The Wall Street Journal recently reported that General Motors has paid over a billion dollars in cash and stock to acquire Cruise Automation, a San Francisco startup company that designs self-driving software. The technological and regulatory obstacles facing autonomous driving development are huge, but don’t expect that to stop GM from throwing billions of shareholder dollars at the latest hyped wonder-technology.
Cruise Automation is a small firm that employs about 40 people and has no major sales revenue to speak of. That works out to GM paying about $25 million per employee. The billion dollar company, however, is reported to be growing quickly with plans to hire another ten people.
The idea of GM wantonly spending $1 billion for the start-up brings to mind the costly Chevy Volt folly which saw a multi-billion dollar investment in an infeasible technology reap no rewards for GM shareholders. Even with billions of dollars … Read More ➡
The American network of demagogues known as Black Lives Matter normally aims its venom at those here who get in its way. But the group also acts globally. Operating on the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” this instant mob service is forging ties with a worldwide anti-Israel campaign, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS. Claiming the high moral ground, BDS is committed to the destruction of Israel in the name of “justice” for neighboring Palestinian Arabs. It views Israel much as Black Lives Matter views America: a white colonial occupation force oppressing “people of color.” The two groups are a match. Yet their political synergy is dangerously naïve.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) got off the ground during the summer of 2013 in the wake of a wholly justified Florida jury verdict not to convict a white neighborhood crime patrol volunteer, George Zimmerman, who had … Read More ➡
A watchdog group is asking for an investigation of David H. Stevens, a former Federal Housing Administration (FHA) official, who currently serves as President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) today asks in dual requests to the U.S. Attorney for District of Columbia, and the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that Stevens be investigated for possibly violating the statutory one-year ban on having contact with his former agency, as well as the lifetime ban on having contact with officials on matters on which he worked while in government. Click here to download a copy of the requests.
At issue is Stevens’ apparent quarterbacking of a campaign by the big banks to win mortgage lending business from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the wake of the financial crisis, and the placement of the two Government Sponsored Enterprises … Read More ➡
“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.” That is a cliché that investors should keep in mind if they are considering buying into General Motors’ latest debt offering. In fact, holders of GM common stock should also assess the growing similarity that New GM has with the bankrupted Old GM.
GM announced last week that it will be offering an estimated $2 billion of unsecured debt to help prop up underfunded pensions with additional proceeds used for general business purposes. The move follows a contradictory continuing dialogue that proclaims the company is so cash rich that it can afford to buy back billions of dollars of common shares as it doles out $11,000 bonuses to UAW workers. GM share performance belies the notion that the company is firing on all cylinders.
Since GM’s public offering in late 2010, shares are down over 15% while the … Read More ➡
When the curtain rises on the 88th annual Oscar film awards next Sunday evening, February 28, tens of millions of TV viewers, along with attendees at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, will feel extra pangs of anxiety. For the focus this year is as much on race as it is on who will win. From the time of the announcement of the 20 acting nominations on January 14, racial grievance hustlers, from Al Sharpton to Jesse Jackson to scheduled emcee Chris Rock (in photo), have hectored the Motion Picture Academy over the nominees being all white. This, they say, proves racism is rampant and that “reforms” are needed. Don’t believe them. Their facts are selective. And their goals are money and power at the expense of integrity of judgment.
The movie industry for the last couple of decades increasingly has been a target of hard Left identity politicians. Hispanic … Read More ➡
Here’s one that wasn’t hard to see coming. General Motors has announced that it is ending production of the Cadillac ELR, which was essentially a gussied up Chevy Volt at twice the price. You can call this one a mercy killing as the overpriced, pseudo-green, government-subsidized vehicle was doomed for failure as low sales figures reflected the lack of value offered by the vehicle. That failure was predicted here back in December of 2013 when the ELR was rolled out.
As with the sales-challenged Chevy Volt, most of the media bought into the Cadillac ELR hype, calling it a potential “Tesla Killer.” Priced at about $76,000, the ELR ran a 0 to 60 time in an embarrassing 10 second range. Despite that, GM CEO Mary Barra had high hopes for the car. That is a fact that should make GM shareholders nervous.
Here’s what I said over two years … Read More ➡
It has now been more than three months since news broke that General Motors, once again, failed to properly protect owners of its vehicles from risks resulting from shoddy quality control. The latest incident involves about 1.4 million GM vehicles that were at risk of erupting into flames due to engine oil seepage. The at-risk vehicles were previously recalled by GM years ago, but the quick-fix remedy offered by GM did not solve the underlying problem.
It appears that most of mainstream media has been fiddling while the GM vehicles burned. One of the few articles that criticized the latest GM recall failure came in November of 2015 from the Associated Press via the Detroit Free Press. That story questioned the actions of GM in the case along with the crony government regulatory environment as NHTSA failed, yet again, to take action on a well-known safety problem. Following are excerpts … Read More ➡
The influx of giant technology companies into North Carolina to build artificially “green and clean” data centers, which they say are powered by their nearby solar farms, has led to a revelation that discredits their claims.
The stunning admission: that electricity derived from solar sources is thoroughly unreliable.
The information was unearthed in a report last week by Carolina Journal, a publication of the conservative John Locke Foundation. In a filing with the state’s Utilities Commission, a solar company affiliated with Google reported that the trustworthiness of the energy produced by its proposed facility would be non-existent.
“Solar is an intermittent energy source, and therefore, the maximum dependable capacity is 0 MW,” wrote Rutherford Farm LLC, a subsidiary of Strata Solar, in its May 2013 application to the North Carolina utility regulatory agency.
In November Duke Energy announced that Google would be its first participant in its “Green … Read More ➡
The Obama Administration’s Justice Department is now suing Volkswagen for “up to $90 billion for allegedly violating environmental law.” Politically-favored General Motors was fined $900 million, or 1% of that amount, for covering up an ignition switch defect that led to the deaths of at least 124 people. At last count, the number of people who lost their lives as a result of emissions' tampering by VW stood at zero.
Meanwhile, the GM board unanimously elected CEO Mary Barra as its Chairman, demonstrating that it is still not independent of political influences, even years after the 2009 bankruptcy process.
Barra was in charge of quality control during the time that GM was hiding its deadly ignition switch defect. She became CEO while the company continued to cover up the extent of a problem that was putting motorists' lives at risk. Barra repeatedly evaded and misrepresented in public statements, and in … Read More ➡
When Bob Lutz speaks, automotive journalists listen. Well, at least they usually do. When a recent Automotive News roundtable discussion showed Lutz blasting General Motors’ Chevy Bolt (and electric vehicles like it), mainstream journalists failed to pick up on the story. Lutz was right on the money when he exposed the EV folly, which is costing automakers billions of dollars and driving up prices of conventional, gas-powered vehicles.
Bob Lutz certainly has credibility in the automotive world. As an ex-GM executive he was known as the father of the Chevy Volt, a taxpayer-subsidized vehicle that I have had plenty of criticism for. Now that such a noted figure as Lutz has changed direction and is questioning the logic of lithium-ion battery technology, the automotive community should be taking notice.
So, since Lutz’s criticisms carry much more weight than my own, we can proceed to some of the bombshells that … Read More ➡