by John Hawkins | April 23, 2009 11:49 am
Our arrogant new lord and monarch, Barack Obama, is displaying the same level of competence as SUPER-CEO of General Motors as he has everywhere else except public relations — in other words, he’s a human 12 car pile up at rush hour.
From Holman Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal,
It’s good to be the king — until you start tripping over your own robe.
So King Barack the Mild is finding as he tries to dictate the terms of what amounts to an out-of-court bankruptcy for Chrysler and GM. He wants Chrysler’s secured lenders to give up their right to nearly full recovery in a bankruptcy in return for 15 cents on the dollar. They’d be crazy to do so, of course, except that these banks also happen to be beholden to the administration for TARP money.
Kingly prerogative also conflicts with kingly prerogative in the case of GM’s unsecured creditors, who are the sticking point in agreeing to a turnaround plan by the drop-dead date of June 1. His retainer, Steven Rattner, has delivered word that the king’s pleasure is that these unsecured creditors give up 100% of their claims in return for GM stock.
It may also be the king’s pleasure, he advised, to convert at some point the government’s own $13 billion in bailout loans into GM stock.
There’s just one problem: Why on earth would GM’s creditors — who include not just bondholders but the UAW’s health-care trust — want any part of this deal?
They’ve already seen that the rights and privileges of shareholders are not worth diddly when the king is throwing his prerogatives around. He dispensed with the services of GM chief Rick Wagoner, though the king owned not a single share of GM stock at the time. His minions communicated the king’s pleasure that GM consider discontinuing its GMC brand, maker of pickups and SUVs that offendeth the royal eye — though these vehicles earn GM’s fattest profit margins.
His minions haven’t asked GM to give up the Chevy Volt, even after determining it will be a profitless black hole, because of the king’s fondness for green.
…His current bailout strategy amounts to asking thousands of bondholders and GM retirees to buy stock in a GM that the king’s own policies mean they’d be loony to buy. Add the fact that passenger cars and trucks in the U.S. are a trivial source of greenhouse gases in any case — they could all become carbonless and it would be irrelevant in the face of China’s and India’s coal use. King Barack has only been on his throne for three months. His policies already have devolved into savage incoherence.
Obama has no more of an idea how to run a company like GM than Nancy Pelosi does about how to do brain surgery. Granted, that could be said of just about everybody in DC: they’re politicians, not CEOs. For that matter, it could be said about most of the people in America. However, unlike most people, Barack Obama has essentially — in what I think should be considered an illegal, unconstitutional, and unquestionably fascistic maneuver — set himself up as the Super-CEO of General Motors.
At this point, no matter what happens, Barack Obama has already wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on General Motors, which in a more sane world, would merit threats of impeachment as a “high crime” against the people who pay taxes in this country. But, of course, that won’t happen.
So, at this point, the only questions that matter are:
#1) When is Obama getting out of GM?
#2) How much of our money are we getting back?
#3) How can we prevent the government from doing this sort of thing again?
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