Stop The Auto Industry Bailout – Pay Offs To The “Detroit 3” At Expense of Taxpayers

They are calling this bailout the “Auto Industry Bailout” to mislead you. The “bailout” is targeting the “Detroit 3” and won’t help any of the other “American” Auto Companies. The Wall Street Journal refers to the “Detroit 3” as the “Old Auto Industry”.                                                                                                            http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122608860916209213.html?mod=article-outset-box

The “Old Auto Industry”, GM, Ford & Chrysler currently have a “market value” of about $9.2 Billion Dollars. They have already been given 25 Billion Dollars in “bailouts” to “re-tool” to make more “Green Agenda Friendly” vehilces. The $25 Billion is currently tied up in the Energy Committee in Congress. That “bailout” alone is worth 2 1/2 times the current market value of the combined companies. The “New American Auto” industry is operating at a profit, pays its employees as much as or more than the “Detroit 3” and needs no “bailout” to produce autos that obtain top gas mileage and fit the “green agenda” without Government subsidy. By the year 2010, the “New American Auto Industry” will employee more individuals than the “Old Detroit 3” even if the “3” are given additional  bailouts ……. The “Detroit 3′ produces 1/2 of 1% of our Gross National Product, so does the “New Auto Industry” – combined they account for just over 1% of the GNP. Gone are the days of the 1950’s when the “Auto Industry” accounted for 15% of the US economy. ………….  

The Government may want to consider buying the ‘Detroit 3″ for $10 Billion and then giving the Companies (minus existing UAW, Executives or Suppliers contracts) to Toyota with an extra $10 Billion in cash and have Toyota take over the management of the “Detroit 3”. By doing so the Government would put in place a Management Team that has a demonstrable track record, a proven knoweldge of the 21st century Auto Industry, has increased its marketshare for 25 years and has increased its annual profit growth for an over a decade, and has the respect of consumers the world over. While doing all this the Government would also save $5 Billion off the original “Bailout” money (authorized just last month). I’m only half kidding with this suggestion ….. READ ON  

Millions In Auto Bonuses While Singin The Bailout Blues

Secondly, to imply that GM, Ford & Chrysler LLC, are the “American” Auto Industry is disingenous. With global investing GM, Ford & Chrysler are no more American than Honda, Toyota or Hundai. Any American can invest in the ”New American Auto” Industry as the Wall Street Journal calls it – but Americans cannot invest in Chrysler LLC – it is a privately owned company and no one knows who actually “owns” Chrysler LLC because Cerebus Capital Management’s ownership is a closely guarded secret. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122608860916209213.html?mod=article-outset-box

The largest investors in GM and Ford are Capital Management firms, hedge funds and Mutual Funds. There is no way to determine whether the individuals who have invested in those firms are “American” or from “Communist China”. Communist China controls a significant interests in many of the remaining “American” banks and investment firms.                                                             http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/china-invests-3-bln-blackstone/story.aspx?guid={C8B110EC-2538-4461-97C8-0FD7F1CAEF15}&dist=hplatest            http://english.pravda.ru/business/103399-Citigroup-0                                            http://forbes.ccbn.com/conferencedetail.asp?client=forbes&event=1988907

Why do writers insist on calling these companies “American”. We don’t know who owns the stock or who the investors are. As for GM and Ford, either could be bought by a foreign corporation tomorrow the same way Chrysler was purchased, first by Daimler then by Cerebus. 

CHRYSLER LLC – CEREBUS Capital Management

Chrysler is owned by a private equity company – CEREBUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT – Cerebus is named after the mythical three headed dog that guards the gates of hell  http://www.hoovers.com/cerberus-capital-management/–ID__112328–/free-co-factsheet.xhtml?cm_ven=PAID&cm_cat=INK&cm_pla=CO1&cm_ite=cerberus-capital-management )

Cerebus is a private capital investment firm that owns shares in companies all over the world. Cerebus was formed in 1992. It has its own bank, a Japanese Bank not an “American” bank, named Aozora.

Cerebus’ Chairman is none other than former Vice-President Dan Quayle. http://www.vicepresidentdanquayle.com/biography.html

But who owns Cerebus – no one knows – it is a “private” and “unregulated” company. “It has come to this. A firm that made its name, and its fortune, feeding off companies in their death throes is demanding a government bailout.” http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2008/11/07/f-pittis-economy.html 

No one knows if Cerebus is anymore of an American Company than Daimler was or the China Investmant bank is.          http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/244378/cerberus_buys_chrysler.html                 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Investment_Bank                                             http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Construction_Bank                                             http://swfinstitute.org/fund/cic.php                                                      http://www.skadden.com/index.cfm?contentID=47&practiceID=33

The US government can’t own shares in Chrysler LLC and the Cerebus Investors have extremely limited liability for any bailout money we put in their pockets, “Chrysler is 81% owned by Cerebus Capital Management and 19% by Daimler AG. It is not a public company and you cannot buy or sell its stock. (It was a public company until last year when Daimler sold most of Chrysler to Cerebus.) An LLC is a corporate structure that limits the liability of its stockholders, similarly to a corporation.” http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/r-answers-a-20080114050334AA9ZyJk-k-stock+trade

Cerberus is headquartered in New York City with affiliate and/or advisory offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Baarn, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Osaka and Taipei. http://www.cerberuscapital.com/about_comp_prof.html

Cerebus was described this way, “Cerberus Capital Management is the very real private equity firm — one of the bidders in play for the Chrysler Group — that guards the privacy of its dealings almost as jealously. USA Today takes a look at the firm and reveals a company with a “fierce reputation” and “a combative, take-no-prisoners style.”The list of companies that are either owned by Cerebus or which the company has majority stakes include: Alamo and National rental car, Fila, Blue Bird yellow buses, Rafaella clothing, GMAC, Aegis Mortgage, auto suppliers CTA Acoustics and GDX Automotive, Remington Arms, Bell Canada, Tower Automotive, banks, mortgage companies, and property managers.” When it bought Chrylser, Cerberus instantly doubled its annual revenue, but revenue isn’t the prime concern for private equity firms — return on investment is. The issue is that no one knows how Cerberus would go about increasing return from Chrysler.” http://www.autoblog.com/2007/04/16/rare-info-on-chrylser-bidder-cerberus-reveals-a-fierce-reputati/                                                                                            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/14/AR2007081401913.html     http://www.bcwf.bc.ca/documents/s=393/bcw1176303661611/  http://www.forbes.com/business/feeds/afx/2007/05/17/afx3731793.html           http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerberus_Capital_Management   http://iht.com/articles/ap/2007/03/29/business/NA-FIN-COM-US-Tower-Automotive-Bankruptcy.php                                                                                      http://www.cerberuscapital.com/

Now we know how they plan on increasing the return – a taxpayer subsidized bailout. “The UAW and the Canadian Auto Workers have publicly opposed the sale of Chrysler “to Cerebus or any other private equity group.” http://www.autoblog.com/2007/04/16/rare-info-on-chrylser-bidder-cerberus-reveals-a-fierce-reputati/
In 1984 Chrysler employed approximately 80,000 workers. (1984-09-01, Chrysler Corp. completed its 4-year employee stock ownership plan by distributing 1,661,691 shares of common stock to more than 80,000 employees, including 63,000 members of the United Auto Workers union.) http://resources.bnet.com/topic/chrysler+llc+and+stock.html
In October 2008 it was estimated that Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep combined employed 49,000.        http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=Ak0_ss1oGMILRC6Sai7xc3KmN3wV?p=Chrysler+LLC+Employees+2008&fr=att-portal&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8
http://www.sullcrom.com/offices/detail.aspx?office=3                                     http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2008-07/17/content_6854442.htm                         http://www.ml.com/index.asp?id=7695_7696_8149_8688_8558_6274
Chrysler is only a very small piece of the Cerebus pie. Why should the American taxpayers “bailout” a huge, private, mulitnational firm with hundreds of Billions of dollars in assests and dozens of companies under its control?
Cerebus would like to sell Chrysler, but Chrysler is so dysfunctional Cerebus cannot find a buyer.  If Chrysler is a bad bet for Daimler and Cerebus, it is a bad bet for the US taxpayer.
General Motors Corporation
For those who argue GM is the victim of a sudden economic downturn, let me remind you that GM’s largest individual shareholder at the time. Kirk Kerkorian, was reported to have said this in January 2006. “General Motors Corp must cut its dividend, executive salaries and brand structure if it hopes to return to profitability”. Jerry York, an adviser to investor Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp, said GM is currently burning through 24 mln usd per day, Agence France-Presse reported. He said the automaker must change its mindset to operate in ‘crisis mode’ and recognize the challenges it faces in the coming months. But unlike a number of analysts who have warned that GM is at risk of bankruptcy, York expressed confidence in the automaker’s ability to create shareholder value even after its shares fell more than 50 pct in the past year.
Lets see; near bankruptcy, lost 50% of stock value in the last year, “must act in crisis mode”, and this situation wasn’t new in January 2006, GM had been facing the same issues for at least 8 years running. In November 2006 Kerkorian sold his GM stock, see below.  
As to General Motors, which is in business with Cerebus as joint owners of GMAC – what are they doing to improve their economic performance – stripping out their valuable subsidiaries and setting them up as private companies, “GMAC, the money-losing finance company, sold a reinsurance business to Maiden Holdings Ltd and plans to sell two insurance units to the Bermuda-based company, to bolster capital and add liquidity. Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP owns 51 percent of Detroit-based GMAC, while General Motors Corp owns 49 percent.” http://blog.pennlive.com/leftcoast/2008/11/chrysler_death_watch_week_thre.html
Who is running “Maiden Holdings” – former GMAC executives. The same Executives who led to these types of problems, “GMAC is shedding profitable assets after suffering $7.2 billion of losses in the seven quarters ended June 30. The lender has been hurt by soaring credit losses at its Residential Capital LLC mortgage unit and by write-down of leases on sport-utility vehicles that drivers no longer want. GMAC’s credit ratings have fallen deep into junk status.” http://blog.pennlive.com/leftcoast/2008/11/chrysler_death_watch_week_thre.html
Who owns GM? Just two years ago Renault & Nissan offerred to buy a “significant minority interest in the carmaker. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13630565/ Kurt Kerkorian, the Billionare American Investor, who owned 9.9% of GM through his Tracinda Corporation publicly favored the partnership. GM would not consumate the deal. In November 2006 Kerkorian announced he would sell 14 Million shares in GM, in a “private transaction”, at $33 per share. Later that month, Kerkorian “dumped” his remaining GM shares at $28.75 per share.
It was reported that Bank of America purchased the stock. It was unknown if Bank of America retained the shares (9.9% of GM) or re-sold them. Morgan Stanley owned 5% of GM in 2006. Morgan Stanley and Bank of America were, in turn, partially owned by the China Investment bank.  http://www.thestreet.com/stocks/automakers/10268781.html 
Three months prior to Kerkorian dumping his GM stock in November 2006, two other “Investment Firms” dumped GM stock in August 2006. The news reports stated, ”Two Major Investors Sell Blocks of GM Shares”, “California-based investment firms that rank as the second-and third-largest institutional investors in General Motors Corp. have sold big blocks of the automaker’s stock, according to regulatory filings. Capital Research & Management Co. of Los Angeles, GM’s second-largest investor, sold 19.2 million shares, or 24% of its holdings in the company, according to second-quarter reports filed this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company’s third-largest investor, Brandes Investment  Partners of San Diego, sold 2.4 million shares, or 4% of its holdings. Neither company would comment, saying they do not discuss their investments.” http://articles.latimes.com/2006/aug/17/business/fi-gmstake17
These firms also guard the identity of those who control the money they are investing. This article went on to note that, ”Credit Suisse bought 11.5 million shares to become the sixth-largest investor in GM” at that time.  Credit Suisse is a Swiss Bank/Holding Company.    http://articles.latimes.com/2006/aug/17/business/fi-gmstake17   
The point is, there is no way to tell who “owns” GM. Many of the shares are “held” by Banks, Investment Firms, Hedge Funds and Capital Management firms, but “who” owns the money invested by those firms is unknown. Investors from all over the globe are free to deposit their money with these firms.
If GM is a bad bet for Kirk Kerkorian and the International Investment Community, it is a bad bet for the American taxpayer. 
  
GM, the largest of the “Detroit 3″ may employ as many as 123,000 or as few as 74,000 at present.  Analyst state GM needs to downsize by half. (Retaining 40,000 to 60,000 workers). Optomistic analysts report GM has already reduced its headcount to 74,000 after announcing 4 more plant closing and the elimination of an additional 10,000 workers in June 2008.
These cuts follow 30,000 job cuts in 2005, http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/21/news/fortune500/gm_cuts/
34,000 jobs in 2006,
and 30,000 more in 2007. In February 2008, after posting a $38 Billion Loss, Business Net noted the 2007 job cuts and stated, “After cutting more than 30,000 employees in the last round of restructuring, GM is now offering buy-outs to all 74,000 staff.”
During this same time period, “foreign automakers have built or announced plans to build five U.S. assembly plants, he said. In 2007, foreign auto companies employed 113,000 people in the U.S., a number McAlinden projects will rise to 152,000 by 2011.”   http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24947044
International Financial analysts have stated that GM’s future, even given a “bailout” looks bleak,  ”An analyst forecast their price would fall to zero, saying that even if there is a government bailout of the auto giant, shareholders would not benefit. “We are lowering our target on GM equity to zero dollars,” the Deutsche Bank report said. “Even if GM succeeds in averting a bankruptcy, we believe that the company’s future path is likely to be bankruptcy-like,” it said.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081110/bs_afp/stocksusautocompanygm
Ford Motor Company
“Financier Kirk Kerkorian is pulling out of the stake he took in Ford Motor Co. just six months ago, selling 7.3 million shares at a fraction of his purchase price.” “Kerkorian announced in April that he had bought 100 million shares for an average price of $6.91. He then announced a tender offer under which he paid $8.50 a share for an additional 20 million shares. In addition he bought another 22.3 million shares between late April and mid-June at an average price of $6.54 a share, giving his total investment an average price of just over $7 a share.” “I don’t know if Ford’s North American operations are even going to profitable by 2010,” said Kevin Tynan, auto analyst with Argus Research.

Kerkorian sold his shares for a little more than $2 a piece, losing almost $5 a share and taking a Billion Dollar plus loss. If Kerkorian was willing to take a Billion Dollar loss to get rid of his Ford shares, why is Ford a good bet for American taxpayers?

Art Hogan, chief investment strategist at Jefferies & Co., said that Kerkorian signalling that he wants out of the auto industry is yet another nail in the industry’s prospects in the eyes of investors.”Do you need a good excuse to pull out of Ford? What you need is an excuse for getting in in the first place,” said Hogan. “It’s been in demise for a decade.” http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/21/news/companies/ford_kerkorian/index.htm?eref=rss_topstories

“GM, Ford stock sell-off contributes to Dow’s drop”, GM lost half of its value — or $2.7 billion — and Ford has lost 60 percent, or $7 billion. [The combined value of the Detroit 3 is estimated at 9.2 Billion, $2.7 Billion for GM, $4.7 Billion for Ford, 1.8 Billion for Chrysler]              http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081010/AUTO01/810100386&imw=Y

“Ford to sell $500m in new stock”, In an effort to secure more capital and reduce debt, Ford plans to sell $500m in new stock. Ford will use the cash infusion to buy bonds from Ford Motor Credit, which has been strugling with the slow economy and nation-wide credit crunch. Goldman Sachs is handling the stock sale, and Ford has given no timetable for when the stocks will enter the market. Ford has already exchanged debt for equity to the tune of $927m in the past year. With shares of Ford stock at under $5 per share right now, anybody can own a share of the Blue Oval for the price of a value meal.” http://www.autoblog.com/2008/08/15/ford-to-sell-500m-in-new-stock/  

Unfortunately, there were no takers, the International Investment Community is just not interested.  

In September Ford announced plans to close nine plants by 2008 and another seven plants after that, more than half of its U.S. hourly employees recently agreed to take one of the various packages to leave the company in the coming months.

PLANT CLOSINGS & LAYOFFS –

The New York Times reported, “Highly Rated Auto Plants Set to Close”, Some of the most productive automobile factories, as rated by an influential study released Thursday, are closing down or losing large numbers of jobs in the motor industry’s upheaval. “Among the factories scheduled to close are a General Motors minivan plant in Doraville, Ga., and the Ford Motor Company’s midsize pickup truck plant in St. Paul, both of which ranked first in their segments in this year’s Harbour Report on automotive productivity. The top-rated full-size pickup plant, a Ford factory in Norfolk, Va., closed a year ago, showing that even the best-run plants are not immune to cuts. Two of the top three large S.U.V. plants are closing, as is the second-ranked midsize S.U.V. plant. The plant that ranked fourth over all, where Chrysler builds compact cars and crossovers in Belvidere, Ill., recently lost one of its three shifts. G.M.’s plant in Orion Township, Mich., ranked last in the midsize-car segment, taking 65 percent longer to build each vehicle than the top performer, while its plant in Moraine, Ohio, ranked second in midsize S.U.V.’s. But this week G.M. said it would add a third shift in Orion and close the Moraine factory.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/06/business/06auto.html

Plant closings are negotiated with the UAW.

SINGING THE BAILOUT BLUES – BONUS CHECK IN HAND

Ford Motor Company Happy With Profit                                                                Australian News.Net
Friday 25th April, 2008                                                                                      
The Ford Motor Company in the US has posted a US$100 million profit for the period from January to April. Most companies reported losses for the first quarter of 2008 due to the economic slump and the subprime mortgage crisis, but Ford has attributed its success to its job reduction scheme in North America and triple earnings in Europe. http://www.australiannews.net/story/352149

 

Chrysler leaders get millions                                                                  Automaker defends payouts amid looming bailout talks                                      As Detroit’s crumbling auto industry asks Congress for a bailout, Chrysler is in the awkward position of paying about $30 million in retention bonuses to keep top executives while the company cuts thousands of jobs.

http://www.freep.com/article/20081113/BUSINESS01/311130002/1014

HEAD OF FORD DEFENDS BONUS

DEARBORN, Mich., May 4 – Philip Caldwell, the chairman of the Ford Motor Company, today defended the large bonuses paid to auto executives last year …..

AN IMAGE PROBLEM FOR DETROIT

To some people, the decision of General Motors and Ford, the two largest automobile makers, to pay record bonuses to their executives while enjoying protection

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/ford_motor_company/index.html?s=oldest&&query=BONUSES&field=des&match=exact

More UAW workers bankrupt                                                                                                     Autoworkers who used to thrive on overtime now find it tough to keep up their lifestyles. Oscar Gray achieved the good life during 28 years of hard work at Delphi Corporation — a six-figure income, a nice home in Holly and two vehicles. But as Michigan’s auto industry tanked in recent years, the forklift operator lost huge amounts of overtime pay and gradually sank into financial ruin. Saddled with $469,000 in debt, he declared bankruptcy last month. Gray didn’t lose his job. His health isn’t failing, and he is not going through a divorce — the typical reasons many declare bankruptcy. Gray has been losing overtime. His gross pay was cut $16,000 one year, sliding to $87,000, and may dip again …. Despite the loss of time-and-a-half pay, some Michigan autoworkers continue to live large. Many bankrupt autoworkers own two homes — one is usually up north — which means multiple mortgages. Most have two or more cars and sometimes a boat or snowmobile payment, according to information culled from cases filed by autoworkers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Michigan. http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0509/18/A01-318432.htm

At the time this article was written, the median annual income (half above/half below) in Michigan was just under $40,000. The article doesn’t address the increases in Michigan’s personal and property tax rates that now make ownership of two homes extremely difficult ….. not only overtime been cut, but taxes on both income, sales and property taxes on homes have gone up. Michigan’s tax rates are not “consumer” or “business” friendly – rather than address those issues the proposed solution from the Michigan Politicans is for the rest of the Country to come up with a “Public Bailout” ………..   

Ford workers get $733M in profit-sharing checks. http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2001-03-07-ford-profit-sharing.htm

DETROIT, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co., is considering paying bonuses to managers for 2006, despite record losses and massive job cuts. Ford reported a record loss of $12.7 billion for 2006, during which its U.S. sales fell 8 percent and it announced plans to close 16 plants and cut over 40,000 jobs in a bid to restore profitability to its North American operations by 2009. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2528789420070125

Apparently, absenteeism at GM’s North American plants is such a huge issue that the automaker has to offer more than just a paycheck to get workers to show up. The new labor contract the General signed with the UAW includes an incentive for workers that go a full year without missing a day. Their reward is to be entered into a drawing that gives five lucky employees $15,000 to put towards a new GM car or truck. While the idea of offering an incentive for employees to do their job might be a surprise to the rest of us working stiffs, the auto industry’s hourly workforce has one of the highest annual absenteeism rates in the U.S. A 2004 study showed that about 10-percent of workers aren’t manning their positions during any one point in the year – three-times higher than other industries. Naturally, this has a massive effect on labor costs and quality control. http://www.autoblog.com/2007/11/12/do-your-job-at-gm-win-cash-for-a-car

“New” Auto Industry Plants Pay More Than “Detroit 3″ –

UAW Losing Pay Edge: Foreign Automakers’ Bonuses Boost Wages in U.S. Plants as Detroit Car Companies Struggle – February 1, 2007 – The UAW is losing its edge in pay compared with non-unionized U.S. assembly plant workers for foreign companies, even as Detroit automakers aim for deeper benefit cuts to trim their losses. Workers for a foreign automaker for the first time averaged more in base pay and bonuses than UAW members working for domestic automakers, according to an economist for the Center for Automotive Research and figures supplied to the Free Press by auto companies. Toyota Motor Corp. gave workers at its largest U.S. plant bonuses of $6,000 to $8,000. Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. are not far behind Toyota and UAW pay levels. Comparable wages have long been one way foreign companies fight off UAW organizing efforts. http://www.aftermarketnews.com/Item/28594/uaw_losing_pay_edge_foreign_automakers_ bonuses_boost_wages_in_us_plants_as_detroit_car_companies_struggle.aspx

DETROIT 3 – CONDITIONS NO WORSE FOR THEM THAN ANY OTHER COMPANY

You may have read this headline, “Citigroup to cut another 53,000 jobs”, “The company said total headcount is being reduced by 20 percent from its peak of 375,000 at the end of 2007; the company had already announced in October that it was eliminating about 22,000 jobs from those levels. The total workforce reductions include thousands of jobs that will be lost when Citigroup completes the sale of Citi Global Services and its German retail banking business.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081117/ap_on_bi_ge/citigroup_jobs;_ylt=AvI.vrNuJO1e5AeczxKJB2Ks0NUE

Even after making these horrendous cuts, Citi will still employ 1 1/2 times the number of employees currently under contract to all of the “Detroit 3″ combined. After the cuts Citi will employ approximately 325,000 to approximately 200,000 employees at the “Detroit 3″.

The Detroit 3 are not the only companies dealing with the economic slowdown, all business and all employers are forced to deal with this economy.

Throwing good money after bad at the Detroit 3 is no solution. The “Detroit 3″ only accounts for 1/2 of 1 percent of the Gross National Product, slightly less than that produced by the “New Auto Industry Plants”.  The current combined “value” of the entire “Detroit 3″ is something under $10 Billion Dolllars. Prior to the election Congress passed a $25 Billion bailout targeted at “retooling” at the ‘Detroit 3″ and the production of “green agenda autos”. That money is currently tied up in the Energy Committee in Congress. Detroit is now asking for an additional $50 Billion Dollars for a  total of a $75 Billion handout. $75 Billion is 7 1/2 times the current value of three companies combined and is equal to a payment of $375,000 for every employee under contract to the “Detroit 3″.

From a business point of view this proposal makes no sense. If the proposal is passed, it will be the biggest political payoff in the history of the Country

Stop The Bailout Fiascos – The Plan Has Changed – The Promises Ignored

On September 29, 2008 the original “Bailout Bill” was defeated in the House of Representatives. After adding an amazing amount of additional spending the revised “bailout bill” passed four days later.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/10440683/1/sweetened-bailout-bill-sails-through-house.html

The Bailout was passed without “Congressional Hearings” because it was said that a “dire emergency” confronted the Nation and that Congress needed to purchase the “illiquid assets from the financial system” or as they were later called “The Toxic Mortgages” that may destroy the economy.

Now forgotten is the fact that a group of 400 internationally respected Economists warned the “Bailout” wouldn’t work. 

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/09/29/200-world-reknown-economists-speakout-against-bailout/  http://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/john.cochrane/research/Papers/mortgage_protest.htm http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95215972 

These economists warned that an entirely different approach was needed to truly free up the credit markets. ‘At this point I cannot identify a single good reason to do the bailout,’ said Dean Baker, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research. ‘Much of the country’s political and economic leadership has been running around raising the prospect of the Great Depression and a breakdown in the banking system,’ Baker said. ‘These stories are absolutely not true,’ he added. http://ipsnorthamerica.net/news.php?idnews=1729

Current “Bailout” activities maybe having the same affect as “pouring gasoline on a fire”.

What few American’s know, not all Banks supported the Bailout, “Nine of the largest U.S. banks were essentially arm-twisted last week into signing on for the first $125 billion in capital infusions.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081024/bs_nm/us_financial_usa_banks 

Note that “Capital Infusions” were forced on these Banks, the Banks did not sell “toxic mortgage debts” to the FED as advertised.

The Bailout has failed. Between October 4, 2008 and November 12, 2008 the Stock market has dropped 2000 of the 5000 points lost since November 2007. Forty percent of the economic dive has occurred in the 5 weeks since the “Bailout” was approved. (From 13,300 on 12/7/07 to 8,300 on 11/12/08)  

http://www.mahalo.com/Dow_Jones_Industrial_Average     http://www.nyse.tv/stocks/archive/2007_11_01_archive.htm                    http://money.cnn.com/data/premarket/  (DJIA 8313 at 7:15 Am  11/13/08)             http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/5882

You might recall a promise by Congress that the ‘Bailout” spending would be posted on-line, providing the Taxpaying Public complete transparency and the ability to track where our tax dollars were being spent. Not only have we not received “complete transparency”, but the American public is being denied even the most basic information on where the money is being spent.

http://www.openthegovernment.org/article/articleview/342/1/115/?TopicID=  

One article noted, “The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn’t require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.”                                                                        

http://josh-of-arc.newsvine.com/_news/2008/11/12/2104122-fed-loans-2-trillion-but-wont-say-to-who

In other words, the Congress and the Administration are not implementing any of the “protections” they promised the public for their tax dollars.

BLOOMBERG.COM describes it this way, “Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Disclose”,  The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn’t require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.                                                    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ahdVHk_Ccoeg&refer=home 

 

In addition, few in the American Public realize the “Bailout” money is being used to pay for items never approved by Congress and vehemently opposed by nearly all of the American public during the pre-vote debate. A recent article titled, “Bail-Outrage: Misuse of Funds, Lack of Transparency a National Disgrace”, noted, “Many Americans are understandably outraged by the bailout fever that has gripped Washington this year. But even those who believe the bailouts are a “necessary evil” would have a hard time defending some of the bailout-related items that have come to light in recent days, including:

  • Financial institutions using TARP bailout money to pay executive bonuses. The firms, of course, say it’s “different” money and bonuses are key to retaining top employees. But if you need to come to the government for a handout, shouldn’t your executives forgo a bonus? Or shouldn’t the government make canceling bonuses a condition of getting aid, as is the case in Europe?
  • The Fed refusing to reveal who received almost $2 trillion in non-TARP loans, or what collateral it has accepted from “emergency” loans made to struggling firms, as Bloomberg reports.
  • The Treasury Department providing a tax break to banks involved in acquisitions that could amount to $140 billion. The Washington Post reveals the change to the tax code was issued on Sept. 30, while Congress was debating the $700 billion TARP bill.

The bailouts are bad enough. But this kind of chicanery and lack of transparency makes me recall a line from another time when fear and deceit dominated Washington: Have they no shame, at long last?

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/125352/Bail-Outrage-Misuse-of-Funds-Lack-of-Transparency-a-National-Disgrace?tickers=GS,MS,JPM,BAC,C,WFC,XLF             

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=249779

The only relief seen by the American public has come from private efforts made by the Mortgage Companies. An example is the recent announcements made by Citigroup, “Citigroup to Modify Terms for U.S. Mortgages” as reported by the Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122636776229916053.html 

Citigroup’s actions are unrelated to any bailout activity. Why is Citigroup doing this? Because it makes good business sense for Citigroup, that is why. “The push by the New York Company’s Citi-Mortgage unit marks the latest effort by a financial institution to help ailing homeowners, which also can help lenders reduce loan losses.” [In other words, Citigroup doesn’t lose money when homeowners can stay in their homes and make payments]. “The company ultimately expects to reach 500,000 customers whose mortgages it owns. Roughly 130,000 of those borrowers are likely to see a reduction in their monthly loan payments, Citi-Mortgage said.” Citigroup’s efforts have been matched by J.P. Morgan Chase & Bank of America. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122636776229916053.html

This is being done without the sale of “toxic debt” or “cash infusions”, it is being done by having the bank simply renegotiate its outstanding mortgages – it costs the taxpayer nothing

Contrary to what the public has been told, a very significant portion of Citigroup’s “bad mortgages” involve investment properties and not family residences. “Citi-Mortgage also is halting foreclosures for about 16,000 borrowers who are behind on their loan payments but are working with the company on a loan modification. About 10,000 of those borrowers live in their homes and are likely to get their mortgage terms reworked, while about 6,000 are investors, according to the company.” [Almost 40% of the mortgages in foreclosure are investment properties]. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122636776229916053.html

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Wednesday the $700 billion government rescue program will not be used to purchase troubled assets as originally planned …. He announced a new goal for the program to support financial markets, which supply consumer credit in such areas as credit card debt, auto loans and student loans……. The administration decided that using billions of dollars to buy troubled assets of financial institutions at the current time was “not the most effective way” to use the $700 billion bailout package, he said. ……. The announcement marked a major shift for the Administration which had talked only about purchasing troubled assets as it lobbied Congress to pass the massive bailout bill.”  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/financial_meltdown

The Author of this article is showing their political bias when the fail to mention the roll of the Democratic Congress in this mess. 

The Democratic Congress is “leading the charge” for making the modifications.

The fact that the original legislation only allowed for, “H. R. 1424 As Amended; A bill to provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets” is not being discussed. The current change in direction was not authorized by the “Bailout Vote”.

The Washington Post was just one of the publications to confirm these facts, “Urgently shifting course …….  abandoning the centerpiece of its massive $700 billion economic rescue plan and exploring new ways to shore up not only banks but credit-card, auto-loan and other huge nonbank businesses. Democrats are pressing hard to include a multibillion-dollar bailout for faltering automakers, too, over Administration objections. Unimpressed by any of the talk on Wednesday, Wall Street dove ever lower.” http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/12/paulson-says-troubled-assets-will-not-be-purchased/

So now the “Bailout” money will go to pay bonuses not just for Wall Street Executives but for overpaid UAW & Auto Industry Executives too. Whether “credit card”, “auto loans” or “student loans” should be included in the “original bailout” was discussed by Congress and the Senate just 5 weeks ago. After consideration, the Congress and the Senate rejected proposals to include those items, after being added to the Administrations original “Bailout Proposal” by Democrats in Congress, the items were deleted in an attempt to obtain the necessary Republican support in the House.  The items were added back in by the Democratic Senate. They were not authorized in the original legislation.      

The proposed bailouts to what the Wall Street Journal refers to as “The Old American Industry” will cost taxpayers $375,000 per employee. A $75 Billion Dollar “Bailout” of the “Old” American auto industry will not save it. Chrysler LLC is not even a publicly owned company. It is a privately owned company. So how do we know who will really get the money the Government is being asked to give to Chrysler?

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/stop-the-detroit-3-bailout-375000-cost-per-employee-to-taxpayers/ 

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/obama-granholm-pelosi-waxman-dingell-the-death-of-american-automobile-manufacturing/

Given all the falsehoods about the first “Bailout” package, how can anyone be sure that the money will get to where they say they will spend it.

As to GM, Duetsche Bank stated a “bailout” would be needed to avert a collapse of GM and that even if GM received “bailout funds” and  “… GM succeeds in averting a bankruptcy, we believe that the company’s future path is likely to be bankruptcy-like,” analyst Rod Lache said in a research note, essentially calling the company’s shares worthless with a price target of $0, reduced from $4.”  

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Deutsche-Bank-cuts-GM-sell/story.aspx?guid={CAFEF63F-017D-42E2-874A-14146A6D20A5}

As to Chrysler, it has been reported that, “In the Chrysler-like approach, potentially 98% of the  company’s equity would be transferred to the UAW, VEBA, existing GM debt holders and the government,” Barclays’ analysts noted. VEBA is short for Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, a trust set up for managing health-care benefits to be overseen by the United Auto Workers of America. That would leave little for shareholders.” http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Deutsche-Bank-cuts-GM-sell/story.aspx?guid={CAFEF63F-017D-42E2-874A-14146A6D20A5}

 

Without private investment, how many more “cash infusions” will taxpayers be asked to make to reward bad business management? 

 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis motor vehicles, bodies, trailers, and parts represented less than 1% of the country’s entire gross domestic production in 2007. One half of that total is attributable to the “New Auto Industry” that isn’t asking for a “Bailout” nor is the “New Auto Industry” part of “Bailout” discussions.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Deutsche-Bank-cuts-GM-sell/story.aspx?guid={CAFEF63F-017D-42E2-874A-14146A6D20A5} . 

 

We are talking about Billions in bailouts for the “Old Auto Industry” that is responsible for less than 1/2 a percent of the Country’s Gross National Production. That is simply a bad bet for American consumers and the taxpaying public.

   

How many billions more will Congress throw at a problem they don’t know how to fix. Isn’t it time to stop “throwing good money after bad”. 

Is it time for the American taxpayer to say NO. Contact your Congressperson and Senator and demand that they schedule the hearings we should have had in the first place. CONGRESS IS NOT KEEPING THEIR PROMISES ABOUT THE BAILOUT. WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS NOT WORKING. WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS MAKING THINGS WORSE WHILE RUNNING UP YOUR TAX BILL.

Contact Your Congressperson & Senators here: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home

One Click Access –you only need your “Zip Code” in the “Find Your Officials Tab”

Why isn’t the bailout working? Because the Government has done nothing to correct what caused the financial collapse. What caused the financial collapse? A change in lending rules that gave money to people who could not pay it back. The loans (car, credit card and home mortgages) were then packaged and sold as securities in America and around the world. Mortgages were written at 140% of the “inflated value” of the homes. Individuals were encouraged to “roll over” credit card debt, auto and student loans into their “mortgages”. Now that the “pyramid scheme” has collapsed the Government has done nothing to prevent it from happening again. NINJA & LIAR Loans are still the “law of the land”. Why won’t banks loan, why won’t investors buy the securities? They don’t want to get stuck with another group of “bad loans” or “bad investments”. The bailouts are simply rewarding the bad actors and preventing the tough but necessary changes we need to get the Country back on the right track.

WHERE WILL THIS ALL END – CONSIDER THIS

AIG’S NEW BAILOUT – November 10, 2008

The U.S. government reached a deal Sunday night to scrap its original $123 billion bailout of American International Group Inc. and replace it with a new $150 billion package, according to people familiar with the matter. Under the terms ironed out late Sunday, the government would give AIG more money, including $40 billion from the U.S. Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. The $150 billion in government aid consists of a $60 billion loan, a $40 billion preferred-stock investment and $50 billion in capital.  

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122627437470412029.html 

AND THIS

City Council: Detroit needs $10-billion bailout

 

The Detroit City Council passed a resolution today calling for a $10-billion bailout for the city of Detroit. The council passed the resolution today 7-1. Council President Pro Tem JoAnn Watson sponsored the resolution to use the money for public service employment, to fund mass transit plans and to place a moratorium on home foreclosures for two years. The resolution specifically requests the council meet with Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr., Gov. Jennifer Granholm, the state’s congressional delegation, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and officials from President George W. Bush’s office and President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team. “No city needs a bailout more than Detroit,”  http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008811120455

Mayors want part of auto bailout

The mayors of four large Metro Detroit communities on Monday called for a share of the federal bailout sought by Detroit’s Big Three automakers to help redevelop shuttered facilities and factories.

The mayors of Warren, Sterling Heights, Livonia and Dearborn met at the Sterling Heights Public Library for about an hour to discuss the proposal. The mayors were joined by representatives from Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s office, Michigan’s congressional delegation, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and the Michigan Municipal League.

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008811120455

Why We Shouldn’t Bailout The Detroit 3 / $375,000 Per Employee Bailout

America’s Two Auto Industries – Why Bailout The Old – The New Is Healthy

Government Aid to GM, Ford, Chrysler Could Preserve Old Way of Building and Selling Cars 

Last Friday, November 7, 2008, GM announced that unless its financial performance improves, there is a substantial risk of the company collapsing by the middle of next year. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122608860916209213.html?mod=article-outset-box

Discussions abound about the current “credit freeze”, economic turndown, etc ….. a discussion of current economic trends is misplaced …. a broader historical perspective is needed. A perspective that looks ahead and not just back at GM’s and the rest of the Detroit 3’s  historical importance to the Country.

I believe the term is “throwing good money after bad”.

The value of GM did not suddenly decline. In 2007 GM lost 38.7 Billion Dollars. It has been a five year slide for GM stock from $60 a share to today’s $3.00 and change per share.  http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/02/gm_loses_big.php  Also see: http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/24/markets/thebuzz/index.htm?eref=aol

GM’s solution, “reduce costs by offering buyouts to more of its union employees. It’s astonishing how lavish these buyout packages can be, and yet still save the company money–early retirement plus $45,000 is apparently cheaper than keeping them on the line. It’s a sign of something deeply out of whack in the labor market when companies are consistently this desperate to shed workers–how can the UAW swing enough clout to keep the automakers tottering in and out of unprofitability?” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081109/ap_on_bi_ge/autos_what_happened            http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/25/news/gm_possibilities/index.htm

Critics say leaders over the years at Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and what is now Chrysler LLC were slow to take on unions, failed to invest enough in new products, ceded the car market to the Japanese and were ill-prepared for the inevitable rise in gas prices that would make their trucks and SUVs obsolete.                http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081109/ap_on_bi_ge/autos_what_happened

“There’s been 30 years of denial,” said Noel Tichy, a University of Michigan business professor and author who ran General Electric Co.’s leadership program from 1985-87 and once worked as a consultant for Ford. “They did not make themselves competitive. They didn’t deal with the union issues, the cost structures long ago, everything that makes a successful company.”    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081109/ap_on_bi_ge/autos_what_happened

Whatever the reasons, the Detroit Three are closer to collapse than ever, and likely won’t make it without billions in government loans. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081109/ap_on_bi_ge/autos_what_happened

On Friday, GM posted a $2.5 billion third-quarter loss and ominously said it could run out of money before the end of the year. The company spent $6.9 billion more than it took in for the quarter and reported that it had $16.2 billion in cash available at the end of September. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081109/ap_on_bi_ge/autos_what_happened

Ford reported a $129 million loss but said it burned up $7.7 billion in cash for the period. It had $18.9 billion on hand as of Sept. 30. Its chief financial officer says he’s confident Ford will make it through 2009, but that’s because the company took out a huge loan last year. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081109/ap_on_bi_ge/autos_what_happened

Industry analysts believe Chrysler, now a private company that does not have to open its books, is as bad off as GM as U.S. sales continue to plummet because of tight credit and lack of consumer confidence due to the economy. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081109/ap_on_bi_ge/autos_what_happened

The Detroit 3 failed to challange the Union, the companies say the UAW drove up their labor costs to $30 per hour more than Japanese companies paid their workers. When the Detroit 3 have pushed for change the Union has simply called for strikes, strikes which cost the companies 10’s of billions in lost profits. The last strikes came just this past summer, in the midst of the current economic turmoil.

America has two auto industries. The “Old Auto Industry” the one represented by GM, Ford and Chrysler is Midwestern, unionized, burdened with massive obligations to retirees, and shackled to marketing and product strategies that have roots reaching back to the early 1900s. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122608860916209213.html?mod=article-outset-box

The other American auto industry, the “New Auto Industry” is largely Southern and non-union, owes relatively little to the few retirees it has, and enjoys a variety of advantages because its Japanese, European and Korean owners launched operations in this country relatively recently. Their factories are newer, their brand images and marketing strategies are more coherent — Toyota uses three brands in the U.S. to GM’s eight — and they have cars designed for the competitive global market that exists today. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122608860916209213.html?mod=article-outset-box Despite the economic turmoil, they are all profitable.   

The New Industry has controlled costs, developed superior products and marketing. In fact the “New Industry”can’t produce some vehicles (Toyota Prius) fast enough to meet consumer demand.

The Old American auto industry is represented by the “Big Three” of Detroit. The “Detroit Three” employ approximately 200,000 people.   http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122608860916209213.html?mod=article-outset-box 

The New American Auto industry employs approximately 113,000 people, this is according to a recent study by the Center for Automotive Research.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122608860916209213.html?mod=article-outset-box

This bailout debate is strictly about the Old American Auto Industry.

At present, the “Detroit 3” are talking about a preliminary bailout number of an additional $50 Billion dollars. This would bring the total to $75 Billion Dollars for the “Old Auto Industry”.  

The original $25 Billion has already been approved but is currently tied up in the Energy Committee of Congress. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/081110/business/stocks_us_auto_company_gm 

A $75 Billion dollar bailout for the “Detroit 3”. $75 Billion Dollars!

$75 Billion for an industry that has 200,000 direct employees?  

That comes out to $375,000 per direct employee. I kid you not, $375,000 per direct employee.

You try the math, $75,000,000,000 divided by 200,000. ($750,000 / 2 = $375,000).

You’ve got to be kidding me. 

It just isn’t worth the gamble. Over the last 30 years the Detroit 3 has failed to demonstrate it can complete globally. How will throwing more money at their problem help. Throwing money at the Detroit 3 won’t solve their problems and they seem incapable of solving them on their own.

At Ford Motor Co. they called it “Blue,” a team set up around the year 2000 to design an array of small, fuel-efficient cars to compete with the Japanese. It didn’t get far because no one could figure out how to make money on low-priced compacts with Ford’s high labor costs. The same thing happened at GM & Chrysler. The Detroit 3 concentrated on trucks and SUV’s, markets that the New Auto Industry nearly conceeded, because focusing on that market (SUVs & Trucks) was just too short sighted for ongoing business success.

Now the Government is considering buying the Old American Auto Industry. That is essentially what a bailout would mean. The Government buying the Detroit 3.

“We are lowering our target on GM equity to zero dollars,” the Deutsche Bank report said. “Even if GM succeeds in averting a bankruptcy, we believe that the company’s future path is likely to be bankruptcy-like,” it said. “While we believe that GM’s secured creditors may get a par recovery, unsecured creditors may get very low recovery. Equity shareholders are unlikely to get anything.” http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/081110/business/stocks_us_auto_company_gm

 

Duetsche Bank’s assessment, the bailout isn’t likely to work. Duetsche bank noted, “even if there is a government bailout of the auto giant, shareholders would not benefit.” http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/081110/business/stocks_us_auto_company_gm

The US Government should not be in the business of buying private businesses, especially not businesses that will still be bankrupt after a $75 Billion cash investment at taxpayer expense. 

Throwing good money after bad? Absolutely!

In a Capitalist economy, poorly run companies that can’t control costs, successfully plan future product or get desired products to market in a timely manner, fail. Simple enough, bad companies fail. They are not rewarded for inefficency. Successful companies are rewarded. 

The current proposal to bailout 1/2 of the US Auto Industry does so at the expense of the other successful half and at tremendous costs to the American taxpayer.   

Further bailouts are a bad idea. Its time to let the chips fall where they may.

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