NLPC seeks to promote integrity in corporate governance, including honesty and fair play in relationships with shareholders, employees, business partners and customers. In doing so, NLPC places special emphasis on:
* Asserting that the social responsibility of the corporation is to defend and advance the interests of the people who own the company, the shareholders. True responsibility is fidelity to one’s own mission, not someone else’s, or someone else’s political agenda.
* Exposing the seeking of influence on public officials by corporations, which is the inevitable result of high levels of government spending and intervention in the marketplace.
* Combating practices that undermine the free enterprise system, including philanthropic giving to groups hostile to a free economy.
We have heard the claims over and over again from the Obama campaign; the President “saved” General Motors and Mitt Romney said “let Detroit go bankrupt.” The clear implication is that GM never went through the bankruptcy process that Romney suggested. Here’s news for voters who didn’t pay attention to how, exactly, Obama “saved” GM; $50 billion dollars of taxpayer money was given to GM to get them through a manipulated bankruptcy process. Replacing the word bankrupted with saved does not change the facts. And the fact is, GM DID go bankrupt.
The media has not questioned the clearest example of misrepresentation of facts by one of the presidential candidates. This one is not debatable, the court dockets exist. Not only did GM go bankrupt, but the Obama Administration used taxpayer money to manipulate the bankruptcy process and assure that political friends in the UAW received favorable treatment compared to … Read More ➡
Tonight, the Democratic National Convention will reportedly highlight the “success” of the auto bailout. Michelle Malkin comments in a column today, and quotes NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica:
The claims that GM paid back its taxpayer-funded loans “in full” – a story peddled in campaign ads narrated by Hollywood actor Tom Hanks – were debunked by the Treasury Department’s TARP watchdog this summer. GM still owes nearly $30 billion of the $50 billion it received, and its lending arm still owes nearly $15 billion of the more than $17 billion it received. Bailout watchdog Mark Modica of the National Legal and Policy Center adds: “In addition to U.S. taxpayers anteing up, Canada put in over $10 billion, and GM was relieved of about $28 billion of bondholder obligations as UAW claims were protected. That’s an improvement of almost $90 billion to the balance sheet, and the company still lags
Attentive NLPC readers were aware of the extent of Exelon Corporation’s activism to gain regulatory favor in support of “green” policies in which it reaped millions of dollars in government grants and mandates, but last week’s lengthy New York Timesarticle about the cronyism-tainted relationship between the Chicago-based utility and the Obama administration revealed a few nuggets.
The story told how Exelon, with top executives as “early and frequent” supporters of the president as his political career ascended, were able to gain more access to the White House than others thanks to their longstanding relationships. According to one Exelon lobbyist, his employer was considered “the president’s utility.”
“White House records show that Exelon executives were able to secure an unusually large number of meetings with top administration officials at key moments in the consideration of environmental regulations that have been drafted in a way that hurt Exelon’s competitors, but … Read More ➡
USA Today reports that General Motors will be, once again, temporarily halting production of the Chevy Volt. According to GM, the halt is not due to low sales of the Volt. The article quotes a Chevy spokesman as saying, “We are not idling the plant due to poor Volt sales. We’re gearing up for production of the new Impala.”
In typical dubious mainstream media fashion, the article also reports that Volt sales have been just fine stating, “GM sold 10,666 Volts through July, way up from the 2,870 sold during the same period a year earlier.” Considering that back in January of 2011 GM CEO Dan Akerson had set a goal of selling 120,000 Volts in 2012, 10,666 Volt sales hardly seems like something to brag about. Akerson more recently lowered the goal to 60,000 and then to 35,000 to 40,000 just this June. The article failed to mention how … Read More ➡
When is a government watchdog not really a watchdog?
When he rolls over and lays at the feet of his master rather than sink his teeth into a program that he’s been tasked to guard.
Such appears to be the (unsurprising) case with Herbert Allison, Jr. (pictured), a former Wall Street executive (Merrill Lynch and TIAA-CREF) until he was appointed president and CEO of Fannie Mae in 2008, after it was put into conservatorship. Subsequently President Obama named (and the Senate confirmed) him as overseer of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the $700 billion asset acquisition fund that bailed out Wall Street financial institutions. He served in that role for about 15 months, until September 2010.
But it’s Allison’s role as a special investigator of the Department of Energy’s stimulus-funded loan program that is sparking curiosity, as explained in an Associated Press story published yesterday. Not long after … Read More ➡
Some truths are so obvious that they cannot be denied. But that doesn’t stop General Motors and politically-motivated cheerleaders for the Chevy Volt from trying. In the case of the Volt, the truth is that this car has been a dismal failure when considering the amount of hype and taxpayer money that has been spent to produce the supposed green wonder-car. Let’s review just how wrong GM CEO, Dan Akerson, has been regarding sales projections for the Volt and how he refuses to take accountability for GM’s blunders.
Let’s start by looking at Akerson’s plans and projections for the Volt back in January of 2011, two months after GM’s much-hyped IPO. From a Bloomberg report at the time, Akerson touted sales expectations for 2011 of 25,000 for the Volt. An even rosier sales projection for 2012 was made as Akerson’s plans for selling 120,000 Volts were revealed to a non-sceptical … Read More ➡
General Motors CEO & Chairman Dan Akerson has an op-ed in yesterday’s Detroit Free Press in response to the growing chorus of criticism of the company in general, and his leadership in particular. It is rather typical corporate PR, complete with a Teddy Roosevelt quote.
One line is odd, though. Akerson (or his flak) writes:
I believe our culture is our “secret weapon” and is on the way to being a true difference maker for us.
So, how is GM’s culture, according to Akerson?
A few days ago, Akerson had “expressed his continued frustration with the company’s inability to quickly shed its bureaucratic legacy,” saying “We’ve got to get this company and the culture into the 21st Century.”
Last month, Akerson was asked, “How much of GM’s culture has changed since before bankruptcy, on a scale of one to 100,” and he responded: “20, 25. We have a long, … Read More ➡
Three years into their forced marriage with GM, the American taxpayers have seen the value of their investment in GM deteriorate by approximately $24 billion, largely due to continuing European losses. Exposure in Europe has contributed to crushing the value of GM’s stock due to its chaotic and failing Opel unit in Germany. While government, journalists and Wall Street sympathizers have given the Obama Administration and GM leadership an almost incomprehensible pass on this value destruction and massive loss (presumably due to the macro-economic nature of the crisis), it’s time to call for the accountability that this new Board was supposedly going to deliver.
Overlooked is that the value-destroying, cash-sucking disaster that is GM Europe was packaged and ready for sale to new European buyers in 2009 before the new Obama GM Board of Directors slammed the brakes on the deal, throwing GM into its current value free-fall. In fact, the decision to not … Read More ➡
This time it’s the second fire in a Fisker Karma, which received $193 million out of a $529 million award from a Department of Energy loan guarantee before the cabinet agency cut the company off for failure to meet still-undisclosed milestones. This blaze (video), according to a report on the automotive Web site Jalopnik, occurred in a Woodside, Calif. parking lot while its owner was inside a store shopping for groceries.
In another development, the State of Delaware has been stuck paying more than $400,000 in utilities bills for a vacant factory that Fisker was supposed to occupy and use to manufacture its next electric car model, the Atlantic.
As for the fire, Fisker has acknowledged the incident.
“We have more than 1,000 Karmas on the road with a cumulative 2 million miles on them,” the company said in a statement published … Read More ➡
NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica was interviewed by Tom Sullivan about GM’s future on Fox Business Network on August 11. Here’s a transcript:
Tom Sullivan: Joining me now is an Associate Fellow at the National Legal and Policy Center, Mark Modica. You follow this GM story carefully.
Mark Modica: I sure do.
Tom Sullivan: Do you agree with the other Mark about the fact that GM is looking pretty good right now?
Mark Modica: I agree with some of the comments. The European situation is a mess, so that is an overhang there. As far as the government getting out – no professional investor would say that you base your exit of owing a stock on what you paid for the stock. The government should have been out of GM. They had the opportunity over a year ago to sell their stake – the taxpayers stake. At … Read More ➡