Friday, October 29, 2010

GM's Sweetheart Deal From Uncle Sam

I was watching CNBC yesterday afternoon when its automotive reporter, Phil Lebeau, appeared with a breathtaking, special update on the delay of GM's formal unveiling of its much-delayed Volt electric car.

After explaining that the delay is due to all of GM's senior executives being out on a road show to sell their imminent IPO, Lebeau let drop that the company will have repaid about $21B to the government, assuming a successful equity sale.

He then went on to note that the total amount of federal money pumped into the failed car maker is about $50B, but it's not realistic to expect all of that to be recouped.

Really, Phil? Wow, where can I get a deal like that?

Wait...I know....I should have bought a house I couldn't afford, not paid the mortgage, and gotten a mortgage modification!

Silly me.

It's the new culture of debt repudiation. Forget mere excess or conspicuous consumption. We're way beyond that now.

Consider how many other US companies have recently been given roughly $30B of capital, free of charge. No interest, no need to repay it. It's a gift.

Does anyone else think this is crazy and, ultimately seriously damaging to our economic system? Or am I alone in this belief?

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