Sunday, March 29, 2009

Being GM VI

The White House and Congress can both look like a big sad joke at times, whether under the past or present administrations. (Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers still don't sit well with me, even after Geithner's appearance on various talks shows today. In fact, he has caused me to wonder even more. I know he can't be stupid; so, he's probably not trustworthy.) How can they be taken seriously with the best interest of the people at heart with such double standards? Excuse me, I'm livid!

According to the Associated Press, the CEO of GM, Rick Wagoner, has been asked by the White House to step down. He will do so immediately. Now, I wonder how many in the White House administration and Congress will do the honorable thing and step down before we allow them to issue one more brown cent?

GM, Chrysler and the UAW have been asked to make major concessions before receiving a bailout. OK. But what annoys me is that there seems to be a double standard when it comes to companies that make products and those that merely shuffle paper.

Hundreds of billions were given to Wall Street banks and AIG which siphoned billions, to the likes of Goldman Sachs which received $12.9 billion and some 30 plus billion to Barclays in London and Deutsche Bank in Germany. Some $168 billion went to AIG alone. A total of about $17.4 billion went to GM and Chrysler.

Yeah, don't mention to me that AIG has a new CEO, the hand picked former board member of Goldman Sachs, Edward Liddy.

4 comments:

allen said...

"(Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers still don't sit well with me, even after Geithner's appearance on various talks shows today. In fact, he has caused me to wonder even more. I know he can't be stupid; so, he's probably not trustworthy.) How can they be taken seriously with the best interest of the people at heart with such double standards?
"

To my way of thinking, if Geithner is not trustworthy, neither is Obama.
A President is only as good as his judgment. It has not been 60 days yet. We can't know what actually surrounds the descisions a president makes. I beleive Obama is a good leader. But he cannot lead if we won't accept his leadership. The 'experts' or people who get to share thier opinion with the nation because of bestselling books or popular web sites have their own agenda. (Selling books, driving web traffic) These people need to have interesting opinions as part of their marketing. Having said that, they serve a purpose, but their motives are not nessesariy pure. For example, I like Keith Oberman, but I'm not quite sure that the only reason he's a lefty is mainly because thats what drives viewers to his show. A few years ago, Ed Shultz was a conservative broadcaster getting no where. He changed political stripes and now he winds up on Msnbc as a guest host and is also a regular guest on the MSNBC lineup. Even Arianna Huffington was at one time a conservative commentator. A lot of this stuff is show biz.

judith ellis said...

Your point here is well taken. I, however, am not proned to classify people as this or that based on their particular parties. I, for example, think that there are many foul politicians on both sides and many who have the best intentions.

I disagree with the essence of your statement that we should not question the President. It would not matter how long he has been in office if the decisions that are made are questionable. This is what democracy is all about. By the way, there is not an agenda here on this blog, except to make sense of what appears to be non-sensical as well as getting at the essence of who we are as humans on the planet interacting with each other, personally and professionally.

Regarding Huffington, there are many, including Bill Moyers, who were on the right and have changed views and are now seen as liberal. Again, to be honest, while labels may say something about us, I do not put a lot of stock in them. Some of the people that I mention here I know. Taleb, Roubini and Huffington are not out there for show. But this is not to say that they would not like to be seen in the best possible light or have their ideas heard, though this does not affect their core principles. They are seeking to bring real change. All are independently wealthy and all are not power seekers. This is for sure.

The show promises to be a great one! I hope you will be able to watch it and maybe we can talk about it thereafter. This show will not be about show biz. Be assured of this. Thanks, allen, for your comment. Your thoughtfulness is always appreciated.

David Porter said...

The move to unseat a CEO is why Boards of Directors exist. This is a troubling and unsettling development that should give us all pause. The fact that GM has lost $82 billion since 2004 is disturbing and worthy of a leadership change but I have not seen a single name put forth from Washington that has the foggiest idea how to run a manufacturer.

judith ellis said...

David - The inactivity of board members is no suprise. Many seem to have been missing in action from so many companies for some time now. It seems as if they are being paid NOT to pay attention.

I have very good friends that I have known for years who are senior vice presidents and directors with the Big Three; they have essentially made the same points you have made. I had dinner with one tonight who made similiar points. He also said that non car people should not be running a car company as they have no understanding of the product.

According to the WSJ, Paulson asked the former CEO of AIG to step aside. Secretary Geithner then chose a Goldman Sachs board member to lead the company that was given to date $162 BILLION dollars with seemingly no strings attached with some $17 BILLION plus paid to Goldman Sachs.

The players may change but the game remains the same no matter who removes them or who places them into positions. The removal of Wagoner by the White House definitely gave me reason for pause. But then again many of these leaders have utterly failed on so many levels and when the government bails them out change would seem to absolutely necessary. The Board isn't doing it. How will it be assured that the Americans will be repaid? Is there any such assurance anyway?

I always appreciate when you pass through, David. Good to see you.