July 22, 2010

More hair of the dog that bit us, please

From the NYT:
By NICK BUNKLEY


DETROIT — General Motors said Thursday that it had agreed to buy a financing company, AmeriCredit, for $3.5 billion so it can lease more vehicles and increase sales to consumers with lower credit ratings. ...

Jesse Toprak, the vice president of industry trends and insights at TrueCar.com, which tracks vehicle pricing, said G.M.’s sales could jump as much as 20 percent if it aggressively courts subprime buyers.

G.M. will use money from its cash reserves, which stand at more than $30 billion as a result of the aid it received from the federal government before and during last year’s bankruptcy.

“We’re in the fortunate position that we have a very strong balance sheet,” G.M.’s chief financial officer, Christopher P. Liddell, said. “That gives us the flexibility to do acquisitions like this.” ...

Currently, subprime customers account for 4 percent of G.M. sales, in line with the industry average, but about 40 percent of the population has a subprime rating, Mr. Liddell said. ...

Mr. Berce said most of AmeriCredit’s 800,000 customers had credit ratings of 500 to 650. A rating below 640, on a scale that ranges from 300 to 850, is generally considered subprime.



From Wikipedia: "GM is now temporarily majority owned by the United States Treasury ..."

Basically, nobody in D.C. has any strategy how to help the bottom 40% of the country earn more money, since the obvious steps, such as immigration restriction and protectionism, are unthinkable in Washington. So, the Bush-Obama strategy has been to help the bottom 40 percent (i.e., 125 million people) borrow more money so that they can buy more shiny, spinning objects.

21 comments:

Felix said...

so it can lease more vehicles and increase sales to consumers with lower credit ratings. ...

This country is tragedy turning into farce.

elvisd said...

guess that cuts into the administration's supposed support of public transportation, too.

stari_momak said...

Shorting opportunity?

David said...

>G.M.'s sales could jump as much as 20 percent if it aggressively courts subprime buyers<

Translation: they will make it up in volume - like the old joke says.

Oh, whom am I kidding? They will make it up by appealing for another govt. bailout.

Anonymous said...

Helping the bottom 40% of citizens seemed to be a real concern in the 1950s and 60s of both political parties. What has changed?

Perhaps the tidal of flood of immigration since '65 has unleashed political correctness.

I find it ironic that our current immigration disaster was begun in 1965, a year when middle income and blue collar Americans seemed to be doing their best.

What a tragedy that the neo-cons seized the conservative movement. Washington is now a one party enclave: deaf to Americans, hostile towards low income whites, the perpetrators of a marxist-inspired destruction of the traditional American nation.

Anonymous said...

Here in Europe things are equally surreal.

The European Central Bank is currently lending to Greek banks so that Greek banks can buy up Greek government debt. The banks bought 90% of Greek government's latest auction of 3 months bills. The Greek banks are using Greek government debt as collateral for the ECB loans.

On both sides of the Atlantic our elites are out of ideas.

John Seiler said...

Protectinism always backfires. And do you really want Obama controlling imports, too? What woul work is a return to the gold standard to stablize the currency and interest rates, and massive middle-class tax cuts. When Nixon took us off gold in 1971, inflation jammed the middle-class up into upper-income tax brackets, expecially because the child tax credit was not indexed to inflation until 1985. Nixon's contemporaneous protectionism didn't help at all.

headache said...

“We’re in the fortunate position that we have a very strong balance sheet,” G.M.’s chief financial officer, Christopher P. Liddell

No kidding? Guess it never occurred to these empty suits that the money actually belongs to someone else.

Whiskey said...

China, Germany, and Japan are all protectionist. They seem to have functioning economies, the first two the first and second respectively exporters of manufactured goods.

The US has been protectionist for most of its history. Brazil is protectionist. So too, India.

Like everything else, avoiding excesses is the key.

There's probably too much money afloat to go to a pure Gold standard. A bi-metallic (silver, gold) as in much of US history would be useful. Not the least of which is a solid constraint on spending.

Yes, there is a HUGE shorting opportunity here.

Anonymous said...

"I find it ironic that our current immigration disaster was begun in 1965, a year when middle income and blue collar Americans seemed to be doing their best .... the perpetrators of a marxist-inspired destruction of the traditional American nation."

It's anything but Marxist - it's unfettered capitalism and free-markets
foisted upon both America and the rest of the world by America's elite.

There's been tremendous growth since 1965, too, but very little of that trickled down to the unwashed masses.

“of every dollar of real income growth that was generated between 1976 and 2007, 58 cents went to the top 1 per cent of households."

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/39c67712-8eb1-11df-8a67-00144feab49a.html?ftcamp=rss

I doubt though whether things would have been very different without immigration, with the manufacturing base having been hollowed out.

anony-mouse said...

It was GM way back in the '20's that helped to create the system of paying on time for (non-real estate) goods you otherwise couldn't afford, not to mention the whole notion of 'trading up'.

Don't think this one can entirely be blamed on Obama.

l said...

It's OK. The gov't can guarantee the loans. Besides, money isn't real.

l said...

In related news: One hears that the Democrats want more subprime students to go to college. Is that a good idea?

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/CutCollegeCosts/the-555000-dollar-student-loan-debt.aspx

Anonymous said...

"Yes, there is a HUGE shorting opportunity here."

You'll have to short the dollar, because GM is now backed by the Federal Reserve (which is laundering and monetizing US government debt).

Anonymous said...

The real madness is the notion that low income individuals should buy new cars. Cars last a long time now. I've always saved lots of money by buying used. But, I guess that makes me a racist, lol

Anonymous said...

You'll have to short the dollar, because GM is now backed by the Federal Reserve (which is laundering and monetizing US government debt).

Right - it's difficult to short a company whose CEO can pick up the phone and order Ben Bernanke to invent [even] more money right out of thin air and then wire it directly to them.

Anonymous said...

Of course, American wages have stagnated since 1968 - before most of today's Americans were born.
In the former USSR, Brezhnev was being constantly slagged-off by 'smart' neocons in US think-tanks for presiding over 'stagnation'.
I bet a dime to a dollar that his record on raising purchasing power was a damned sight better than the USA has done in the past 50 years - if you don't count the super-rich of course.

Dave said...

You can't short the new incarnation of GM because it's not publicly traded yet (that will happen after its IPO). The only thing you can short now is the financial carcass of the old GM, which currently trades for 41 cents per share, under the Pink Sheet symbol MTLQQ. It will eventually go to zero once GM's bankruptcy process is finished, as there will be zero assets left for common shareholders.

Anonymous said...

Basically, nobody in D.C. has any strategy how to help the bottom 40% of the country earn more money, since the obvious steps, such as immigration restriction and protectionism, are unthinkable in Washington.

Funny that Congress just extended unemployment benefits (again...) while at the same time we have 7-8 million people illegally in this country (and heaven knows how many legal guestworkers) doing jobs Americans could be doing.

The deficit and unemployment rate won't shrink much until Congress comes to its senses, which, even with a Republican takeover, I'm guessing will be never.

The real problem isn't that Obama and his socialist pals believe in crap that doesn't make sense. The real problem is that if/when Republicans take over Congress we know that they will do absolutely nothing to change it.

It's anything but Marxist - it's unfettered capitalism and free-markets foisted upon both America and the rest of the world by America's elite.

Since the 1970s 58 cents of every new dollar in wealth created has gone to the top 1%. It's a false choice, Republican vs. Democrat. The rich and the powerful have taken over both. Until people realize that (and some of us are beginning to) we'll never have real reform.

Paul DeReno said...

"It's anything but Marxist - it's unfettered capitalism and free-markets
foisted upon both America and the rest of the world by America's elite."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (crying)

We have the imposition of Affirmative Action, the Great Society, the Gulf of Tomkin Hoax, the unilateral default of American gold obligations, the onset of wage and price controls, the needless 1980s military buildup, the repeal of Glass Stegal and various other laws, the corruption of the regulatory agencies, the formation of the National Security State, body scanners in the service of the phony war on terror, the socializing of the American auto and medicine industries, the beginnings of a national education curriculum in our socialist education system...

Please tell me how this can be viewed as "unfettered capitalism" by someone who is not on crack.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me how this can be viewed as "unfettered capitalism" by someone who is not on crack.

Sorry, but you're a rube. People don't buy politicians for the ideology, they do it for the profits.