We Spent More Than $50 Billion And All We Got Was This Lousy Perfume

Unbelievable.

New GM to launch fragrance line

It’s not the smell of the interior of a new luxury model, the whiff of gasoline or even the aroma of burning rubber.

It’s much more. It’s the luminous fresh scent from grapefruit and camomile and a mix of geranium, tarragon and cinnamon – plus sweet spice and incense.

Think of “Cadillac, the new fragrance for men.”

Sputtering General Motors Co., just out of a quick drive through bankruptcy court, will soon be using its iconic Cadillac brand to sell a line of fragrance for men.

Beauty Contact Inc., a Dubai-based cosmetic company and holder of the fragrance licence, said yesterday it will launch the Cadillac line in stores this fall to mark the brand’s 100th anniversary.

“Cadillac, the new fragrance for men is part of the recent Cadillac renaissance: Hot new products and redesigns that capture the mantra of life, liberty and the pursuit,” said Alwyn Stephen, a Beauty Contact director.

“Our fragrance is a relevant extension of the Cadillac lifestyle.”

The line includes a spray, aftershave lotion, deodorant stick, hair and body wash. Some products will come in translucent glass bottles with sleek metal caps. The retail price for a 100 millilitre bottle of the eau de toilette fragrance will be $73.

“The design pays tribute to the opulence and extravagance of past eras, as well as the luxury and ease of today,” the firm added.

But marketing expert Alan Middleton, a York University professor, said it’s a bad example of brand extension and indicative of a troubled company. In the past, GM has licensed fragrances for Hummer, Chevrolet and Corvette.

“Anybody who knows anything much about branding would know this is about as bad an idea as when Roots tried to brand an airline,” Middleton said.

“Neither Porsche nor BMW nor any other transportation brand that has tried this silliness has been very successful.”

This is what we paid tens of billions of dollars for? This is how Obama runs a car company? They can’t even make the damn perfume in the United States! Oh yeah, remember Chrysler, the car company that Fiat bought and that the American taxpayer owns a chunk of?

Fiat 2nd-Quarter Net Loss EU168 Million; Analyst Est EU158.4 Mln

Fiat SpA, the Italian carmaker that took control of Chrysler LLC, reported a net loss of 168 million euros in the three months ended June 30, compared with net income of 604 million euros a year earlier, it said in a statement today.

That was higher than the average estimate of five analysts compiled by Bloomberg, which showed a 158.4 million-euro loss.

See also:
Fiat swings to loss as demand suffers
Fiat Reports Second Consecutive Loss on Truck Sales
Fiat CEO Says Chrysler Listing Will Take Time, Maybe 2.5 Yrs
Fiat’s Issue Is Debt, Not Profit

All in all, I think our ridiculously large investment in bailing out Chrysler and GM is being managed quite well and will turn out to be the best money taxpayers have ever spent, don’t you?

/it probably won’t even end up costing us much more than $100 billion or so, give or a take a few billion here or a few billion there

Back To The Moon

NASA heads back to the moon

Nearly 5-1/2 years after former President Bush decided to send US astronauts back to the moon by 2020, America is set to launch the first mission supporting that goal.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and a companion spacecraft are set for launch Thursday aboard an Atlas 5 rocket. The $504-million mission is scheduled to take off as early as 5:12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

After a four-day journey, and another 66 days of testing and easing the spacecraft into its final orbit, the LRO will circle the moon some 31 miles above its surface, building the most detailed atlas yet of Earth’s companion. The data will help planners figure out where to send astronauts when it’s time to put boots back on the lunar surface.

After the first year, the orbiter will continue working for an additional year or two with emphasis on answering basic questions about the moon – about the composition of the moon’s “seas” and highlands, and its geologic history written in the rocks exposed in crater walls.

“This is exploration and science working together,” says Mike Wargo, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) chief lunar scientist.

The orbiter will gather images of objects as small as 18 inches across, build contour maps of the lunar surface accurate to within about three feet, and map surface temperatures at different latitudes and through the moon’s subtle seasonal changes. It will gather information on radiation hazards from the sun, from cosmic rays from deep space, and from energetic neutrons those rays kick up when they strike the lunar surface. It will also map the distribution of surface minerals.

From the standpoint of establishing lunar outposts, a key task is hunting for water ice that may lurk in the permanent, frigid darkness at the bottom of craters at the moon’s poles. Past spacecraft have yielded evidence of water. But the signs have been vague.

That’s why the mission includes some fall fireworks. In October, the orbiter’s companion craft, the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), is destined for a lunar smack-down. The craft – actually a guidance-and-instrument package mated to the Atlas rocket’s upper stage – will steer the stage toward a head-on collision with the bottom of a polar crater. One NASA scientist has likened it to a VW bug pushing a school bus.

At the right moment, the package will release the spent upper stage and follow it down, measuring the results as the collision kicks material from the dark crater floor back into sunlight. Scientists say they expect the plume to extend to some four miles above the crater rim. Shortly after the upper stage augers in, the guidance package also will end up as rubble on the crater’s floor.

“This is the crescendo event,” says Dan Andrews, the project manager for LCROSS.

Space-based telescopes, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, India’s lunar orbiter, and several ground-base observatories will try to tease out the material’s composition with an eye toward capturing the signatures of water ice, if it’s there. The event also is likely to be visible to amateur astronomers with the right-sized telescope.


See also:
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
En Route to Moon!
Mission Overview
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: NASA Returns To The Moon With First Lunar Launch In A Decade
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
USGS Astrogeology Returns to its Lunar Roots With LRO
Public Can ‘Participate’ In NASA’s Lunar Mission
Moon orbiter faces many risks
NASA Mission to Survey Moon for Return of Astronauts
Moonstruck: Tagalong Probe to Blast Moon in Search for Water
Catherine Peddie, Deputy Project Manager
ASK Talks with Cathy Peddie
Atlas V: Countdown 101
Atlas V

/and hey, coming in at a measly $504 million, the cost of the LRO/LCROSS mission is statistically insignificant compared to the tens of billions we’ve wasted on bailing out Chrysler, GM, and the UAW, and the LRO/LCROSS mission is infinitely more worthwhile

The Banks And Car Companies Are Not Enough!

Obama must have more power, more control! He must reign over everything, the entire U.S. economy belongs to him! You cannot be trusted with capitalism and free markets. Obama knows best and Obama has spoken.

New Foundation, New Stability

Over the past decades, government has often haphazardly weakened and jettisoned the regulations on the financial sector that were designed to bring stability to the economy. The result has been what the President refers to as a “bubble and bust” economy, leaving American families at the whim of greed and excess far beyond their control and hundreds of miles away. As the President said today, it is indisputable that this peril was a leading contributor the economic breakdown America has seen over the past years.

Today marked a culmination of a months-long process in which the President consulted with the most expert and experienced regulators, leaders in Congress, and his entire economic team to craft a revamping of the system, a “new foundation” on which our economy can grow for decades to come. Many of them joined him today as he announced the principles they had agreed upon.

The President began his remarks by diagnosing the problem:

In recent years, financial innovators, seeking an edge in the marketplace, produced a huge variety of new and complex financial instruments. And these products, such as asset-based securities, were designed to spread risk, but unfortunately ended up concentrating risk. Loans were sold to banks, banks packaged these loans into securities, investors bought these securities often with little insight into the risks to which they were exposed. And it was easy money — while it lasted. But these schemes were built on a pile of sand. And as the appetite for these products grew, lenders lowered standards to attract new borrowers. Many Americans bought homes and borrowed money without being adequately informed of the terms, and often without accepting the responsibilities.

Meanwhile, executive compensation — unmoored from long-term performance or even reality — rewarded recklessness rather than responsibility. And this wasn’t just the failure of individuals; this was a failure of the entire system. The actions of many firms escaped scrutiny. In some cases, the dealings of these institutions were so complex and opaque that few inside or outside these companies understood what was happening. Where there were gaps in the rules, regulators lacked the authority to take action. Where there were overlaps, regulators lacked accountability for their inaction.

. . .

The President concluded by making clear the necessity of the solution:

There’s always been a tension between those who place their faith in the invisible hand of the marketplace and those who place more trust in the guiding hand of the government — and that tension isn’t a bad thing. It gives rise to healthy debates and creates a dynamism that makes it possible for us to adapt and grow. For we know that markets are not an unalloyed force for either good or for ill. In many ways, our financial system reflects us. In the aggregate of countless independent decisions, we see the potential for creativity — and the potential for abuse. We see the capacity for innovations that make our economy stronger — and for innovations that exploit our economy’s weaknesses.

We are called upon to put in place those reforms that allow our best qualities to flourish — while keeping those worst traits in check. We’re called upon to recognize that the free market is the most powerful generative force for our prosperity — but it is not a free license to ignore the consequences of our actions.

This is a difficult time for our nation. But from this period of challenge, we can once again tap those values and ideals that have allowed us to lead the global economy, and will allow us to lead once again. That’s how we’ll help more Americans live their own dreams. That’s why these reforms are so important. And I look forward to working with leaders in Congress and all of you to see these proposals put to work so that we can overcome this crisis and build a lasting foundation for prosperity.

And, of course, Obama has a detailed plan for tightening his grip on the free market system.

Financial Regulatory Reform: A New Foundation

We must act now to restore confidence in the integrity of our financial system. The lasting economic damage to ordinary families and businesses is a constant reminder of the urgent need to act to reform our financial regulatory system and put our economy on track to a sustainable recovery. We must build a new foundation for financial regulation and supervision that is simpler and more effectively enforced, that protects consumers and investors, that rewards innovation and that is able to adapt and evolve with changes in the financial market.

In the following pages, we propose reforms to meet five key objectives:

(1) Promote robust supervision and regulation of financial firms. Financial institutions that are critical to market functioning should be subject to strong oversight. No financialfirm that poses a significant risk to the financial system should be unregulated or weakly regulated. We need clear accountability in financial oversight and supervision. We propose:

• A new Financial Services Oversight Council of financial regulators to identify emerging systemic risks and improve interagency cooperation.

• New authority for the Federal Reserve to supervise all firms that could pose a threat to financial stability, even those that do not own banks.

• Stronger capital and other prudential standards for all financial firms, and even higher standards for large, interconnected firms.

• A new National Bank Supervisor to supervise all federally chartered banks.

• Elimination of the federal thrift charter and other loopholes that allowed some depository institutions to avoid bank holding company regulation by the Federal Reserve.

• The registration of advisers of hedge funds and other private pools of capital with the SEC.

(2) Establish comprehensive supervision of financial markets. Our major financial markets must be strong enough to withstand both system-wide stress and the failure of one or more large institutions. We propose:

• Enhanced regulation of securitization markets, including new requirements for market transparency, stronger regulation of credit rating agencies, and a requirement that issuers and originators retain a financial interest in securitized loans.

• Comprehensive regulation of all over-the-counter derivatives.

• New authority for the Federal Reserve to oversee payment, clearing, and settlement systems.

(3) Protect consumers and investors from financial abuse. To rebuild trust in our markets, we need strong and consistent regulation and supervision of consumer financial services and investment markets. We should base this oversight not on speculation or abstract models, but on actual data about how people make financial decisions. We must promote transparency, simplicity, fairness, accountability, and access. We propose:

• A new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to protect consumers across the financial sector from unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices.

• Stronger regulations to improve the transparency, fairness, and appropriateness of consumer and investor products and services.

• A level playing field and higher standards for providers of consumer financial products and services, whether or not they are part of a bank.

(4) Provide the government with the tools it needs to manage financial crises. We need to be sure that the government has the tools it needs to manage crises, if and when they arise, so that we are not left with untenable choices between bailouts and financial collapse. We propose:

• A new regime to resolve nonbank financial institutions whose failure could have serious systemic effects.

• Revisions to the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending authority to improve accountability.

(5) Raise international regulatory standards and improve international cooperation. The challenges we face are not just American challenges, they are global challenges. So,as we work to set high regulatory standards here in the United States, we must ask the
world to do the same. We propose:

• International reforms to support our efforts at home, including strengthening the capital framework; improving oversight of global financial markets; coordinating supervision of internationally active firms; and enhancing crisis management tools.

Nowhere in the President’s remarks or in his new regulation plan will you find any mention, let alone an admission, of the government’s primary role in causing the latest financial collapse. Fortunately, IBD tells it like it was.

Regulation Nation

Regulation: The White House wants to impose sweeping new rules for the financial industry to prevent another meltdown. Unfortunately, it was government — not the private sector — that was to blame.

Citing a “culture of irresponsibility” that it says helped cause last year’s financial crisis, the White House on Wednesday released an 88-page report that proposes major changes in America’s financial system. The Associated Press aptly called it “the greatest regulatory transformation since the Great Depression.”

Among the reforms put forward were a new, pumped-up Federal Reserve with greater powers to regulate and oversee the entire financial system, a new consumer credit watchdog to oversee home loans and credit cards, and new rules and oversight for hedge funds and exotic securities, such as credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations, which some blame for making the financial crisis worse.

It’s nice to see that our government is so concerned about not repeating the errors of the past. But our advice comes from an ancient proverb:

“Physician, heal thyself.”

The White House’s financial regulation proposal blames “gaps in regulation” for our financial crisis. Wrong. It was in fact government misregulation and miscalculation that created our financial crisis — not private businesses. The record on this is quite clear.

As economic historian Lawrence White of the University of Missouri has written:

“The expansion in risky mortgages to underqualified borrowers was encouraged by the federal government. The growth of ‘creative’ nonprime lending followed Congress’ strengthening of the Community Reinvestment Act, the Federal Housing Administration’s loosening of down-payment standards, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s pressuring lenders to extend mortgages to borrowers who previously would not have qualified.”

Add to that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — created and regulated by acts of Congress — which together at one point controlled nearly half of the nation’s $12 trillion mortgage market. The two quasi-private entities served as the grand financial engine by which Congress would boost homeownership.

It worked well for a while. And we can’t fault the intent to help people. But the failure was one of too much government — not too little, which is the rationale for the new financial regulation regime sought for Wall Street and the banks.

As for the Fed’s new powers, we happen to believe the central bank has done a reasonably good job responding to this crisis — though as many others have noted, the vast expansion of the U.S. money supply in the last year poses a future inflationary threat.

But we don’t think the Fed needs enhanced powers. Far from it. It’s too powerful already. Giving it virtually unbridled control over our financial system without having to directly answer to the people is a danger to free market capitalism.

Many have argued that the Fed’s slashing of interest rates from 6.25% in 2001 to 1% in 2003 — following a stock market meltdown, a recession, the 9/11 attacks and the start of the War on Terror — was too much and led to the housing market bubble.

Now, strangely, many of the same people advocate giving the Fed even more power. It makes no sense.

If the White House really wants to fix our ailing financial system, it would do well to start by repealing what remains of TARP, undoing the government’s takeover of our auto industry and halting the fraudulent and wasteful $787 billion “stimulus” program.

Then you might see a real economic recovery take place.

See also:
Obama Defends Financial Overhaul
Geithner: Govt. Needs Better ‘Crisis Management’ Tools
In huge change, Obama’d strip Fed of credit card oversight
Obama: ‘A sweeping overhaul’
Historic Overhaul of Finance Rules
Obama Lays Out ‘Sweeping Overhaul’ of Financial Rules (Update3)
Not Everyone Is Cheering Fed’s New Role
New financial rules: Major changes for big, small
Obama unveils ‘sweeping overhaul’ of financial regulations

The truly ironic part is that most of Obama’s free market control plan has to go through Congress to become law, those most responsible for the financial mess in the first place. Can you just imagine what hideous manner of bull[expletive deleted] regulation will come out the other end? How much additional U.S. government oppression can free enterprise take before major corporations will just say enough already and reincorporate in another country with a more business friendly environment?

/one thing I know for sure from daily first hand stock trading experience, between Obama’s encroachment into the private sector economy and his out of control government spending, he’s spooking the ever loving [expletive deleted] out of the markets

Not So Fast There Obama

Supreme Court Delays Chrysler’s Swift Sale

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday held up the sale of Chrysler’s assets to Italian automaker Fiat, at least temporarily interrupting the Obama administration’s massive and speedy restructuring of the U.S. auto industry.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 53-word order did not hint at what she thought of an appeal led by a group of Indiana pension and construction funds, which stand to see their investments in Chrysler reduced with no say in the process. Instead, she instructed simply that the transaction is “stayed pending further notice.”

The decision buys the court time to consider objections filed over the weekend, and it comes as the clock is ticking. Fiat can back out of the deal if it is not finalized by Monday, and the government has warned that the only alternative would be to force the nation’s third-largest automaker into liquidation, throwing the industry in turmoil and leaving tens of thousands of people without jobs.

The stakes may be higher for the Obama administration: If the court backs some of the claims, it could disrupt plans to rescue General Motors and weaken the government’s hand in stabilizing the troubled economy.

“Every day that Chrysler remains in bankruptcy without consummating the sale threatens to postpone the resumption of production even further and to prolong the period of $100-million-per-day losses” financed by taxpayers, Elena Kagan, the U.S. solicitor general, said in a 26-page filing with the high court.

A host of business and conservative groups applauded Ginsburg for standing up to what one called the Obama administration steamroller. And Congress is beginning to stir. Legislation is being drafted to reverse decisions by Chrysler and GM to close thousands of dealerships. The Senate Banking Committee, meanwhile, is preparing to hold a hearing this week on the government’s role in the auto rescue.

The significance of the court’s action remains to be seen. The language Ginsburg used in her order usually signals a delay of short duration.

There could be several explanations, not the least of which is that the justices may not have had time to fully consider the request. Court filings from those opposing the deal began arriving over the weekend and into Sunday. The government’s response in opposition did not arrive at the court until shortly before justices convened yesterday at 10 a.m.

The petitions are directed at Ginsburg because she is the justice responsible for the circuit that includes New York, where the suit was filed. She may decide the stay issue on her own or refer the question to the full court. If it’s the latter, that could explain the need for more time. The full court would have to vote on whether to hear the merits of the case.

See also:
High court blocks Chrysler sale to Fiat
Supreme Court delays Chrysler sale
Chrysler sale on hold, but for how long?
Supreme Court asked to block Chrysler sale to Fiat
Supreme Court Asked to Block Chrysler Sale to Fiat

Of course Ginsburg’s stay doesn’t mean that the Supreme Court will take up the case, it only means that she wanted more time to decide. However, the Supreme Court should take on this case and take a good long look at the legality of the Chrysler/Fiat deal that Obama’s Car Task Force is trying to ram down the taxpayers’ throats. What’s the rush, are they trying to hide something?

The government’s first argument as to why this shotgun wedding must be rushed through is that the deal with Fiat is necessary to stop Chrysler’s “$100-million-per-day losses”. Well, gee, let me get this straight, Fiat gets Chrysler’s assets and suddenly Chrysler miraculously stops losing money. How does that work, exactly, magic?

The government’s other equally bogus argument for steamrolling the Chrysler bondholders is that “the clock is ticking, Fiat can back out of the deal if it is not finalized by Monday, and the government has warned that the only alternative would be to force the nation’s third-largest automaker into liquidation, throwing the industry in turmoil and leaving tens of thousands of people without jobs.”

Really, are they sure Fiat will back out? That’s not what the Fiat CEO said earlier today.

Fiat Will ‘Never’ Walk Away From Chrysler, CEO Says (Update1)

Fiat SpA will “never” walk away from its deal with Chrysler LLC, Fiat Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in an interview.

“We should just be patient and let the system work,” Marchionne said by telephone today moments after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ordered a delay of Chrysler’s planned sale to the Italian carmaker while the U.S. Supreme Court considers a request for a longer postponement that might scuttle the deal.

A federal appeals court in New York last week allowed the sale, while putting its decision on hold until 4 p.m. today to let opponents, including Indiana pension funds, seek Supreme Court intervention. The Indiana pension funds hold $42.5 million of $6.9 billion in Chrysler’s secured loans.

“We would never walk away,” Marchionne said in response to a question about whether Fiat would pull out of the deal if it isn’t completed by the June 15 deadline. “Never.”

So, there’s no good excuse not to slow this deal down and let the Supreme Court take a careful look at the legality of it. The real reason the Obama administration wants to cram this down the taxpayers’ throats, without any meaningful scrutiny, is to cover up their abhorrent, thuggish behavior, motivated by the single minded purpose of protecting the UAW, whatever cost to the taxpayers be damned. The Obama Auto Task Force wants to get this deal done because the unseemly details concerning their extremely questionable tactics and purpose are starting to see the light of day and honest people are starting to ask some hard, honest questions.

U.S. Pushed Fiat Deal on Chrysler

The Obama administration rushed an alliance between Chrysler LLC and Fiat SpA despite Chrysler’s worries about Fiat’s financial health and its willingness to share technology, according to internal company emails.

The emails show Fiat ignoring requests for documents and trying to change contract terms late in the talks. A Chrysler adviser at one point said the deal risked looking as if the U.S. auto maker and the Treasury Department, which helped broker the pact, were “in bed with a shady partner.” In another note, an official referred to the Treasury Department as “God.”

The documents, filed in the Southern District of New York as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy proceedings, provide a glimpse at the tense debates that shaped Chrysler’s final days as it raced to find a suitor.

On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld Chrysler’s Fiat deal, dismissing a challenge by dissident Chrysler debt holders. But the court also issued a stay until 4 p.m. Monday — leaving a small window for Thomas Lauria, the lawyer pursuing the case, to appeal to the Supreme Court. One judge on the three-judge panel suggested the Supreme Court should have “a swing at this ball.”

Mr. Lauria’s persistence led one government lawyer in the Chrysler case to dub him a “terrorist” in an email to a Chrysler adviser.

See also:
Obama’s man called shots on bankruptcy
Chrysler-Fiat Deal: U.S. Government as “God”

UPDATE: Indiana vs. Chrysler: Was TARP Used Illegally?

A quick scan of the 169-page legislation detailing the purpose of the Troubled Asset Relief Fund doesn’t say anything about automobile companies. Nor does it say anything about using the government’s money to bail out nonfinancial institutions generally.

On its face then, it might appear the Indiana pension funds have a solid argument in challenging the U.S. Treasury Department’s use of TARP funds to finance Chrysler’s restructuring. That point is at the heart of the pension funds’ effort to persuade the Supreme Court to issue a stay the Chrysler-Fiat deal. The stay asks for a temporary hold on the deal until the Justices can decide whether to hear the case.

See also:
Why the Legality of the Chrysler Bailout Won’t Matter
Senate panel to question Obama auto task force

Like a dead, flattened skunk on a hot asphalt road at high noon on a sunny 950 day, this Chrysler/Fiat deal stinks to high heaven. Just a few of the serious problems with it include the government coercion of a private corporation, the trammeling of first lien secured creditors’ legal rights in favor of unsecured creditors, the abrogation of well settled bakruptcy law and established capital structure, and the possible illegal use of and wasteful spending of taxpayer money. And these same legal concerns are also cropping up in the GM banruptcy.

/all I can say is that if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t take on this case and sort through these very important legal issues threatening the existing rule of law in this country, they’ll be shirking their duty as a coequal branch of government and shame on them

If It’s Friday It Must Be Time To Transfer More Taxpayer Money To The UAW

Oh yeah, it’s late Friday afternoon of the Memorial Day weekend, time to tell the taxpayers how much more money Obama just flushed down the auto bankruptcy toilet, hoping you won’t notice.

U.S. Lends Additional $4 Billion to Ailing GM as Bankruptcy Looms
GM says it received 4 bln dlrs more from US Treasury

General Motors Corp. said Friday that it has borrowed an additional $4 billion from the Treasury Department, meaning the automaker has now accepted $19.4 billion in loans from the U.S. government.

GM started taking government money in December and said it intended to borrow $2.6 billion more by June 1 and an additional $9 billion after that. But in a regulatory filing Friday, GM said it needed $1.4 billion sooner than originally forecast.

The company didn’t publicly disclose how it will use the money but said it provided the information to Treasury officials, and they considered the loan acceptable.

“We appreciate President Obama’s and his administration’s ongoing support of GM and the domestic U.S. auto industry as we undertake the difficult but necessary actions to reinvent our company,” the company said in a written statement.

And remember, the plan is to forgive these “loans” in bankruptcy, which GM will most likely declare next week. The UAW thanks you for the direct transfer payments, have a nice long Memorial Day weekend!

See also:
GM borrows another $4 billion from Treasury
GM borrows additional $4 billion from government
GM gets $4B in new federal aid
GM Bankruptcy Filing Moves Closer Amid Sale Plans, Union Deals
Report: General Motors bankruptcy expected as early as next week
GM bondholders dig in, gird for bankruptcy
UPDATE:GM Bondholders Lobby US Lawmakers To Oppose Treasury Backed Deal
GOP Lawmakers Push Geithner on GM ‘Main Street’ Bondholders’ Behalf
UPDATE:GOP Lawmaker Presses For More Oversight Of Auto Bailout
Auto Task Force Wages ‘War on Capital,’ Lawmakers Say (Update2)
Lawmakers want Obama to slow down on GM, Chrysler
Lawmakers urge Obama to slow auto task force
Lawmakers worry about auto job losses…GM borrows more money…New…
Lawmakers want Obama to slow down on GM, Chrysler
UPDATE 2-Fiat already concerned for ‘deteriorating’ Chrysler
The UAW Says Thanks Taxpayers!

/anyone else think these government sponsored “auto bailouts/bankruptcies” were a really bad idea, aren’t going to go well, will cost taxpayers more than they could ever imagine, and it’s all a criminal waste of money because Chrysler and General Motors will never be able to survive anyway?

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

Gee, for someone who says he doesn’t want to run car companies, Obama sure seems to like to collect them.

GM bankruptcy plan eyes quick sale to government

If General Motors Corp files for bankruptcy, as widely expected, its healthy assets will be quickly sold to a new company owned by the U.S. government, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

The source, who was not cleared to speak with the media and would not be identified, said the U.S. government would pay for the assets by assuming the automaker’s $6 billion of secured debt and forgiving the bulk of the $15.4 billion of emergency loans that the U.S. Treasury has provided to GM.

The government is negotiating the terms on which it will assume GM’s secured debt and might make an the offer to holders of the debt that is far superior to the one made to Chrysler LLC’s secured lenders, the source said.

Chrysler filed for bankruptcy in April and has proposed paying its secured lenders about 28 cents on the dollar.

The new GM is likely to distribute stock in the company to GM’s unions in return for concessions on wages and benefits, the source said.

The percentage of stock given to the unions, bondholders and other creditors whose debt is not repaid by new GM has not been determined, the source said.

In addition, the government would extend a credit line to the new company, the source said.

The remaining assets of GM would stay in bankruptcy protection to satisfy other outstanding claims.

The government has given GM until June 1 to restructure its operations to lower its debt burden and employee costs as sales have plummeted in recent years.

See also:
GM shows signs that bankruptcy filing is coming
GM says still hasn’t made deals with Treasury, UAW
GM bankruptcy would be complex, painful

So, to recap, the U.S. government is going to buy GM, turn a large ownership stake over to the UAW, the taxpayers are going to take it in the shorts for the $15.4 billion of loans already made to GM, and then, to add insult to injury, we’re going to loan the new government/union owned company even more money. Can you say Chrysler redux, only on a much larger scale? Did anyone ask you if you wanted to spend tens of billions of your tax dollars to buy and run two of the three major U.S. car companies just so the UAW can keep their overpaid jobs and gold plated health care and pensions as payback for supporting Obama?

/this isn’t Venezuela, is this Venezuela?

Auto Bailouts In A Nutshell

Dennis Sevakis sums it up succinctly.

Bye-bye sanctity of contracts

As property rights are flushed, you can fuggedaboutwhat’s in your contract. After all, you wouldn’t want to be a”hold-out” member of a “cabal” of “dissident lenders” now, would you? A Saturday Washington Times article includes some terribly prejudiced phrasing (perhaps tongue-in-cheek?), but is a good summary of the structure of the Chrysler bankruptcy “deal” that included the collapse of the secured lenders.

The hold-out lenders charged that Mr. Obama, who had called them “speculators” and questioned their patriotism as well as blamed them for the bankruptcy, used undue political pressure, even though they were pursuing their legal rights in bankruptcy court, where the claims of such secured lenders normally prevail.

“After a great deal of soul-searching and quite frankly agony, they concluded they just don’t have critical mass to withstand the enormous pressure and machinery of the U.S. government,” said Thomas Lauria, the group’s lead attorney.

The White House’s auto task force asked the lenders to accept about 33 cents on the dollar for $6.9 billion of loans and offered them no equity in the company, while unions were given a 55 percent majority stake in exchange for expunging $4.6 billion of debt to a retirement fund.

Oh, what wonders one can accomplish by having a friendly, (sym)pathetic judge! And, when you’ve got ’em by the cajones, their hearts and minds are sure to follow! IMHO this is just about the most egregious abuse of government power of all time. How long before the Obamachine just takes dissidents out back and threatens to shoot them? Nah, they’ll never dispense with all the legal formalities, will they?

But do keep in mind, that we have no dollars for more F-22s and such. Must tighten our defense belt, folks. But there’s billions available to “save” Chrysler — now and in the future. And Obama is only just getting started.

Praise the Prez and pass the subsidies!

/couldn’t have said it better myself

More Taxpayer Money Down The Drain

And you thought the Chrysler bailout was a bad deal for taxpayers. Watch Obama crow about how proud he is of himself for cutting a drop in the bucket $17 billion from his $3.5 trillion budget.

See also:
Obama touts $17 billion ‘lot of money’ budget cuts
Obama seeks $17 billion in U.S. budget savings

But wait, what about General Motors, the too big to fail company that we’ve already shoveled $15.4 billion into, how is our taxpayer investment in that going? The answer is, not good. We could have let GM go bankrupt back in November, but no, that was unthinkable! Well, guess what, GM will be in bankruptcy by the end of the month and if you think we’re ever going to get our $15.4 billion back you’re crazy.

GM Posts $5.98 Billion Loss Amid Steep Drop in Revenue

General Motors, facing the prospect of bankruptcy, posted a loss of $5.98 billion for the first three months of this year as revenue continued to slide because of the economic crisis and slumping auto sales.

GM’s losses were offset somewhat by the company’s restructuring efforts and by an infusion of loans from the federal government, the automaker said yesterday.

GM has until the end of the month to cut costs further and win stakeholder concessions. If it fails, the government will likely force it into bankruptcy protection.

GM lost $9.78 per share, compared with a loss of $5.80 per share, or $3.28 billion, a year earlier. Cash on hand totaled $11.6 billion — approaching the minimum reserves needed to continue operations.

Revenue fell 47 percent to $22.4 billion, compared with revenue of $42.4 billion in the same quarter last year, as GM cut production. Ray Young, GM’s chief financial officer, warned that such a drop could be dangerous.

“Once you start losing revenue, you get yourself into a vicious circle in which you cannot recover,” he said. Talk about bankruptcy has pushed customers even further away from dealerships, Young said.

See also:
G.M., Leaking Cash, Faces Bigger Chance of Bankruptcy
US would facilitate GM bankruptcy, if needed -Geithner

And just what is soon to be bankrupt GM doing with our $15.4 billion in taxpayer money, besides paying for gold plated UAW retirement and health care benefits? Can you say insult to injury?

GM hosts fleet buyers at spa in scaled back event; critics unmoved

Just weeks before a deadline that could send it into bankruptcy, General Motors is entertaining 500 of its biggest customers at a luxury spa and golf course in Arizona.

GM, (GM) which has borrowed $15.4 billion from the U.S. government in the past six months, shipped in 150 cars and trucks to the event this week at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, and paid for airfare and hotel lodging for 90% of the guests.

The affair is scaled back from previous years, says GM spokesman Terry Rhadigan. Guests have to pay for their own golf outings, he says, and most of the days are packed with informational sessions on GM’s 2010 product line. The guests are GM’s fleet and corporate customers, which accounted for 27.6% of GM’s business in 2008. Fleet customers can buy dozens of vehicles at a time.

Well, hey, at least they made the taxpayer funded junket bingers pay for their own golf. And now look at what GM is planning to do after we finish paying for their bankruptcy.

Under Restructuring, GM To Build More Cars Overseas

The U.S. government is pouring billions into General Motors in hopes of reviving the domestic economy, but when the automaker completes its restructuring plan, many of the company’s new jobs will be filled by workers overseas.

According to an outline the company has been sharing privately with Washington legislators, the number of cars that GM sells in the United States and builds in Mexico, China and South Korea will roughly double.

The proportion of GM cars sold domestically and manufactured in those low-wage countries will rise from 15 percent to 23 percent over the next five years, according to the figures contained in a 12-page presentation offered to lawmakers in response to their questions about overseas production.

As a result, the long-simmering argument over U.S. manufacturers expanding production overseas — normally arising between unions and private companies — is about to engage the Obama administration.

Essentially in control of the company, the president’s autos task force faces an awkward choice: It can either require General Motors to keep more jobs at home, potentially raising labor costs at a company already beset with financial woes, or it can risk political fury by allowing the automaker to expand operations at lower-cost manufacturing locations.

“It’s an almost impossible dilemma,” said former labor secretary Robert B. Reich, now a professor at the University of California-Berkeley. “GM is a global company — so for that matter is AIG and the biggest Wall Street banks. That means that bailing them out doesn’t necessarily redound to the benefit of the U.S. or American workers.

“More significantly, it raises fundamental questions about the purpose of bailing out these big companies. If GM is going to do more of its production overseas, then why exactly are we saving GM?”

That’s exactly the ~$30 billion dollar question, why are we bailing out these two car companies that bleed money like hemophiliacs? The answer to that is easy, so Obama can protect the UAW as much as possible. You can already see that from the progress of the Chrysler bankruptcy. The Obama car czar Steven Rattner, is literally bullying a deal throgh bankruptcy court that heavily favors the UAW interests by trampling the Constitutional rights of more senior lien holding creditors. It’s a big, disgusting sham so far, expect the General Motors bankruptcy to be just as bad and probably much worse.

/and remember, while, on one hand, Obama brags about cutting $17 billion, much of it cuts in defense programs, less than 1/2% of his stupeniously bloated $3.5 trillion budget, the largest in American history by a wide margin, keep in mind that, on the other hand, he’s going to flush about $30 billion down the road to bankruptcy toilet bailing out his UAW buddies at Chrysler and GM and you’re paying for it

The UAW Says Thanks Taxpayers!

Surprise, surprise!

Chrysler Won’t Pay Back U.S. Loans

Taxpayers may never get back billions of dollars lent to Chrysler, according to various reports.

Testifying in bankruptcy court on Monday, one of the top financial advisers overseeing Chrysler’s restructuring said the U.S. government may never get back its loans to the company.

“They’re offering financing with a low likelihood of being repaid,” said Robert Manzo, an executive director for Capstone Advisory Group LLC, according to the Associated Press.

Manzo’s comments mirror the assumptions he listed in Chrysler’s bankruptcy filings last week, CNN Money reports. As part of its Chapter 11 reorganization, Manzo wrote Chrysler expects the U.S. Treasury to forgive a $4 billion bridge loan the automaker received during the Bush administration, a $300 million fee on that loan, and the $3.2 billion in financing the Obama administration approved last week to help the company stay afloat while it is in bankruptcy.

The Obama administration confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that it does not expect Chrylser to repay the loans.

See also:
REPORT: Chrysler unlikely to pay back most recent $4.5 billion gov’t loan
Chrysler won’t repay bailout money

What a scam. This amounts to a direct transfer payment to the UAW, nothing more. You should be getting your taxpayer thank you note from them any day now. The government should have just burned the money in a massive bonfire for all the good we’re getting out of it. Chrysler should have gone bankrupt in November. Remember when all the politicians were adamant that bankruptcy wasn’t an option because allowing Chrysler to go bankrupt would plunge the U.S. economy into a deep depression and basically the world would come to an end? Well, here we are, six months and billions of taxpayer dollars later, and Chrysler is bankrupt and the economy didn’t even so much as flinch.

/with all the billions of taxpayer money we wasted on Chrysler, we could have built the rest of the, now on the chopping block, F-22 Rapror fleet the Air Force wants and restored all the proposed cuts to missile defense

Back At The Trough Again

As predicted, like clockwork, Chrysler and GM are begging for another bailout.

Chrysler asks govt for $5 billion more in loans

Chrysler LLC on Tuesday told the U.S. government it needs even more taxpayer money to survive. General Motors is expected to do the same. Acknowledging that industry conditions are worse than expected when it made the case in December for a government bailout, Chrysler requested an additional $5 billion in government loans. It originally said it would need $3 billion more. The company had previously received $4 billion from the Treasury Department.

GM needs up to $30 billion in aid to avoid failure

General Motors Corp (NYSE:GM – News) said on Tuesday it could need a total of up to $30 billion in U.S. government aid — more than doubling its original aid — and would run out of cash as soon as March without new federal funding.

The request for additional aid from the top U.S. automaker came in a restructuring plan GM submitted to U.S. officials on Tuesday.

The GM restructuring plan of more than 100 pages was posted on the U.S. Treasury Web site

See also:
Chrysler Restructuring Plan for Long-Term Viability
General Motors Corporation 2009 – 2014 Restructuring Plan

Chrysler has already received $4 billion and is now asking for an additional $5 billion after originally estimating that they would need $3 billion. GM has already received $13.4 billion and is now asking for $30 billion after originally estimating that they would need $18 billion.

So, both companies are still bleeding cash like they have a severed aorta and neither company met today’s deadline to obtain concessions from the recalcitrant UAW.

See also:
Chrysler, UAW make progress in talks-source
Source: GM, UAW closing in on concession deal

Will we let these obviously insolvent and unprofitable companies fail and proceed to Chapter 11 bankruptcy to reorganize like 99.9% of the other companies that find themselves in untenable economic positions? Hell no! It’s bailout mania season in Washington, expect the Bad Business Enabler Cavalry to ride your tax dollars to the rescue! Well, actually your tax dollars were all already spent a long time ago, so they’ll have to borrow or print the money and you or your children or grandchildren will just have to pay for it all later, with interest.

Will Obama stop the craziness? Hell no, Giddy Up!

Obama to appoint panel for auto recovery

It will take more than one “car czar” to help get the embattled U.S. auto industry back on track, President Barack Obama has decided.

Instead, his administration is establishing a presidential task force to direct the restructuring of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, a senior administration official said Sunday night.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers will oversee the across-the-government panel, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.

So, assume the position and prepare to bend over again for the Detroit Duo and the UAW!

/you know, I can understand bailing out the major banks, because if the international banking system fails the entire global economy will crash overnight, however, if GM and Chrysler go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, you’ll still be able to buy a car the next day