub elbows with politicians who are the true princes of today. Our ruling classes must have an income source that is dependable and expanding since the financial markets can’t be counted on as much.

    ————
    lol. Too funny, my friend. Of course I wasn’t thinking quite along your line of reasoning, however I will concede you have a point. They are useful, just not in a good way.


  53. 53
    Eco

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    I am guessing RW will be getting a book deal in the next day or so.

    Saying that the UAW is “the problem” and the “justification” for taking RW out, is just as facile as me saying that GM does not deserve to live by any rules other than the marketplace, and that they should not have been given 60 days more of government support, AND they should be paying back what they got already, because it’s time for the invisible hand of capitalism to perform it’s job; judge, jury, and executioner. The amount of money my immediate family has given GM and Chrysler over the last 80 years BOGGLES MY MIND, and they can’t survive without the government breast.

    The rich and powerful moved a few chess pieces. Incrementalism at its finest.


  54. 54
    k-dawg

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    This will have a bad effect on GM sales. Being “green” and being profitable are at odds with eachother in a $2/gal gas environment. With bankruptcy looming and CEO’s getting the axe, etc…, I dont care how much you promise potential buyers, the damage is done, and the faith is gone. At this point, if i was a GM dealer, i’d try to dump as many cars as I can even at a big loss. When/if a new GM emerges (who knows what it will be called), most buyers will not want the old GM cars.

    Ok.. enough of the world is ending. My bad.


  55. 55
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:55 am)

    #43 N Riley Says: Sorry, but I disagree with you on the union being needed today.
    ————————————————————————————–
    I have no idea if unions are needed or not, but that discussion misses the point.

    Total compensation to UAW employees (active and retired) only accounts for 10% of GMs costs. If UAW workers agreed to work for free, GM would still be in trouble.

    UAW hourly wages are about the same as non-union auto workers, $30-$35 per hour average. The difference in total compensation comes in health benefits and payments to retired workers. This is exactly where the UAW has said they are willing to make concessions, but again, without meaningful concessions from the bondholders, any UAW concessions are meaningless.


  56. 56
    Roger

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:56 am)

    As an emergency physician I deal with the health care crisis on a daliy basis. We have the best health care system in the world – if you dont beleive that stop reading now. The problem is that we pay way to much money per capita for that care and unchecked this will bankrupt the country unless Obama does it first. There are 4 basic problems to our system. First is the added cost of defensive medicine (unnessary testing in an attempt to avoid the legalized extortion that is our tort system). Answer – loser pays. If you lie about my professional conduct in an attempt to extort money from my insurance and lose, you have to pay. Second, end of life issues. About 50% of medicare dollars are spent in the last one month of a person’s life – we are torturing patients with painful procedures knowing they will most likely die anyway. Answer – educate familys or empower an ethics board to withhold care by a unanimous vote to allow death with dignity. Third, nobody sees a bill. The only way to get cost containment is for patients to have a “dog in the fight”. Even persons with health insurance dont see a bill until they renew there coverage on a yearly basis. There should be a copay on all services. Example – child falls and has a some contusion / hematoma on the head. NO signs or symptoms of serious head injury. The medical literature is very clear the child can be observed at home without a CT scan of the brain. Invaribly, the family demands a CT be done or I will recieve a compliant letter. If there was a 50 dollar copay on this scan I would be able to convince them that unnessary radiation of their child is not warrented. Likewise, 44 million uninsured patient (11 million of which are illegal aliens) can show up in any emergency department and get a milllion dollar work up with no questions asked courtesy of government unfunded mandates. This system is called a safety net but is more like a tampoline because it is abused by homeless people looking for a bed and free meals as well as drug addicts looking for free drugs. A ten dollar copay would solve this problem. You say these people have no money to pay. You can’t go into Walmart and tell the clerk I am straving to death and the goverment requires you give me this twinkie. Also, you could do drug and nicotine screen (invaribly it woutd be positive) and wave the copay if negative. Finally, many americans have an unhealthy lifestyle (obesity, smoking and drinking) which could be mitigated by manitory health issuance based on your risk profile. My state requries manditory car insurance – is your car more important than your health. The point is that health care costs are a large part of our inability to compete and can be solved without a government take over. In fact, half the doctors will quit or set up private clinics and our emergency waiting time will go from hours to days. Case in point is the actress who died from a skiing accident. When she finally went to the hospital they were unable to manage her case and she was transfered to a trauma center. After a 2 1/2 hours in the back of ambulance she arrived at the trauma center brain dead. This would have never happened in this country – she died of socailized medcine!


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    k-dawg

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:57 am)

    #49 Statik
    A 40% wage loss to most of these guys means they lose their house, new car, kid’s education, etc.
    ==========

    GM offerered all these workers serveral large payouts several times. Right now they can take $20K cash and $25K towards a new car. If they have any marketable skills, they would be stupid not to take it.


  58. 58
    Todd

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:00 am)

    For the government to tell GM to go work with the UAW and the bond holders to reduce the financial issues is just stupid. GM does not have the power to force any changes. The government should have stepped in the first time when money was asked and said “no”. I like the split BK being discussed where GM splits into two (the good and the bad) and the bad files Ch11 taking the UAW and bond holders with them while the good GM recovers.


  59. 59
    k-dawg

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:03 am)

    Since Fritz Henderson is taking over the position of CEO, does he get the salary that comes w/that position, $1/year? Is that a promotion? 🙂


  60. 60
    DaV8or

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:04 am)

    How come team Obama can fire GM CEOs at will, but banking and insurance CEOs that actually caused all the world wide chaos, INCLUDING THE DOWNFALL OF GM, are to be retained and paid what it takes to keep them??!!

    It is another sad day. To all those cheering on the downfall of GM, keep in mind that the country as a whole has a credit rating about the same as GM’s and even less viable. As GM goes, so goes the country.


  61. 61
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:06 am)

    #50 ROBERT M. SPERRY Says: The UAW wouldn’t give any concessions to keep GM alive, so Waggoner gets fired and GM goes to bankruptcy. W
    ————————————————————————————–
    Totally naive statement.

    If UAW workers agreed to work for free, GM would still be in trouble.


  62. 62
    RVD

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:07 am)

    Finally, some tough actions and deadlines. Why did it take so long?


  63. 63
    Ken Grubb

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:08 am)

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123838449463268709.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    “The government body also took aim squarely at the Chevy Volt – GM’s heavily hyped electric car of the future – saying it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term.”

    Doesn’t sound good for the future of the Volt.


  64. 64
    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:16 am)

    #51 JB said:

    This from the WSJ.com:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123838449463268709.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    “The government body also took aim squarely at the Chevy Volt – GM’s heavily hyped electric car of the future – saying it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term.”

    Not sounding to good from a price stand point. I hope they don’t expect them to start all over?
    ============================
    This gets back to the GSB…in bankruptcy a judge looks at the individual projects/units and whether or not they are likely to be financially viable or should be liquidated or shuttered.

    Again, it will be up to the will of the administration on whether the project lives.

    The task force certainly does not back it, their job is strictly a bottom line one, what is the right thing to dofrom a dollars and cents perspective…the Volt is a dog when it comes to short term profitability and viability.

    However the executive (including Obama) certainly dbacks it, my guess is that if a GSB does go into effect, the Volt will survive. Because it will be the gov’t that will be funding GM out of hock, they will probably put a catch on the money to include the Volt.


  65. 65
    ThomC

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:22 am)

    # 56 – Roger

    I may have to print that out, frame it and hang it on my wall.


  66. 66
    John S.

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:27 am)

    I am definately not a Obama fan but I got to give him credit for taking a stand when my fellow conservatives under W were so eager to give them the checks in the first place. Chapter 11 is the only way out since the bond holders and unions are not really going to budge on there own. Sad for the volt however as this situation certainly can only slow down an already slow rollout.

    NPNS


  67. 67
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:29 am)

    Every employee at our Chevy dealership had to take a pay cut five months ago or be laid off. Even with that, 20% were still let go It’s time for the UAW to do the same. If they can’t bite the bullet along with everyone else, let GM go BK. Let’s get these contracts renegotiated and get American cars cost competetive again.


  68. 68
    MikeD

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:33 am)

    People have been talking about the bondholders “holding the line” as if they are being unreasonable. They are currently looking at getting 33 cents on the dollar for their bonds, and are being asked to accept less. If any of you were in their position, what would you do?


  69. 69
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:40 am)

    #60 DaV8or says,
    How come team Obama can fire GM CEOs at will, but banking and insurance CEOs that actually caused all the world wide chaos, INCLUDING THE DOWNFALL OF GM, are to be retained and paid what it takes to keep them??!!

    Good question. The banking folks should have been thrown out on their backsides. But they are fairly new to destroying our economy and their respective companies. Sadly, GM has had many more years experience destroying their company. Many American refuse to buy their cars because of the the perceived unreliability. The perception may have been true at one time, but is still persists. My last American car was my 1986 Pontiac Sunbird. It was my second GM car. It was a complete piece of garbage. I never thought I would be interested in a GM again. But the Volt is a “must have” for me. I hate terrorism more.

    Edit:
    Hey, I’m number 69. I love that number! 😉


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    Steven

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:41 am)

    Just so I have this straight: They gave GM free money and a deadline. Gm fails to meet the terms of the deadline, and the get another deadline and more free money!?!?

    The only way out is to file CH 11, which should have been done back in November which would have saved us all billions of dollars. Its going to happen anyways, but as it was said before, no one has to the balls to do it. So lets just keep throwing our tax money down the rat hole. Incredible.


  71. 71
    Van

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:42 am)

    Government Quote: “more aggressively implement significant manufacturing, headcount, brand, nameplate and retail network restructurings.”
    Translation: The plan for a plan should include remodeling the outdated manufacturing plants with more robotics; terminate 40% of UAW workers, shed Pontiac and GMC, as well as Saturn, Hummer, Saab and Opel; get rid of the redundant models within the Cadillac, Buick, and Chevy brands; and finally dis-enfranchise 40% of the dealers.
    Outlook for the plan: Dead on arrival


  72. 72
    Jake

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:44 am)

    “As GM goes, so goes the country.”

    I call BS on this statement. We have weathered other industries going bankrupt, we can weather a car company going out of business. It won’t be pleasant, there are 170,000 jobs at GM and Chrsyler (no not millions), but we can get through it.

    No one is too big to fail.


  73. 73
    Drew

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:44 am)

    The Dems. owe the unions sooooo much they can’t let GM go into Chapter 11. In 60 days they will declair the new plan, whatever it is, to be a viable plan to save GM (and the UAW). Then they will pour billions more into it’s restructuring and declair a victory. The unions will give up very litle, the bond holders will loose everything, Oboma will be re-elected and unicorns and rainbows will prevail.

    The only god thing, the VOLT will survive.


  74. 74
    George in Berkeley

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:47 am)

    OK, what were Obama’s choices? He can let GM file C11 from which GM / Michigan might never recover. So he has to take that off the table. Which means he has to go back to the well and ask for more money. And the only way to do that is to assure the American people that GM / Chrysler are truly on the road to recovery. So he talks tough, fires the bosses, imposes deadlines, etc. in an effort to convince us that this time it’s for real.

    Obama’s following the only path open to him — 60 days to work it out or bankruptcy. Let’s hope the new leadership at GM can make the hard choices necessary to move forward.


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:53 am)

    I cringe when confident, ignorant armchair pundits second-guess tough decisions using broad declarations.


  76. 76
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:53 am)

    Did it really take 6 months and 30 billion dollars for the gov’t to figure out these companies are not viable with their current contracts. Most understood this long ago.


  77. 77
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:57 am)

    #68 MikeD Says: People have been talking about the bondholders “holding the line” as if they are being unreasonable. They are currently looking at getting 33 cents on the dollar for their bonds, and are being asked to accept less. If any of you were in their position, what would you do?
    ————————————————————————————–
    First, let’s be clear. The other 67 cents, or whatever the remainder works out to be, will be given to the bond holders in equity, which is GM stock. So if GM survives and prospers, the bond holders may not lose anything.

    If GM goes chapter 11, then the bond holders could lose everything. So if I were a bond holder, I would be watching Obama to see how serious he is about bankruptcy.

    I just watched Obama’s speech. This is the first time he talked openly about a GM bankruptcy, and what that would mean. It seems Obama is preparing the public to cushion the blow of a structured GM bankruptcy. So I really don’t see this as an idle threat. In fact, if I were in the administration, I would be frustrated that the bond holders have walked out on negotiations, and would be very willing to look at bankruptcy as a serious option.

    At some point, when the American people have heard GM and bankruptcy in the same breath long enough, the stigma of chapter 11 may be meaningless, since people are already thinking that anyway.

    But in the end, if they say the magic words “GM was able to avoid bankruptcy”, I think that would help GM more than people here realize. The general public isn’t that knowledgeable about how bankruptcy works, and they would just assume a bankrupt GM is not viable, so they would switch brands.


  78. 78
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:58 am)

    To me, the “affordable” part will come with increased production.
    ___________________________

    To GM, what does it mean?

    The task force (on the behalf of tax payers), wants a firm target set.

    What $$$ amount? Somewhere in the 30’s is totally unacceptable, that’s far too vague.

    What ### to produce? Knowing how many & when is vital. That’s how money will be allocated to fund the effort.


  79. 79
    Julie

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:59 am)

    60 days and counting, that’s all I gots to say about that


  80. 80
    chevonly

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:59 am)

    Goodby GM and goodby Chrysler and next of course Ford, Fiat must be loving this, they have just been handed Chrysler on a silver platter, Gee Mr. Obama can I get my Chevy warranty taken care of at the post office while I mail out 300 to 400 resumes to foreign companies that have taken over this country. How in the world can any american car dealer survive without hiring hookers to work as sales people bada bing what a deal we have for you. To bad Mcain had that idiot Palen as his running mate maybe then we all would have had one more shot at turning things around, at least our lives will have plenty of government supervision in the future the CHINESE GOVERNMENT AND THE CROOKS ON WALLSTREET. Forget the Volt its done for end of strory, GOOD LUCK YOU ARE ALL GOING TO NEED IT UNLESS YOU ARE A BANK CEO.


  81. 81
    Jim Mbongo

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:00 am)

    Could someone please answer this question: how does GM end up there? This is very very troublig for such a big company like GM. Starting next June, I will sell my 2005 Toyota Sienna to buy a 2010 Chevy Equinox.
    By the way Lyle, could you ask someone within GM why they don’t use the FWD Two-mode hybrid in the 2010 Chevy Equinox with 4 cylinders?


  82. 82
    hermant

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:01 am)

    The Volt project was doomed from the start. Obama is only putting the final nails in the coffin.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:01 am)

    I really mean it this time. Don’t make me count to 3. Just wait till your father gets home. I’m warning you mister! Not one more step. I’ll do it!!

    Hopefully this deadline will be different…but if I were a bondholder or UAW member, I think I’d bet against it. Just find a way to deliver a political victory without actually changing.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:01 am)

    Who would’ve ever thought that a Republican (Bush) would throw billions at GM and Chrysler, but a Democrat (Obama) would be the one to get tough and threaten forced bankruptcy if things didn’t drastically change.

    Some of you are complaining that the government is giving these companies too many chances, but in this case, the Obama administration rejected the automakers’ plans outright, which is something that Bush was unwilling to do. Plus, by employing this hard-nosed timeline strategy, he can get the support of those who want to see bankruptcy as well as those who want to see GM survive.

    One thing is for sure: It’s the end of GM as we know it… and I feel fine.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:03 am)

    #76 Cautious Fan Says: Did it really take 6 months and 30 billion dollars for the gov’t to figure out these companies are not viable with their current contracts.
    ————————————————————————————–
    No. It took 6 months and 30 billion dollars for GM and Chrysler to come up with new restructuring plans that the government can see are inadequate.

    Remember that the government is acting like a banker here. They are saying “I’m not going to loan you more money until you show how you can pay it back”. GM and Chrysler showed plans, but these were obviously half-hearted, since the bondholders didn’t agree to concessions.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:04 am)

    Dear Dr. Roger,

    Please inform us of what city your medical services are located so that we might avoid them. You clearly have prejudices that may impair your skills.

    Signed,
    Uninsured and recently unemployed human


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:05 am)

    This is HUGE:

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/Warrantee%20Commitment%20Program%20FINAL.pdf

    Axe everything immediately that isn’t efficient or a money maker and focus all freed up resources from that on the Volt. Get it out NOW. Then diffuse the tech to all products to blow CAFE standards and other automakers out of the water.

    If automakers can get people to pay extra for 1940’s era technology, poor mileage and terrible handling, than they can start to figure out how to get them to pay marginal break even on actual technology improvement applications. The fixed costs are simply the cost of surviving long enough to see the future. Marketing has been a large part of automakers self created problems. It should carry its weight and start to be the solution.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:13 am)

    Kind of funny. First the complaint was that nothing was changing. Now the complaint is that too much is being demanded. As for the point that the government should tell them what to do, it would seem that GM is in a better position to run the numbers than the government.

    I keep saying that it’s hard for a worker to accept wage cuts when management doesn’t suffer any hardship. In Japan the CEO always is the first to go. In fact this happened at Toyota this year. This is not entirely unfair since Wagoner is not without responsibility here. He worked diligently to kill CAFE and to delay or derail the CARB standards, and he was at the helm as GM lost market share every year. When the team goes 0-16 it may not be entirely the coach’s fault, but the coach has to assume some responsibility, especially when they are so richly rewarded.

    The one thing that does stick in my craw is the difference between how the government is treating the banking CEOs and the manufacturing CEOs. In part that may be because the bank CEOs are new to the jobs, but that is not true in all the cases.

    #49 statik — You keep focusing too much on worker salaries. This isn’t a bank where all the costs are in salaries. That’s a less important part of the problem than some other issues like number of brands.

    Also disabuse yourself of the idea that a bankruptcy judge makes decisions. They don’t. They appoint a trustee who negotiates the deals and then they bless them. Making actual decisions is the exception to the rule.

    As for a “quick” bankruptcy, that is a relative term. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding. A “speedy trial” can take years …


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:15 am)

    right…..

    finally Obama hear what the people think…..

    isolate Volt from GM, let GM bankrupt, they ruin the image of electric car


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    #85 Dave G

    I agree, with you, the gov’t has now determined that GM and Chrysler restructuring plans are inadequate.

    You can tell when everyone else started figuring it out because the GM bond prices started dropping. This happened over 6 months ago (September time frame if my memory is correct). Noone would loan them money because they saw that restructuring outside of bankrupcy or gov’t intervention was unlikely. 30 billion dollars later, the expert task force confirms their suspicions.

    On another note, does anyone know how to find historical bond prices online?


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:18 am)

    #84 Eliezer Says: … by employing this hard-nosed timeline strategy, [Obama] can get the support of those who want to see bankruptcy as well as those who want to see GM survive.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Actually, I think Obama’s team has sort of given up on any further concessions from the bondholders, but it will probably take the administration some time to figure out exactly what the pre-packaged bankrupcy will look like, probably around 60 days…


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:23 am)

    Excerpt from Obama’s speech

    “starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warrantee”

    Hmmmm. I take back my doubts about forcing the UAW and bondholder to negotiate. But if you’re guaranteeing the warrantee’s anyway, why not use bankrupcy? The downside risk to GM has been eliminated/reduced.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:23 am)

    The double standard being applied here relative to the banking and insurance CEO’s is breathtaking. Someone must have some REALLY compromising photos of somebody.

    It also shows no respect whatsoever to the complexity of running GM or any auto company. Apparently, anyone can do it, if you follow the logic of some here.

    But we are told that no one but those already at AIG and the banks could POSSIBLY fix their problems. They needed millions in bonuses to “retain” the required talent. Nevermind they are most of the reason our auto industry is in the fix their in.

    Have to hand it to the wall streeters, they deserve a gold medal for the impressive way they screwed the blue collar folks this time, and still got theirs. It is almost unbelievable.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:24 am)

    12. MDDave wrote:
    “Besides, most of the non-union car companies seem to be doing just fine… no one there is complaining about the salaries and benefits, and their jobs are definitely more secure because of it.”

    Want to buy my rock? It keeps tigers away. Not a single tiger attack since I got it. I guess I am asking that you try to keep cause and effect in mind. And no, some of the non-union shops are feeling the pinch and if they had been building the same garbage as GM for decades it would be much worse.

    I am fairly certain that the ONLY reason the non-union car companies make as much as they do is because of the unions. Unions drive up wages for non-union people. Now that the UAW has agreed to lower their wages you can expect the non-union companies to follow. You still need unions, especially in these times of the US capitalist-welfare state pretending to be socialism.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:30 am)

    #91 Dave G:

    “Actually, I think Obama’s team has sort of given up on any further concessions from the bondholders, but it will probably take the administration some time to figure out exactly what the pre-packaged bankrupcy will look like, probably around 60 days…”
    —————————————————————————

    I agree with you; what I was saying is that if GM does have to file CH11, nobody can say Obama didn’t try hard enough to save the company, and if they execute a miraculous turnaround, nobody can say Obama gave them too many chances.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:32 am)

    There are more people who apparently know the future than I thought possible to be on a blog site. Some mighty good (or bad) predictions are being bandied around today. There is one thing I know for certain and that is that I don’t know what is going to happen in the next second or heartbeat. Trying to predict what the union, bond holders, government and GM will do is just beyond my capabilities. But, not beyond some here today. Now, let’s see. I need to know who is going to win the NCAA Basketball Championship, the World Series and the Super Bowl. Those three will get me by for now. I should be able to make enough off those three sports to buy myself any future Voltec car on the market. Assuming Voltec technology survives the next 60 days. Any predictions?


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:37 am)

    I translate this as bankruptcy will happen. And that is a good think since it will help reduce GM’s debt load and legacy healthcare costs.

    I think that is the best way to ensure the survival of GM and a roll-out of the Volt.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:40 am)

    #87 DonC Says: The one thing that does stick in my craw is the difference between how the government is treating the banking CEOs and the manufacturing CEOs.
    ————————————————————————————–
    In this video segment, starting at 2:40
    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/business/2009/03/30/dcl.romans.gm.cnn

    “Well, AIG Ed Liddy, it’s CEO was installed by the Treasury department. Freddie Mac and Fannie May, their CEOs and their management structure installed by the government. Citigroup, you’ll recall, Vikram Pandit is still it’s CEO, but all but 2 of its board members have been told to go, and will be replaced at the behest of the United States government.

    So there is the sort of populist feeling like:
    ‘wait a second, the blue collar auto industry gets this tough love from the administration, but what about the banks – are they just beholden to the banks?’

    Well the banks will tell you there have been a lot of management changes and there are a lot of directives coming down as well. So there hasn’t been a big bank CEO who has been replaced by president Obama, no. But there have been a lot of moves that have been happening none the less. Any maybe we will still see a bank CEO replaced, we don’t know.”


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:41 am)

    Govt Sponsored Chap anything will mean the UAW will still have their mitts in the mix. Don’t be fooled into thinking Chap anything will remove the UAW out of the equation. That’s why it’s going to be “Govt Spnsored” because the “Obamination to us all” will ensure his financial backers of his campaign will always have a host to leach on. I must be honest here, if this does happen, I will have to withdraw my name off the list for the Volt.

    Just build my Volt Dangit!!!

    No Power Windows
    No Power Adjust Seats
    No Power Side view mirrors
    No Power Sunroof (Actually No Sunroof at all)
    No Power Door Locks
    No Power Trunk lock
    No Radio (Remember that fiasco? – Get an iPod)
    No Heated Seats
    No OnStar!!!

    Make the garbage I listed, but another mans treasure, an “Upgrade” for those who want these creature comforts.

    Standard Features:
    AC
    Heater
    Defogger Front/Rear

    The ICEAge is over, Embrace the VoltAge.

    I’ll take my Volt with No Generator, No ICE, ShAkEn not StirreD…


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:45 am)

    #96 N Riley says “There are more people who apparently know the future than I thought possible to be on a blog site.”

    Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha! Good one. Very funny (because it’s so accurate).

    For those interested, here is the official response to GM’s plan. I was interested in the reports that the Task Force “took aim” at the Chevy Volt. I don’t read the report that way. I read it as stating the fact that cost is the biggest issue for Volt Gen I, which translates into modest volume and not a big profit margin (if any) aka not a “commercial success”. I don’t see any “taking aim”. You can read it for yourself and make up your own minds though:

    http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/GM-Viability-Assessment-20090330.pdf


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:45 am)

    If I had to predict what is going to happen to GM, I would have to say that I believe it will go into controlled bankruptcy by the end of the 60 days. I don’t think the bond holders or the union will concede enough to satisfy the government. I think this 60 days is a delaying tactic by the government to get things “worked out” and at some point it will pull the rug out from under what is left of GM and Chrysler. You will see a massive infusion of taxpayer money to pay union wages and benefits to insure they don’t get hurt any more than necessary. The only entities that will get whacked are the bond holders and GM. And GM will suffer the biggest whack. A new GM will arise, but I am not sure we will recognize it as an American automobile company. It will more closely resemble the post office. It will probably function pretty much like the post office also. Long live free enterprise.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:46 am)

    They did a story on NPR this mornig about a minister in the Pittsburgh area who worked with displaced steelworkers when the mills shut down in the 1980s. They interviewed the mayor of a town on the river below Pittsburgh where the US Steel Homestead Works shut down. It is now a shopping center. The Mayor said that “The new McDonalds and the Chik-A-Fil are doing great.”

    Not to worry guys, there is a bright future for our children and grandchildren.

    #6 Rashiid Amul:

    You can say what you like about the UAW but does anyone seriously believe that the workers in the foreign owned plants in the Southeast would be making the money they are except for the threat of union organization? Once the UAW is finally stamped out, what do you think will happen to that wage structure.

    “Sorry guys, BYD is selling a plug-in hybrid for $15,995. Everybody is going to have to take a pay cut.”


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:47 am)

    30 days for Chrysler… it sure give us an idea how mature their EV program was 😐

    As for the rest, I hope the Volt survives to all this, if not, others will fill in the need… 2010/2011 will be key for EV programs in general.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:53 am)

    MSNBC.com is reporting that Chrysler has reached a merger deal with Fiat. No details are available as of yet… but if it’s true, that must be the fastest merger in history.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:56 am)

    #98 Dave G

    Yes I understand this. And it’s also somewhat complicated by the fact that the Fed and the Treasury suggested some of the acquisitions.

    However, having said that, the simple fact is that they keep treating these guys with kid gloves. You have a financial sector which has just about killed the economy. Where is the tough rhetoric about forcing the banks to make the tough restructuring decisions? The banks simply can’t support their size given the change in asset values. And they certainly can’t do this with wage rates that are so greatly above the norm.

    The high wages were justified on grounds that these guys were adding great value by increasing the efficiency of the financial sector — higher returns with no change in risk. Well guess what, it turns out that the higher returns involved higher risk. All the value added was ephemeral. Anyone can produce a higher return with higher risk. So why are they being paid so much? How can the US financial industry thrive into the future with wage rates unsupported by productivity gains?


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:00 pm)

    #14: “What does “Volt” actually mean?”
    Volt comes from Alessandro Volta – he developed the 1st electric cell.
    His real name was Sandro. When he was a teenager, he spent several hours studying each page of his manual. To the point that his mother would tell him from time to time (in old Italian dialect):
    “Aleeeee, Sandro, Volta!” (Come on, Sandro, turn that page!)
    until eventually his name became Alessandro Volta.
    I thought you guys should know where Volt comes from. You will not find that on Wikipedia, I guarantee!


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:00 pm)

    #102 Noel Park

    I don’t think many here would ever say the unions did not greatly influence wages and benefits in this country. I think government had a hand in some of it too. But, having said that, I am of the opinion that today the union workers are represented by people in the union management that don’t have their interests at heart. I don’t believe unions, as they are structured and controlled today, are as necessary as they were in the past. Our population is too independent and too well educated to allow companies to run rough shod over them as they did 100 years ago. It is a different society and time we live in today. Unions are a dinosaur kept alive by government because they need them to try to control the workers and as a big slush fund to draw easy money from.

    I would not cry a single tear for the American worker if all unions ceased to exist. Especially government worker unions of all types and scopes. We would all be better off without them sucking the life blood from our workers. That is just my opinion.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:04 pm)

    #80 chevonly:

    Be careful what you ask for, you might get it. Cerberus had Chrysler handed to them on a silver platter, and look what it got them. If Fiat has any sense at all, they will run away from Chrysler as fast as they can go. Daimler-Benz is starting to look smart, LOL.

    #86 Daveo:

    I hear you. I loved the part about the unnecessary head injury scans. I wonder if he has been watching the news lately? Our family has bitter experience with brain injuries. I shivered when I read that.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:06 pm)

    Just posted on the Internet

    SAN FRANCISCO — Chrysler LLC and owner Cerberus Capital Management said Monday they entered into a global alliance with Italian auto maker Fiat SPA with the help of the U.S. Treasury. Chrysler said the Fiat alliance will not only help it pay back government loans sooner but strengthens its ability to create and preserve U.S. jobs. The alliance raises the possibility that the U.S. government may invest another $6 billion in Chrysler.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:07 pm)

    I think people are getting off track on what happened here today. The gov’t is regaining lost leverage on GM, throught the destruction of Chrysler (which they really didn’t want to bailout anyway).

    Look at what they did to Chrysler. They flat out said they are no good, not viable, they gave them a flat statement saying where the end of the line is, a cap on any potential maximum future funding, and if they don’t merge with Fiat (which they know is dubious at best) they are done…and here is the kicker –in 30 days. (They made no such statements for GM, and Obama is still saying they (GM) can make it if they work together).

    Now why 30 days for Chrysler, and not 60 like for GM? What the heck is the difference? Because GM’s bondholder’s really don’t believe they will fold them right now, and the UAW is still saying things like, “we have done enough, thats it”

    Let us flip the calender to this time next month, and watch how their tune changes once the government ACTUALLY lets Chrysler slip away. Now maybe that is enough of a scare to get their demands met…maybe not, but the game is still very much afoot, and C11 is no certainty by any stretch.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:07 pm)

    I told Wagoner months ago that Chapter 11 was his only realisitic option. Unfortunately, Wagoner is one of those cockeyed optimists
    who abandons the ship only when his trousers are soaked, and not before. He was just unable to make a deciion, a perfect example of someone who should never have been given control of the world’s largest corporation. We saw his passivity when GM got smeared in that fictitious pive of celluloid crap called Who Killed the Electric Car?, a film by a complete liar and slandering moron. He could have mounted a publicity event that tore that film’s nonsensical lies to shreds but simply had some underlings write a bland short paragraph. Wagoner simply didn’t understand how to command and give orders. He won’t be missed by those who want to see GM succeed.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    recap

    nothing focuses the mind like a hanging… maybe management will now get to work developing MANY really green automobiles. this is what Obama is calling for!, in my humble opinion. Obama gets it. A paradigm revolution. Volt is only a start. US pop. also in desperate need of large numbers of good, affordable(cheap) EV commuter cars for one or two people. Aptera-like vehicle comes to mind. GM could build them for cheap, maybe 20K a copy(maybe a little more until battery cost comes down), 15K/copy after credit, and current hundred mile ev-range could be easily increased to 250 miles with 130# generator. “This is not rocket science.” (shout out to herm)


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:11 pm)

    Apparently Obama doesn’t trust anyone to run anything unless they’re a racist (Atty Gen, Obama, Obama’s wife) or a tax cheat (Giethner, and everyone else in the West Wing).


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:19 pm)

    #96 N Riley
    Now, let’s see. I need to know who is going to win the NCAA Basketball Championship
    ==================

    Michigan Sate!!! 🙂


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:19 pm)

    #105 DonC:

    Short answer – it can’t.

    In his book “Bad Money”, which largely predicted the current unpleasantness a year to 18 months before it happened, Kevin Phillips describes the trajectory of powerful nations from agrarian societies to manufacturing and goods production, to economies largely based upon “financial services”, or more simply “finance”. He tell us that history teaches that the latter is the last step before the effective collapse of empires.

    It’s very interesting reading, as is its predecessor “American
    Theocracy.”


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    RSBaker

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:20 pm)

    Bond Holders! Bond Holders! Bond Holders! You will have to take a haircut on this one! It’s bee published that GM is offering something like 30¢ on the Dollar equity stake in the company. If they don’t take that they will get nothing in bankruptcy court. It’s all up to them. GM has cut everything else substantially.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:24 pm)

    #105 DonC

    Exactly. My 401K person keeps coming in every quarter telling me how much money i’ve lost. I asked him if they have reduced their commissions. I got a response of a smile and a little laugh. Of course not.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:29 pm)

    As per Chrysler’s confirmed ‘alliance’ with Fiat, the stumbling block has never been that Fiat or Chrysler don’t want to do it…but rather Fiat first wants Chrysler to be propped up by the gov’t before it signs on.

    This is the snippet from today’s ‘announcement’ of a alliance with Fiat from Chrysler LLC:
    “The boards of Chrysler and Fiat have given executives approval to complete an alliance that now hinges on the terms for additional aid for Chrysler, people with knowledge of the discussions have said.”

    …so nothing has changed really, and what is item number 1&2 on the government’s terms to get this ‘additional aid’?

    “First, Chrysler must restructure its balance sheet so that it has a sustainable debt burden. This at a minimum will require extinguishing the vast majority of Chrysler’s outstanding secured debt and all of its unsecured debt and equity, other than trade creditors providing normal trade terms.”

    “Second, Chrysler, Fiat and the UAW need to reach an agreement that entails greater concessions than those outlined in the existing loan agreements.”

    /same old, same old…nothing changes with this press release


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:33 pm)

    American Business Schools should be investigated by Congress.
    Wagoner was a Harvard B. School MBA, aren’t they supposed to learn how to run a business ? And yet, corporation after corporation, from Detroit to New York City to San Diego these guys go for the quick buck, the big bonus, the shady, probably illegal deal, the Quarterly Profit and run the business into the ground after a few years.

    That’s the REAL reason Japan and China and the European Union are kicking our business ass. Other countries manage to give their people healthcare and retirement benefits without moaning how it is destroying their companies.

    Toyota might not have “maximized” their profits *each quarter*, like an American MBA is trained to do. But over the decades, it has had vision and planning, and has left GM in the dust. They could *buy* GM outright with their R&D budget for one year.

    Note to Americans: your Business Schools suck.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    All those GM workers who just took the bonus packages to quit are looking very smart right about now. Take the money, get a new job, make a new start in an expanding industy. Maybe move to a growing sunbelt state. Not a bad decision at all.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:47 pm)

    #118 statik,

    At this point, I really wouldn’t mind Chrysler going chapter 7. Their current quality is not good. They’re essentially foreign owned. And let’s not forget that they were already bailed out in 1979.

    If Chrysler went away, it could be a good wake up call. People on the news are still talking about the “big 3” U.S. auto makers. From my point of view, when Daimler bought Chrysler, we were down to 2.

    And what I see from Obama aligns pretty well with this. If the Fiat deal doesn’t work out, there’s no more government assistance, so that means chapter 7. And Obama doesn’t look like he’s giving Fiat a sweet deal, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Fiat walked away.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:49 pm)

    Ford should benefit from this and gain some of the die-hard Americans who only buy cars which are American – regardless of better alternatives.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:56 pm)

    #119 Tom R.,

    I’m not sure if the schools are to blame, but the corporate vision in this country definitely seems a bit short sighted. In the U.S., anything happening 5 years from now is considered strategic. Anything 8 years from now doesn’t even show up on their radar screen.

    Meanwhile, Japanese executives are making investments that may not start paying for 10-15 years out. That’s virtually twice the vision in the U.S..


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    #122 Laura

    “Ford should benefit from this and gain some of the die-hard Americans who only buy cars which are American – regardless of better alternatives.”
    —————————–

    If only there were a lot more die-hard Americans like that (only would buy an American car). GM, Chrysler and Ford would not be in the fix they are in today. We should blame the auto companies and the government for a large portion of what ails our automotive industry, but a very large portion of the blame falls on a public who can not make themselves take another serious look at an American owned car or truck. They are just as good as most foreign vehicles, but not in the mind of the :average” buyer. We only believe what we hear and read without any effort to find out for ourselves.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    #120 Bill M Says: All those GM workers who just took the bonus packages to quit are looking very smart right about now. Take the money, get a new job, make a new start in an expanding industy. Maybe move to a growing sunbelt state. Not a bad decision at all.
    ————————————————————————————–
    That scenario assumes they can:

    1) sell their house without losing a lot of money.

    2) afford to take a year or two off until Toyota, Honda, or VW start hiring.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:03 pm)

    #124 N Riley Says: If only there were only a lot more die-hard Americans like that (only would buy an American car). GM, Chrysler and Ford would not be in the fix they are in today.
    ————————————————————————————–
    America tried isolationism once already – didn’t work out too well.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    #108 noel park

    #86 Daveo:

    My wife and my late father and son were particular subjects for this type of medicine. My wife suffered a botched operation that she still lives with. My dad while dying of cancer was given an experimental drug Tarceva, which had no effect at all, and an unecessary dose of chemotherapy from a doctor who was notorious for that type of practice even when there was no hope that the chemo would work. Apparently this was so he could pad his income.

    A family friend and medical doctor shared that with us and she felt the procedure was unecessary.

    Doctors also demanded early vaccination of my sun. Now I don’t believe that MMR cause his autism. The scientific pear reviewed research doesn’t support it. But he suffered high fever after taking it when he was only a few months old. I’m not anti-vaccine either. It’s just that the vaccines probably could and should have been administered separately over a stretch of time rather than this shotgon all at once approach.

    So when I hear physicians like Dr. Roger I cringe.

    As for torts there would be a need for tort action if Doctors were held accountable for their actions the same way the rest of us are accountable for our actions on the job.


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    jeffhre

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:14 pm)

    Tom R. #119

    American MBA’s are running their businesses optimized exactly for the situations they are in. True some are just lousy managers. But in general don’t hate the player hate the game.

    Of course you could argue that they could choose to play a different game. But if you’re hired to run GM, you’ll run GM. And you won’t have any readily available miracles to transform it into the new Berkshire Hathaway. So like everyone else you’ll set up the infrastructure for the best future possible you can envision with the resources available to you, and a retirement that’s as fat as possible.

    The system is what it is. Every smart Harvard MBA graduate doesn’t suddenly become an idiot when they reach the executive suite. If you have a better idea for something new (besides call congress and lets “investigate”) then lay it out there for all to see.


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    D'Artagnon

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:26 pm)

    Hurray for the State! Government Motors, Inc.!


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    VOLT IS A MONEY LOSER.

    That’s the message being discussed at this very moment on NPR.

    The business case must be very clear, why losing money on it is acceptable during the recovery period (before the loan is paid back). So far, the case for other hybrids is much more compelling.

    Will enthusiasts here help out? GM certainly didn’t take the need for a concise plan seriously, thinking the axe wouldn’t come down the end of March the way it actually did.

    Do you part to justify this particular technology investment.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    #126 Dave G

    “America tried isolationism once already – didn’t work out too well.”
    —————–

    It is not isolationism when you prefer to purchase products made in you own country by your fellow countrymen. The Japanese do it very well and they are not isolationist. They do it for another reason, I know. But, I suspect that if GM, Ford or Chrysler could freely sell their best cars in Japan, the Japanese would still purchase most of their cars from Japanese manufacturers. They just look at it different than we do as consumers.

    It doesn’t hurt for more Americans to take more pride in their own products and support their fellow countrymen and their employers. That is all I am saying. I am not advocating for no one to purchase a foreign made vehicle or product. Yes, I would like to see that happen to a large extent. I would not be telling the truth if I said otherwise. But, I don’t believe in isolationism. I just like the idea of going home with the one that brought me to the dance.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:34 pm)

    #119… I don’t know about that, Japan’s economy has sucked since the mid-90s, and the EU hasn’t done that great recently. As to your other points, I think the solution is to fire everyone with Harvard MBAs and hire Stanford MBAs…although I may be a bit biased 🙂

    Anyhow, I am glad the gov’t finally realized Chrysler should die. It makes me sick, however, to see them hiring and firing at will. They need a good reminder in 2010 that WE can fire them. They managed this country far worse than GM was ever managed.

    史丹佛 》》哈佛 🙂


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:40 pm)

    Since most of the people deciding GM’s fate probably don’t drive American vehicles or many other things made in America, I don’t think they will have any real affinity towards “saving” the Volt program. They will think a foreign owned company will be better at providing Americans with methods of cutting our oil dependence. Get us off foreign oil and onto more foreign vehicles. Works good for them, should work good for everyone else. Who needs a GM, Chrysler or even a Ford when we have Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen and countless others to satisfy our need for a range extended electric car. Now, any good thinking American worker should be proud to work for wages and be allowed to purchase one of the foreign made vehicles. Service industry workers don’t need to worry. There will always be service related jobs. No manufacturing jobs, but plenty of burger flipping jobs and such. We will turn into a nation of workers needing the services of other Americans while we buy all of our “hard” products from overseas suppliers. Kinda hard to ship a burger flipping job overseas. I am sure someone in government and business are trying to figure out how to do it even as I write this. Maybe that is where the Japanese robots are going to be employed once they are perfected more in their “human” form.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:45 pm)

    Roger Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 9:56 am

    “As an emergency physician I deal with the health care crisis on a daliy basis. We have the best health care system in the world -”

    then proceeds to detail the many ways that they should change it so that it works.
    LOL 🙂

    Yes, the Americans are the best in the world *at everything*.

    They just have to change their healthcare system so that it works.

    And in the World Baseball Classic, just change the way they pick and manage their team, and, oh, maybe the whole Spring Training schedule (they have never won the World Baseball Classic).

    And in building cars, they just have to make some tweaks with unions, yeah, that’s the ticket… and maybe a new advertising campaign…


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    Unions work much the same as the old Soviet Union. Central control, central planning and everything comes to those at the top. The administration understands central control and planning. Our economy is “in for” a very healthy dose of central control. It has worked really good with our labor unions. So, why not for the American economy. All the “important” decisions made in Washington, D.C. by people who could not get a good job in American industry so they got a government job. Sounds like a good plan to me. Central control. Sounds catchy, doesn’t it. Worked with the post office, medicare, social security and many other vastly successful government projects. Just look at what government has accomplished in the “war on poverty”, the “war on drugs”, the whatever else you want to think of. Highly successful programs. The world is beating a path to our door to copy our success. We are acclaimed as world-wide saviors. I look forward to our “running” the auto industry. Should work out pretty good. Got my down payment in hand for the Volt. No worries. If they don’t get it out next year or the next, there will always be another year. Might even be a campaign slogan for some congressman or senator. Re-elect me and I will see the Volt production problems overcome so that you will have the opportunity to purchase one of these fine government designed, government tested, government approved and government financed marvels within the next decade or two, or three. Coming soon, for sure.

    Today’s news just make me a little bit pessimistic. You might be able to tell.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:02 pm)

    #131 N Riley,

    I never would have considered buying an American car if it weren’t for the Volt.

    I’ve been burned by American cars too many times.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:03 pm)

    #56 Roger…. You say, 1) “We (the US) have the best health care system in the world” (WRONG!), and 2) “The problem is we pay way too much money for that care….(RIGHT!)
    ==========================================================================
    Thanks to the US space program I’ve spent time in 25 other countries in the world. The truth is that you’re RIGHT that we pay way too much for our health care in the US —it’s very close to the most expensive in the world, if not the MOST expensive in the world!

    But what you and most other Americans seem unaware of is that, in spite of our exhorbitantly expensive health care system, the Life Expectancy of a child born in 2009 in 49 other countries is longer than the Life Expectancy of a child born in the US!!!

    Don’t believe it? Click the CIA Fact Book link below…..
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:09 pm)

    #137 nasaman,

    That’s correct. The U.S. spends the most of health care, and we are among the least healthy.

    Using any reasonable measurement, a bang-for-buck analysis shows that the U.S. has the worst health care system in the world.


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    Judge Dredd

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:09 pm)

    No bankruptcy judge would allow the Volt project to continue since it is a money losing vehicle during initial year(s) and its success is not guaranteed. More likely the Volt Project resources would be sold to the highest bidder (maybe a Nissan or some other company). R&D should be put on the back burner as well. Things don’t look good.
    Immediately shutdown ALL unprofitable lines. Cutoff all legacy payments to retirees (including stocks, pensions and health care). Viability of GM could be achieved fairly quickly with a trail of destruction far and wide. Getter Done. The grass will be greener on the other side.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:13 pm)

    “That scenario assumes they can:
    1) sell their house without losing a lot of money.
    2) afford to take a year or two off until Toyota, Honda, or VW start hiring.”

    Why on earth would they get another job with a car company? There are tons of growing, thriving careers out there, its just a matter of going after them.

    I speak from experience, I made a total career change last year and am doing better than ever – yes in this economy.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:14 pm)

    GM now means Government Motors.

    Get yours today Comrade!


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:18 pm)

    Government does not really want you to purchase personal vehicles. Government would much rather you take a bus, train or sometimes, if you are special enough, a plane. Government spends billions upon billions every year trying to convince us to do away with personal transportation. Why would a government (and the democrats are worse than the republicans here) who believes in the value of public transportation and the elimination of personal transportation want to support and “grow” a private company devoted to producing personal transportation vehicles? Long question – short answer. Jobs and money. Overriding considerations sometimes override other desires. But government is not easily led astray. They will be back on track soon and will find a way to get you on those buses and trains. The day of public transportation is close upon us. How long have we been hearing that?


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:18 pm)

    N Riley:

    I agree on your discussion of buy American. The problem is that many Americans just won’t look at an American car. Toyotas (or other cars) are simply better in their mind. They basically have closed their mind to considering American cars. Little facts like the statistics showing American cars closing the quality gap or the fact that Buick was rated #1 in reliability don’t matter. Many people believe american cars just plain suck and won’t buy one.

    GM et al may have earned this reputation but I too wish Americans would take another look. I for one will continue to support US automakers to the end.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    #140 Bill M Says: I speak from experience, I made a total career change last year and am doing better than ever – yes in this economy.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Do you happen to live near Detroit?


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:20 pm)

    #124 N Riley
    “If only there were only a lot more die-hard Americans like that (only would buy an American car). GM, Chrysler and Ford would not be in the fix they are in today.”

    No, if only GM, Chrysler and Ford made the best cars at the best value, they wouldn’t be in the fix they are today.

    Its simple, build the best products and people will buy them regardless of where they live. But if your business model depends on goading people into buying your products out a sense of nationalism or pseudo-patriotic duty, you are doomed.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:23 pm)

    Yet another company planning to sell an EV in the US next year “Detroit Electric”…

    http://paultan.org/archives/2009/03/30/detroit-electric-to-sell-electric-persona-and-gen2/

    Bring on the EV. First one to market in my $$$ rang of $28K – $37500.00 get’s my money. Of course it has to be freeway legal to 75-80mph and hold four at a minimum of 80mile range.

    I just want a commuter car and not use gas, is that too much to ask?

    GM, sell me the Volt with no ICE or Generator and give me the binaries to your BMS code so I can open up the blocked 45% SOC.
    Just do it!


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:23 pm)

    #140 Bill M

    “I speak from experience, I made a total career change last year and am doing better than ever – yes in this economy.”
    ————————–

    First, let me congratulate you. Thankfully you were able to accomplish what most will not. We are not “taught” to be as independent as you must be to uproot yourself, start over and be successful. Most of the time we are encouraged to just draw on government largess and moan and groan about our inability to change our situation. What you have accomplished is something you should be very proud of. Again, congratulations!!


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:30 pm)

    #141 Brad G Says: GM now means Government Motors. Get yours today Comrade!
    ————————————————————————————–
    Transcript from Obama’s announcement today:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/us/politics/30obama-text.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2
    “Let me be clear: The United States government has no interest in running GM. We have no intention of running GM. What we are interested in is giving GM an opportunity to finally make those much-needed changes that will let them emerge from this crisis a stronger and more competitive company.”


  149. 149
    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:32 pm)

    #135 N Riley said:

    Unions work much the same as the old Soviet Union. Central control, central planning and everything comes to those at the top. The administration understands central control and planning. Our economy is “in for” a very healthy dose of central control. It has worked really good with our labor unions. So, why not for the American economy. All the “important” decisions made in Washington, D.C. by people who could not get a good job in American industry so they got a government job. Sounds like a good plan to me. Central control. Sounds catchy, doesn’t it. Worked with the post office, medicare, social security and many other vastly successful government projects. Just look at what government has accomplished in the “war on poverty”, the “war on drugs”, the whatever else you want to think of. Highly successful programs. The world is beating a path to our door to copy our success. We are acclaimed as world-wide saviors. I look forward to our “running” the auto industry. Should work out pretty good. Got my down payment in hand for the Volt. No worries. If they don’t get it out next year or the next, there will always be another year. Might even be a campaign slogan for some congressman or senator. Re-elect me and I will see the Volt production problems overcome so that you will have the opportunity to purchase one of these fine government designed, government tested, government approved and government financed marvels within the next decade or two, or three. Coming soon, for sure.

    Today’s news just make me a little bit pessimistic. You might be able to tell
    ==========================

    Wow, you are really rolling on this thread, hehe.

    Side note: As per #96, I’m going to take the Red Sox out of the AL and the Philles out of the NL, with the Red Sox winning in 6 for the World Series. However, I will still faithfully root for the Tigers…even though they have caused me almost nothing but pain since the 80s.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:39 pm)

    #143 nuclearboy

    Yes, that is what I was getting to. Americans do not go to any trouble to find out something for themselves. We are not “trained” to be independent and do our own “ground-work”. It is much easier to just listen to someone else and let them tell us what we should do. All mice need a head rat.

    #145 Jake

    American auto makers do make some darn good vehicles. It is just that we, as Americans, are not willing to take another look. Everything we hear and read tells us that American vehicles are not as good as xyz countries’ vehicles. While true in the late 80′ and all of the 90’s and early this century, it is no longer true. I have driven some might good American vehicles lately and I intend to purchase an American vehicle as my next vehicle purchase. When it comes to trucks, even Toyota can’t match GM or Ford. Toyota and Nissan are better at one thing, for sure. They are better gas guzzlers.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:40 pm)

    N Riley @ #96…NCAA Champions?

    UConn (Men & Women…again), of course.

    I still really want my VOLT!

    I don’t even care if it isn’t Blue.

    See, I’ve already been beaten down to where I don’t even care what color it is 🙁


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:45 pm)

    #139 Judge Dredd Says: No bankruptcy judge would allow the Volt project to continue since it is a money losing vehicle during initial year(s) and its success is not guaranteed.
    ————————————————————————————–
    I believe the administration would have something to say about that:

    Transcript from Obama’s announcement today:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/us/politics/30obama-text.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1
    “I am absolutely committed to working with Congress and the auto companies to meet one goal: The United States of America will lead the world in building the next generation of clean cars.”

    That sounds like good news for the Volt.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:48 pm)

    #149 Statik

    Do that and all I can say is Good Luck. I used to be a great baseball fan. Loved to watch games on TV. Never really had the opportunity to go to the stadium to see them in action. But, after the last union strike, it ruined baseball for me. I have not been much of a fan since. I still try to kinda keep up with who is leading in the National and American Leagues. I have always loved the Dodgers. My older brother was a Yankee fan when we were kids. He died in 1999 from cancer. I have been a Yankee and Dodger fan ever since. Even when we were kids and were “competing” with each other about which team was better, I had a soft spot for the Yankees, but I was and still am a die-hard Dodger fan. I love them all because it is a great sport. The unions almost ruined baseball. It pretty much did for me. I just won’t even watch one on TV anymore. But, good luck with your baseball picks. They are all good. Just some better than others.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:48 pm)

    Jake Says:
    Its simple, build the best products and people will buy them regardless of where they live. But if your business model depends on goading people into buying your products out a sense of nationalism or pseudo-patriotic duty, you are doomed.

    You are soo correct. The sense of nationalism or pseudo-patriotic duty just falls shy of being an “Extortionist” or “Ransom”. “By the products or the jobs get killed…”

    GM just doesn’t get it and the administration for “Change” is going to take one bite too big for it’s mouth.
    GM has no product to sell anywhere close to the competition within the Global market place. That is the playing field everyone keeps insisting to “Level”. GM is playing against third world manufacturing costs and you people scream foul. Then GM needs to get out of the game if they can’t play the field. If they want to continue to play, then they need to meet the labor costs of the “Global Market”. Give the job to someone who will accept the pay they can get for the job and be happy with it. Unfortunately most of what I have encountered within Union employees is basically that they can’t get fired and as long as they meet the minimum quota set forth, why should they have to do more? This has been seen in the farming industry. Take a look at the migrant workers there. Mostly Mexican and Asian. These are jobs that used to be dominated with Americans. Now look what ominates it. These people will do the work and do it hard for the money. In most manufacturing it is not rocket science on what you do, so why are they getting $27/hr to stage screws and washers for the next UAW worker to bolt them in? Sure reading and comprehension is required but most should have that ability by the time they graduate from high school.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:49 pm)

    With regard to how serious the administration is about using a pre-packaged bankrupcy:

    Transcript from Obama’s announcement today:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/us/politics/30obama-text.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1
    “Now, while Chrysler and GM are very different companies with very different paths forward, both need a fresh start to implement the restructuring plan they develop. That may mean using our bankruptcy code as a mechanism to help them restructure quickly and emerge stronger. Now, I want everybody to be clear about this. I know that when people hear the word “bankruptcy” it can be unsettling, so let me explain exactly what I mean. What I’m talking about is using our existing legal structure as a tool that, with the backing of the U.S. government, can make it easier for General Motors and Chrysler to quickly clear away old debts that are weighing them down so that they can get back on their feet and onto a path to success; a tool that we can use, even as workers staying on the job building cars that are being sold.

    What I’m not talking about is a process where a company is simply broken up, sold off, and no longer exists. We’re not talking about that. And what I’m not talking about is a company that’s stuck in court for years, unable to get out. “


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:51 pm)

    #146 CaptJackSparrow:

    Malyasia?? Not!!

    #152 Dave G:

    Thank you very much. The best news I’ve heard today.

    Which wouldn’t be that hard, LOL.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:52 pm)

    #139 Judge Dredd Says: No bankruptcy judge would allow the Volt project to continue since it is a money losing vehicle during initial year(s) and its success is not guaranteed.
    ————————————————————————————–
    #152 Dave G said:

    I believe the administration would have something to say about that:

    Transcript from Obama’s announcement today:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/us/politics/30obama-text.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1
    “I am absolutely committed to working with Congress and the auto companies to meet one goal: The United States of America will lead the world in building the next generation of clean cars.”

    That sounds like good news for the Volt.
    ===========================
    I’m going to have to go with Dave G on this one. It is unlikely the PTF itself, or any bankruptcy oversight would back the Volt project, but the executive does…and ultimately they control the money, so if GM survives, I’m 95% sure the Volt does as well.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    There you go with your rose-colored glasses, statik; getting all pollyanna on us.

    You know things are bad when statik becomes the optimist on this board, relatively speaking (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    😉

    The Volt’s future is far from written.

    But if it’s the Volt that is putting pressure on other manufacturers to move farther down the electric road, it’s value is on a par with that of the numerically insignificant Tesla; even if a voltec vehicle is never offered for sale.

    Here’s to another 60 days in which other manufacturers dare not do a u-turn. Hopefully in May it will be too late for any of them to turn back.

    …and who knows? Maybe a GM of some description can pull it off … with the aid of a President who claims to want a million electric cars before 2012 (and re-election time).


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    Tall Pete

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    Roger @56

    The actress you mention did not die of socialized medecine. She died because she unfortunately refused to wear a helmet on the ski slope and, after falling, she unfortunately refused to get checked by a doctor and apparently signed a waiver to that effect. At that time, an ambulance was waiting and there was enough time to act and get her to a trauma center.

    Had she decided to wear a helmet or had she decided to get checked when it was offered to her, the outcome would have been different.

    Do you force people to get treated if they refuse ? Is that why the medical system in the US is so superior ? I don’t think so.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:55 pm)

    #149 Statik

    “Wow, you are really rolling on this thread, hehe.”
    ————————-

    I have been “out-of-pocket” mostly for the past four days. Just trying to catch up. There has been a lot happening today and a lot being said. Just felt the need a time or two to say my piece. Kinda looking forward towards tomorrow’s post from Lyle. Wondering how it is going to read. Hope some good Volt news. This kind of news, like today’s, is easy to get you down in the dumps and keep you there. We need some “up-lifting” news.


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    john1701a

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:55 pm)

    Better justify your preferred configuration of Volt quickly. Many see it as an expensive niche vehicle, not anything that will help sustain business for quite a number of years still.

    – – –

    The Chevrolet Volt will not save General Motors Corp., the U.S. government said Monday in its Viability Summary of GM.

    “While the Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term,” the report said.

    The electric car “is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable.”

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20090330/AUTO01/903300425/Government++Volt+can+t+save+GM

    – – –

    Remember, GM still has to produce something competitive until “Volt” becomes profitable and available in large quantity.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:55 pm)

    @David K (CT)

    See, I’ve already been beaten down to where I don’t even care what color it is

    Man I didn’t even care if it had hubcaps. Just build it dangit!

    I wonder what the Blue Oval Ford is thinking right now?


  163. 163
    Kubel

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (2:58 pm)

    How is this the unions fault? Someone please explain why the blame is being focused on the workers. Last I checked, Detroit is getting rid of their $40/hour factory positions and replacing them with $10/hour new hires. Workers are taking cuts on health insurance, vacation time, hours, pay, etc…

    The one good thing I can see from a GM restructuring is the government can do like they did in the 40’s, and that’s tell them exactly what to build. But hopefully this firing of Wagoner and the 60-day countdown will get GM higherups worried. Obama has called their bluff.

    In the end, I believe GM will fail. I think we should let it. I think future bailout money should be given to distributors, to ensure the rest of the industry doesn’t collapse with it. Let GM restructure. They need it.

    Whether it be auto makers or banks, no entity should be so large as to hold their own industry or the entire nation hostage when they are on the brink of failure.


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    D'Artagnon

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:01 pm)

    nasaman #137 wrote:

    Thanks to the US space program I’ve spent time in 25 other countries in the world. The truth is that you’re RIGHT that we pay way too much for our health care in the US —it’s very close to the most expensive in the world, if not the MOST expensive in the world!

    But what you and most other Americans seem unaware of is that, in spite of our exhorbitantly expensive health care system, the Life Expectancy of a child born in 2009 in 49 other countries is longer than the Life Expectancy of a child born in the US!!!

    Don’t believe it? Click the CIA Fact Book link below…..
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    post hoc ergo propter hoc


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    N Riley

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:01 pm)

    I think it is a good bet the Volt survives. It may not get to the market by November 2010. This 60 day period will certainly have an impact, I would think. I hope I am wrong. I know some GM executive would probably say that it won’t, but I am not so sure. I would hope it does not. We will know, I guess, in 5 or 6 months.


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    David K (CT)

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:04 pm)

    CaptJack @ #162

    Well, if I’m expected to pay some $37,500 for the car I want it ALL!


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    N Riley

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:05 pm)

    #162 CaptJackSparrow

    “I wonder what the Blue Oval Ford is thinking right now?”
    ———————

    One thing for certain. They are saying that they are damned glad they have not had to take any government money to this point. I bet they are looking high and low for ways to not take any in the future. Ford is in a very good position right now. If their hybrid program takes off this fall, they will be in an even stronger position.


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    Edwin Mang

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:06 pm)

    I have never seen so many that grab their money and run every time someone said BOO . I figger that I can get 100 shares of GM at a bargan right now and have been every time the fat cats run I will buy . As I intend to get ME a Volt , That is part of the government loans and they got what they wanted in WWII even when the company could not afford it . RIGHT !
    If not FORD will .

    GOD Bless


  169. 169
    WarrenPeace

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:11 pm)

    Kubel Says:

    How is this the unions fault?

    What rock have you been under? Have you even looked at the oburdity they had to concede? Job banks for one. Do YOU think it’s a good idea to pay a group of UAW folks for not producing/building/working? I’m pretty sure it is not GM who came up with that. If a manufacturing company can’t sell their product, there should be no reason to have people come in and build, much less pay for them to not build.
    And you question if it’s the Unions fault?


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    N Riley

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:37 pm)

    The union (UAW) has been very successful over the last 50 years in negotiating contracts that have given the union member unprecedented wages and benefits. They threatened strikes and other actions if they didn’t get their way. And, with government support, they nearly always got what they wanted. Could you really blame them? I don’t blame the unions for driving hard bargains. It is their job to negotiate tough. But, I do blame the companies for letting them get away with it. Why, thought the companies, we can let the unions have what they want and just pass it on to the consumer. The consumer has plenty of money and where else are they going to get their big cars and trucks. Wrong! GM and the other two would have been better off if they had stuck to their guns and not given into the unions. I remember a lot of those strikes over the past 50 years. We find a few true constant in all the negotiations. One, the companies’ desire to continue producing cars and trucks. Two, the desire of the government to help the unions force the companies to see it their way and settle the contract to keep union employees working, making money and paying union dues. And, three, the desire of the unions to want ever more. No, it is not all the fault of the unions. They only did what they thought was best for themselves and their members. All three parties to strike negotiations had a hand in creating this mess. Now, it is going to take all three to get them out. They all must do their part or we will see it all slip away. For good. No second chances again. It is for keeps this time.

    But, hey, we can trust all three parties to do what is in the best interest of the American public, can’t we?


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    GLV

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:45 pm)

    I just wonder if that clock at the Volt offices is on a 60-day hold now?

    LJGTVWOTR…please!


  172. 172
    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:50 pm)

    Of interest:

    NEW YORK (AP) — When General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner leaves the automaker, he’ll take with him a financial package worth an estimated $23 million.

    The terms of General Motors Corp.’s government loans prevent it from giving executives severance pay, but they don’t affect earned pensions.

    As of Dec. 31, Wagoner’s accumulated pension was valued at $22.1 million, but he’ll receive that in payments over the rest of his life, so the actual amount he collects might be different.

    According to GM’s latest annual report, Wagoner also will receive about $367,000 in stock awards and about $535,000 in deferred compensation.

    Wagoner announced his resignation Monday. Obama administration officials asked him to step aside as part of the government’s plan to assist the struggling automaker.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Wagoner-leaving-GM-with-apf-14785896.html?sec=topStories&pos=4&asset=TBD&ccode=TBD

    …and yes, that is guaranteed regardless of bankruptcy (its insured). He qualifies for the, “Salaried Retirement Plan” and the “Executive Retirement Plan”

    “Most of that will be paid out as an annuity over five years, the remainder is a small lifetime annuity,” GM spokeswoman Julie M. Gibson said in an email earlier today.

    He also gets a free car forever, free plane rides and some various other perks, although these…not insured.


  173. 173
    noel park

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:51 pm)

    #154 WarrenPeace:

    So American workers can make the same as workers in 3rd world auto plants or starve, right? So much for the American Dream.

    The worst of it is that it seems to be where it’s actually heading. By the time all of us who have created the monster balance of payments defecit realize that we have shot ourselves in the feet, we will have bled to death.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:54 pm)

    Dang it….
    Getting moderated again. Hey, I’ve been a good boy!?


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    Tom H

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:54 pm)

    #4 Jim I

    No sir, we will put a person in there that makes sure that the interests of labor are understood and protected.

    I am afraid that GM is doomed…………
    ——————————————————————————–
    Quite the opposite. As long as Democrats control congress and the White House, the gold plated UAW contract will survive, with cosmetic changes, supported by a quarterly infusion of however many billions of tax funds are required.

    But its OK, because we will call it “a loan”.


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    N Riley

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:55 pm)

    #174 CaptJackSparrow

    “Dang it….
    Getting moderated again. Hey, I’ve been a good boy!?”
    —————-

    But, you been thinking those “bad” thoughts again. See where it gets you?


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    N Riley

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (3:56 pm)

    #171 GLV

    “I just wonder if that clock at the Volt offices is on a 60-day hold now?”
    —————-

    Good thought. Hadn’t thought about it, but it would be interesting to really know.


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    Brian

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:02 pm)

    #124,
    I did take a look at small chevy pickup before I bought my ridgeline. It was a joke. It was as if they were trying to make a total piece of S%&T, because that is exactly what it felt like inside and out.


  179. 179
    Bruce J

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:05 pm)

    I just got back from another business trip to China. Talking to workers over there is very elightening. First of all, they love any chance they can get to speak English, as most of the people do now. I asked my guide one day about what the rest of his family does. He told me with pride about his sons and brothers all employed in good jobs. His brother works construction. I asked how long he works every day. “Until the work gets done” was his answer. When I pressed him, it was about 15 hours a day. I asked how much vacation days he gets a year. “Oh, all of them” was the reply. I questioned more, all of them? “Yes, both national holidays he gets off”. This work ethic is everywhere over there. Everyone you meet is very highly educated, motivated, curious, and happy from what I can see.

    It was striking to me that there is just no way we can compete with China in this new economy especially in manufacturing. Imagine an American worker being expected to work 15 hours a day 363 days a year, with no sick days, vacation pay, 12 holidays a year, 1 hour lunch breaks etc. Its just not going to happen. No matter what you opinion of it, China is the future and there is no getting around it.

    Now how can a company like GM survive in this new global economy? I have no idea.


  180. 180
    WarrenPeace

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:09 pm)

    noel park Says:

    The worst of it is that it seems to be where it’s actually heading. By the time all of us who have created the monster balance of payments defecit realize that we have shot ourselves in the feet, we will have bled to death.

    Unfortunately yes that is what has to happen if aANY company wants to play in the “Global Market”. It’s not rocket science. In US you pay someone $27/hr to stage fasteners, in Malaysia you pay $27/day for a 40hr week. And believe me that is actually a lot to live on in their country. So, from that, who do you think can sell a more profitable and affordable product?

    But it doesn’t have to happen that way. The US auto industry can do it but at their current pay but with less people/workers. They need to open plants HERE IN THE US that can manufacture multiple models/platforms of products. Ford did this outside the US, I believe it was a subject in this forum in past. Now certain positions like the one’s I mentioned will of course need to be re-evaluated on pay because staging fasteners is mindless work and $27/hr is just not a “Pay per performance” kind of thing. There are many things the US auto industry can do but it needs to be WITHOUT the UAW.


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    N Riley

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:11 pm)

    #179 Bruce J

    I agree, I don’t see how we are going to compete with China. Let’s just hope they will be a little kinder to us than to their own people once they are in total control of our country. Well, we can at least hope.


  182. 182
    Tom H

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    #139 Judge Dredd Says: No bankruptcy judge would allow the Volt project to continue since it is a money losing vehicle during initial year(s) and its success is not guaranteed.
    ——————————————————————————-
    There are two scenarios by which the Volt program could survive a GM bankruptcy, both of them highly plausible:

    1. The judge has a duty to balance the financial interests of the stockholders and creditors. He cannot allow the Volt program to continue “for the benefit of America’s energy future”. He can, however, find that the Volt is good for GM’s future, with potential profits in the out years making up for short term losses. He does not need to find that the Volt is profitable in year one, or that profits are guarenteed.

    2. Failing this, the government can appropriate additional aid for GM contingent on continuing the Volt program. Under this scenario, the judge would be obliged to direct GM to accept the funds and continue the program.


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    N Riley

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:17 pm)

    Maybe what we in the U.S., Canada and Australia should do is just give up all our manufacturing to places like China, India and Malaysia and go strictly into farming. Become even more of the world’s food producers than we already are. We produce the food products the world needs and it produces the products we can’t compete in. All we got to do is to convince all those UAW members to get off the production lines and get down on the farm. Let’s get it started and do it right this time. Let’s flood the world markets with cheap food and soon we will put everyone else out of the food producing business. That has worked for other countries with other products, so why not for us with food? I always wanted to return to my farm upbringing. What about it?


  184. 184
    Larry B

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:19 pm)

    In the famous words of Kramer on Seinfeld, “I’m Out”. Goodbye Volt. GM can not survive or at least survive with quality products that consumers want with this “out of control” government in charge. If Obama can fire the CEO of GM, then he and his auto industry experts(LOL) are in charge. Time for me to start watching what new technology is coming out of my new favorite auto manufacturer, Ford. At least they have figured out how to stay in business without running to the government for help. Maybe Ford can buy the Volt technology?


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:23 pm)

    @N Riley 184

    “I always wanted to return to my farm upbringing. What about it?”

    Hey, in CA it’s legal to grow “Medicinal Marijuana” now.

    Huh…., did I jus say that…..
    Keep mind out of gutter….
    Keep mind out of gutter….
    Keep mind out of gutter….


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    Cautious Fan

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:24 pm)

    WSJ says Barack favors the bankruptcy option. If can actually pull the trigger, he’ll gain a lot of respect in my eyes.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123841609048669495.html


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    Nelson

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:25 pm)

    If GM goes into a “quick, surgical 30 day bankruptcy” I will never buy a GM again, that includes the Volt or any Plug-In they may begin to sell in the future. I will turn my attention and cash to Tesla. I just can’t trust a company that plays these wait and see games.

    NPNS!


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:26 pm)

    #184 Larry B

    Hold on there a minute, Larry! Under the new rules proposed by the Obama administration and not yet passed by congress (but soon) they will be able to look at any company and judge whether that company is producing the correct products or product mix along with whether it is performing good enough to meet stockholders requirements. Plus many other little goodies that our good congressional “leaders” will add as extra plums for the government bureaucrats to act on. No company or board will be safe. There will be no limits to what Geitner can do. Plus, executive pay, bonuses and pensions will be under the hammer for all publicly held as well as most private companies. We can really believe in change because we got it coming in spades, whether you like it or not does not matter. Chris and Barney will be in charge.


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    Len

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (5:34 pm)

    Roger – you have some valid points, but ours being the best medical system in the world is not one of them. We are bested in infant mortality and longivity by many european countries. The real problem is the 15% profit the insurance companies want to act as go betweens. Health care financed by employers is an accident of history, it was one of the few things that could be offered to employees during the war when wages were frozen. That was fine until we had to start compeating with the rest of the world. Companies can’t afford it now and stay (or get) competitive. The jobs will continue to flow out of this country until we are competitive.

    I don’t have much use for unions, but the real problem is the pensions and health benifits for retirees. Universal health would get rid of one of the problems, and the other will be paid for by the taxpayers one way or another. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) exists to protect pension holders in these situations. The real problem is the bond holders, and while sympathetic to their loss, they need to start thinking of not losing it all. The government is tired of the game.

    A lot of you have opinions about Wagner, but he was not fired, he was asked to step down and he did so. He was the sacrifical goat to send a message to the other participants in this party. I am guessing if you asked some of the financial geniouses that caused this mess to step down they would reply “Go f**** yourself”.

    Tucked away in the stimulus plan is a BIG pot of money to buy efficient vehicles for the government. That will reduce the fuel consumption of the government while simulating the production of new, fuel efficient vehicles. For sure most here believe alot of the money we pay for oil goes to folks who are not our friends, I think it is a national security issue with President Obama. Now that big oil has had a taste of $4 gas I guarentee you it will be back there in less than two years. Statik, If I wanted to act on that belief, how could I make money on it (I bet you charge good money for answers to questions like that)? 🙂


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    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:26 pm)

    #189 Len says:

    Roger – you have some valid points, but ours being the best medical system in the world is not one of them. We are bested in infant mortality and longivity by many european countries. The real problem is the 15% profit the insurance companies want to act as go betweens. Health care financed by employers is an accident of history, it was one of the few things that could be offered to employees during the war when wages were frozen. That was fine until we had to start compeating with the rest of the world. Companies can’t afford it now and stay (or get) competitive. The jobs will continue to flow out of this country until we are competitive.

    I don’t have much use for unions, but the real problem is the pensions and health benifits for retirees. Universal health would get rid of one of the problems, and the other will be paid for by the taxpayers one way or another. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) exists to protect pension holders in these situations. The real problem is the bond holders, and while sympathetic to their loss, they need to start thinking of not losing it all. The government is tired of the game.

    A lot of you have opinions about Wagner, but he was not fired, he was asked to step down and he did so. He was the sacrifical goat to send a message to the other participants in this party. I am guessing if you asked some of the financial geniouses that caused this mess to step down they would reply “Go f**** yourself”.

    Tucked away in the stimulus plan is a BIG pot of money to buy efficient vehicles for the government. That will reduce the fuel consumption of the government while simulating the production of new, fuel efficient vehicles. For sure most here believe alot of the money we pay for oil goes to folks who are not our friends, I think it is a national security issue with President Obama. Now that big oil has had a taste of $4 gas I guarentee you it will be back there in less than two years. Statik, If I wanted to act on that belief, how could I make money on it (I bet you charge good money for answers to questions like that)?
    ===================
    Well, depending on your scratch you could trade the crude oil futures directly. (I assume with a $4 point in under 2 years, I’m guessing you also expect crude over 125 again).

    One contract is 1,000 barrels of oil, so your looking at about potentially $49,000 in play. The futures are traded on margin which is generally 10% of the exposure…so you are looking at putting out $4,900 min.

    If oil does go ‘the wrong way’ for you, your margin is reduced and you will have to top it back up…which you will have to do by the end of days trade, or your broker is probably going to clear your position out at a loss. You can set up a NYMEX futures account with someone like Interactive Brokers.

    You could circumvent this system somewhat by buying a product like USO (which is a ETF), it rolls to the next closest monthly contract (I’m not a fan of this because of the monthly premium/vic). However if you are looking out farther, I would suggest USL, which is 12 month averaged.

    /are you sorry you asked? hope that helps


  191. 191
    chevonly

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:35 pm)

    Good choice to the idiot who bought a Honda Ridgeline, hope you have a full load in the bed next time you have a flat, you have to unload everything to get at the spare, oragatto to superior Japaneese technology, not to mention the high arch on the front of the bed to make it more difficult to load anything, but it wasn’t designed to be a man’s truck to really do any real work with, have you ever seen a professional contractor driving a Ridgeline?????


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    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:41 pm)

    #189 Len
    #190 Statik

    If your ‘super sure’, you could always then trade options LEAPS out of the money on USO for 2011 (you can’t on USL), and go for that 1000%+ score, lol.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (6:46 pm)

    @chevonly 192

    I like d your first version better…..
    lol


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    Len

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:01 pm)

    Statik – Verrry Interesting, I feel like I just was breathing some rareified air. Not sorry I asked, but am reminded once again that it takes money to make money. More my speed is buying GE at, get this, $6.66. I didn’t know it until after the purchase. That one may be doomed.


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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:17 pm)

    N Riley –

    The way I read it Geitner can’t touch AIG (even though the taxpayers own the company for all pratical purposes), Citigroup or Bank of America. Only a small part of each is a “bank”. The latest version of TARP or the son of TARP probably will not work. That leaves us with companies failing, “too big to fail”, but can’t be taken over by the government which is exactly what they want, a perminate hand in the taxpayers pocket. I think Geitner wants the power to do what the FDIC has done with failed banks twenty times already this year, take them over, clean them up and sell them.


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    noel park

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (7:28 pm)

    #191 chevonly:

    I’m with you there brother. My 2000 S-10 has 221K miles on it, gets 25 mpg EVERY tank, and has hauled some loads you would laugh to see. The beat to s**t bedliner tells the whole story.

    The Ridgeline is built on an ACCORD platform, LMAO. Great stuff when “trucks” were fashion statements. Not so much now.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:12 pm)

    Get ready for another bombshell.
    #56 Dr.Roger has an extremely tough job to do. And, Dr. Roger is one of the most underpaid professionals of our time, because he must personally bear the burden of the uninsured when they come into the hospital emergency room. (Bombshell not yet dropped).
    I have to confess that I was pretty shocked about the way I learned of Mr. Wagner’s termination (that he was “fired” a lie from the local media here in Austin, instead that “he was asked to leave”), that I did not want to post for awhile.
    (But the extremely valuable and highly intelligent posts here today compel me to write.)
    You may remember from a few days ago when I got blasted by some “name-dropping-nut” for when I blasted our local state government for not accepting 550 million in Federal Grants for kids in Texas to become insured (certainly for emergency room visits),
    ************************
    BOMBSHELL
    ***********************
    Most people do not remember many years ago when Texas got the same kind of funding, and, the leadership of Texas had assigned the funding to the “care” of some company, who, if I remember the details correctly, did not appropriately disburse 300 million dollars of it.
    Perhaps the reason might have been that some of the funding would have gone to the care of illegal immigrant kids. (Whose parents do pay property taxes indirectly as rent, and, likely Federal taxes as well for many or most of them. Here is my question.
    Since the Federal directives THIS TIME, as to the dedicated usage of the 550 million would require that the coverage be “expanded” (to the dislike and disapproval of some in Texas State leadership), then, might the reasoning for that (as “no strings attached”) not allow the same leadership to not disburse a same enormous quantity of millions, as I understand it, (which I have not heard that the first 300 million had ever really been publicly accounted for yet), that, what other function would the first 300 million have been used for, and, what would part of the 550 million pending offer from the Federal Government be used for?
    While I currently think that it is most certainly *******NOT****** related (but do not rule it out either), that, why, all of a sudden, would there be a Texas Conservative leader be asked to be a fundraiser for national gubernatorial elections, if I understand the recent news stories here in Texas correctly?
    You see, Dr. Roger, you are getting the bad deal (if you are in Texas) primarily not from the people who never pay you, but from the conservative politics (conversion-reactions): the bs, that gets promoted as “socialized medicine”. If “socialized medicine” does come about, the fist time a conservative political leader finds that he is not getting adequate treatment, believe me, he will work diligently fix it. (The other bs argument is that “you won’t be able to see a specialist”. Well, for something that can certainly wait, so what?
    You are unfairly being made the political football here, and, unfortunately, all the brainwash that hits the airwaves (much of which keeps us in these impractical/unguided/underregulated messes in the first place) to preserve the status-quo of the wealthy and powerful, some of whom are children-haters it seems to me.
    Does “no strings attached” as to the discretionary usage of any part of that 550 million dollars mean that some of it can go to an offshore-office of some “care” corporation, get “untraceable”, so that when the next gubernatorial races come to us shortly, we can count on “offshore swiftboat attacks” funded from who knows where? IMO.
    I’m really outraged that you are so underpaid for your hard work!!
    From what I read of your persuasions, your perceived political friends are more likely your financial enemies. And, I still think they are an unChristian lot, as well as an abomination.
    Dan Petit Austin TX


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    Nixon

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:17 pm)

    #162 CaptJackSparrow

    “I wonder what the Blue Oval Ford is thinking right now?”

    Ford is thinking “God, I hope if GM goes down, or goes into bankruptcy, that they don’t take down all of the parts suppliers down with them.” Since all the US car builders share a number of common suppliers, Ford could very well be pulled down if GM goes down.

    If Ford’s suppliers don’t get paid by GM, they could fold. Which could leave Ford’s assembly lines at a standstill even if all they are missing is a few dozen parts.

    Same goes for dodge and toyota plants.


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    Edwin Mang

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:19 pm)

    Lear , Boeing , Jetstreem , Mooney , Beech , Piper , McDonald-Douglas , Areostar , Just a Few Aircraft corps that have or neerly had BANKRUPSEY . Have you stopped flying ? I have been in avation well at six I made my first attempted landing . For some reason the instructor thougt I needed to see the ground to land .
    Regulations I see about six new ones per month and I see a lot of big money people flying . What happens in avation does not bother them but tell them the guy that made their computer is bankrup , did their computer stop working no . Plus you can still get new aircraft .
    But wallstreet say regulation or bankrupsie , wow watch them run
    I call it feer of the known . Like watching a cartoon .
    As a aircraft inspector I enforce regulattions .
    Plus as they run I make money so just for the record I would like to say .

    BOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That ought to scare the hell in to them right ?


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    CDAVIS

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (8:45 pm)

    ______________________________________________________
    I’m a big fan of the VOLTEC Program. I hope GM makes it through all this muck.

    Will Ford cross the finish line as the proverbial tortoise in the EV/EREV race?

    [Ford’s vice president of powertrain product development Barb Samardzich sums up the move from hydrogen to electric in one statement, “With electrification, the technology continues to progress at a pretty aggressive rate. Same with hybrids and therefore, you start to spend more of our resources on those technologies.]
    Source: http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1019758_ford-commits-additional-funding-to-evs-downplays-fuel-cell-technology

    OR…will Tesla establish itself as the next “Google” car?

    [Google has their hands on what could be the most revolutionary vehicle of the millennium]
    Source: http://blogs.computerworld.com/could_the_tesla_model_s_become_the_google_car

    Hopefully several winners, including GM VOLTEC, will emerge from the EV/EREV Revolution.
    ______________________________________________________
    Electric Cars + Nuclear Energy = American Energy Independence!
    ______________________________________________________


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:15 pm)

    60 days more for negotiations followed by 30 days for a quick BK.

    Excellent! I’ve got 90 days to deliver as many 2010 Camaros before Obama hits the flush handle on GM and Chevrolet.

    Can you imagine how much the “very last Chevy Camaro” to come off the assembly line is going to be worth? Who will be the lucky person to get that one?


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    statik

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:24 pm)

    #201 CorvetteGuy said:

    Can you imagine how much the “very last Chevy Camaro” to come off the assembly line is going to be worth? Who will be the lucky person to get that one?
    =================

    Hrm….I’d guess it would go to the US Treasury…who would then auction it off to pay off some of their ‘loans’

    /Geithner would look pretty cool driving up in one of those for his weekly ‘getting grilled by Congress’ sessions


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    Kenny

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (9:29 pm)

    #200 CDAVIS

    The Tesla S is definitely the “Google car”. I always have to be the cool guy on the block. What could be cooler than that? I think I’ll go to tesla.com and put a deposit.


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    koz

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:03 pm)

    Dave G #155

    Sounds like the administration is confident they have determined a way to structure a bankruptcy that allows GM to dip in and out of bankruptcy. Either this or they are doing an excellent job pretending they have. Much better chance of succeeding this way than saying bankruptcy is not an accepatable option while threatening it like they did last year.


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    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:11 pm)

    #200 CDAVIS Says: Will Ford cross the finish line as the proverbial tortoise in the EV/EREV race?

    [Ford’s vice president of powertrain product development Barb Samardzich sums up the move from hydrogen to electric in one statement, “With electrification, the technology continues to progress at a pretty aggressive rate. Same with hybrids and therefore, you start to spend more of our resources on those technologies.]
    Source: http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1019758_ford-commits-additional-funding-to-evs-downplays-fuel-cell-technology

    ————————————————————————————–
    Thanks for the link. This could be huge.

    During the Senate bailout hearings, Ford’s CEO said they would not pursue plug-ins anytime soon, but rather concentrate on making gas engine cars more efficient.

    But now with this article, it seems Ford has seen the light, and realized that:
    1) Fuel cells are a big waste of engineering time that could be used for something else.
    2) Plug-ins are more economically viable than they thought.

    The best part of the article is where Ford echoes what Ulf Bossel has been saying all along:
    “We’ve clearly demonstrated the viability of hydrogen fuel cells as a propulsion system, but not as a business equation…”

    Or as Ulf Bossel says: “Hydrogen can never compete with its own fuel source.”

    So thank god we have one less car company pi$$ing away money on fool sells…


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    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:15 pm)

    #204 koz Says: Sounds like the administration is confident they have determined a way to structure a bankruptcy that allows GM to dip in and out of bankruptcy.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Or more accurately, the administration is confident they can determine the best way to structure the bankruptcy in the next 60 days. In other words, the 60 days is not just for GM’s stakeholders…


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    solo

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:16 pm)

    I’m beginning to think Government backed Ch11 would have been a lot cheaper for the taxpayers on January 21. 60 MORE days isn’t going to change much other than a finalized Chrysler and Fiat joint partnership.

    As far as Chrysler is concerned. I don’t see the Fiat deal helping them in the short term. They still have proportionally as much debt as GM and the new dago products (my wife is Italian and is watching me type!) will not show up for at least a year.

    P.S. My wife just informed me I’m sleeping on the couch, NOOO since of humor.


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    Dave G

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (10:28 pm)

    #186 Cautious Fan Says: WSJ says Barack favors the bankruptcy option. If can actually pull the trigger, he’ll gain a lot of respect in my eyes.
    ————————————————————————————–
    The way I see it, Obama has already pulled the trigger. It will take around 60 days for Obama’s team to figure out the details of a structured bankruptcy. In the mean time, if GM and its stakeholders can get their act together, then the administration will listen. But I believe Obama is proceeding on the assumption that GM and its stakeholders will never work out a realistic compromise by themselves.


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    Edwin Mang

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:17 pm)

    I do not know that bankrupsy is the final answer but the board it seems could not get it into the union’s mind that it may be out of their hands and could happen .
    How so ever it is not an end but rather a new beginning as the object of bankrupsy is to repair not to eliminate .
    It has worked in avation and those companys are surviving in this slow down because they used it when it was needed .
    The loan company that has gone through it on wallstreet is in better shape than AIG .
    Mr. Wagoner gone ?
    The future is not ours to see . But to shape .

    God Bless
    From Tiger


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    Edwin Mang

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:21 pm)

    Hope shapes the future .

    Fear destroyes the present .

    Live in Hope not fear .


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    kent beuchert

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:37 pm)

    Here’s an idea – GM goes hapter 11 and renounces any and all debt, including the money lent by the Feds. Ho, ho, ho. Take that,
    brainless Barracko


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    Darius

     

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    Mar 31st, 2009 (4:22 am)

    I would advice to Obama instead of firing CEO’s think about real things – fuel tax, fossil fuel tax and things which can really spur „green“ and sustainable economy. Today’s incentives including tax credit for the electric cars and hybrids look more like money wasting and short sighted measures.


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    CS Guy

     

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    Mar 31st, 2009 (10:59 am)

    Reading all the union bashing posts on this site is a real eye opener. As are the posts from people eager to see a company fail (whether it be Tesla, Fisker, EEStor, or GM, etc., it’s all been said here on this site). Everyone seems to hate unions because they get “too many benefits.” Too many benefits?!?

    This tells me that the big corporations and the rich have already won. We’re each so busy trying to get ahead of the other guy for the short run no matter the cost or long term outcome. We’re focused on getting over the next guy, back stabbing, back biting, conniving, scheming, lying to get ahead. As long as we get ahead (or think that we might), no problem. In the end we all lose.

    Guess who wins when the middle class and the poor are too busy fighting amongst themselves to notice the goings on at the top? The wealthy have enjoyed the last 20 years of un-earned super profits and rise in their incomes. Meanwhile the rest of us have been working harder, longer hours and for what? Our incomes have been either flat or have gone down (adjusted for inflation) over the past 20 years.

    Look at Bernie Madoff’s riches and his lifestyle worth billions. Look at Aaron Spelling’s 150 million dollar home (one of many I am sure). Look at the wall street fat cats griping about maybe having to pay for some poor schmuck’s mortgage, meanwhile they own a fabulous vacation home in the Hamptons. Why don’t you find out how the bosses at your company live? How much does their house cost, where do they go on vacation each year? You are paying for their lavish lifestyles with the sweat of your back and when you get injured or burnt out and can’t keep up the murderous pace they set for all the drones YOU ARE OUT! They are still rich, rich, RICH!

    What has allowed all this? The type of person who writes these posts I describe above is directly involved and the rest of us who do nothing to change the rotten system are too.

    It’s time for us to change. Work together for OUR common cause and stop being a tool for the rich and powerful. Stop letting them pull your strings. We are unstoppable if we act together, in our own common interests. United we stand – divided we FALL.


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    ralph

     

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    Apr 13th, 2009 (4:51 am)

    To Rick Wagner, Perhaps if you’d kept the level of american workers and suppiers at the 1999 level, instead of abroad the american people and their government would have stood behind you. You screwed the american worker, and we take no pity on you now. Did you think we’d forget. Tell the new guy to go ask the other governments where your parts are produced and then shipped to the US for some help. You aren’t getting anymore of my tax dollars. Your greed lead you to this day. Thank you for the opportunity to screw you back!


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    CharlesC

     

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    May 16th, 2009 (8:34 pm)

    People face it, these are hard times. Soon the Buick’s will be here, only to be made in China. Little glitch that GM through in the picture late. Think of it thins way, Bush borrowed the 1.6 trillion dollars from mainly China. GM gets a bailout from” we the people” to restructure and create a better fuel efficient car. GM decides to unveil the PUMA( two person electric wheelchair). My God, they are geniuses… So maybe not. And of course, GM decides to file bankruptcy after all and buy Chinese made cars( well it is easier on us poor American with no work because of GM). But GM spends the 15 billion dollars to buy from China whom origanally gave us the bailout money in the first place. We might as well become Chinese.


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    henry

     

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    May 29th, 2009 (9:29 pm)

    that is gm going to do any thing to stay in buisness? will they might get out of bank rupt? is anyone helping gm to get out of bank rupt?