It must be difficult for the Mom and Pop investor to make sense of General Motors’ recent earnings announcement and subsequent drop in share price. On Thursday morning, GM reported earnings that were trumpeted as being “impressive” by one major financial TV network. In fact, early in the day, headlines at the network stated that the entire market was being driven higher by strong earnings at GM and Caterpillar. That hyperbole came into question when GM share price dropped about 3% on a day that the broader markets were strong.
It was unfortunate for many investors who bought into the early hype and drove share price up pre-market. As is often the case on Wall Street, the little guy was at a disadvantage to the big guys who are more astute at filtering through the hype to get a clearer picture of the financial condition of publicly-traded companies. And when … Read More ➡
Today’s New York Post reports that Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), already under indictment, sought out and allegedly accepted campaign contributions in his initial 2010 race for Congress that exceeded contribution limits.
He asked for $10,000 donations from six people, when the legal limit for individual contributions is $2,400. The contributions were not disclosed on Grimm’s campaign disclosure forms, evidence that Grimm may have been aware that they were illegal.
From the article by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein:
“A candidate who tries to get others to solicit contributions far in excess of the legal limit raises big red flags,” said Ken Boehm, a former prosecutor and chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a Virginia watchdog. Not reporting donations, or funneling them through straw donors, is illegal.
Despite being a Republican, Grimm is close to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) of Queens, in photo with Grimm. According to a … Read More ➡
Environmentally conscientious, wealthy car enthusiasts are in luck! The much-hyped “D” unveiling came last week as Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, presented what appears to be a very impressive version of its plug-in Model S electric car called the P85D. Boasting 691 horsepower, 687 ft/lb of torque, AWD and a blazing 3.2 second zero to sixty time, the new rich peoples’ toy is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $120,000. In fact, the car is so darn impressive that the only obvious question is why in the world do we need to give the affluent purchasers of cars like this a federal tax credit of $7,500 each?
I can see why General Motors would need subsidies to sell such cars as the Cadillac ELR (which lumbers through a zero to sixty time in a laborious 9.4 seconds) at a price of about $75,000. The car is essentially a gussied-up Chevy … Read More ➡
Cadillac sales continue to sputter at General Motors. In fact, the brand is the only make at GM that has seen a year over year sales decline for the period ending in September at a time when the auto industry was booming. Specifically, Cadillac has logged in 127,837 sales for the first nine months of 2014 compared to 133,414 in 2013 for a sales decline of 4.2 percent. GM will now offer frequent flyer miles to help spur sales at the division.
The marketing move at GM follows a decision to relocate Cadillac’s sales team to New York City. That move, along with the renaming of Cadillac models, was criticized by Automotive News as follows:
It is most disappointing that the new head of Cadillac had this decision thrust on him without any chance to evaluate the situation or get some wise advice from outside the company — from
… Read More ➡
A special inspector general report on compensation for executives at General Motors and Ally Financial blasts the Treasury Department for allowing excessive pay at the companies as taxpayers lost billions of dollars on the auto bailouts. The watchdog group issuing the report monitors the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was set up to save financial corporations deemed “too big to fail” due to systemic risk to America’s financial system. The program was expanded to allow for the bailing out of the auto industry, despite the questionable use of funds specifically designated for financial institutions.
A NY Times piece states that the report criticizes the Treasury Department for loosening restrictions on TARP program pay limitations as follows:
Top executives at General Motors and Ally Financial, both of which received bailouts from the United States Treasury Department in 2009, were paid excessively even as taxpayers lost money, according to a special
… Read More ➡
Reuters sources inside Nissan are saying the production of batteries in Tennessee for the all-electric Leaf, which stimulus-subsidizing U.S. taxpayers backed with a $1.4 billion loan, could be eliminated.
According to the report, at minimum there is sharp debate over whether the company will continue to manufacture electric vehicle batteries in-house or contract with an outside supplier. Nissan partner Renault, which has 43.4 percent shareholder ownership in the joint company, is said to be pushing for outsourcing battery production – possibly to LG Chem. None who revealed the information were identified for the Reuters story.
“We set out to be a leader in battery manufacturing but it turned out to be less competitive than we’d wanted,” said a Nissan executive to Reuters, on condition of anonymity. “We’re still between six months and a year behind LG in price-performance terms.”
If they’re really thinking about a move … Read More ➡
Global warming is the current issue that will be forgotten again next week, but while the watermelons demonstrated in New York City where President Obama spoke at the Climate Summit at the United Nations, former Bush (II) Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson ran his mouth at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting.
A Republican that leftists turn to for a good “enviro-kumbaya” session came through with the rhetoric again this week. Most recently known for his partnership with statists Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg in the shame-the-capitalists effort called “Risky Business,” Paulson delivered a financial market parallelism on climate change that any Occupy Wall Streeter would be proud of.
On what seemed to be a randomly assembled panel of non-experts that also included the Rockefeller Foundation’s Judith Rodin and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (famous for the selfies she took with President Obama at Nelson Mandela’s memorial), Paulson … Read More ➡
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) faced some of its heaviest criticism to date last week on Capitol Hill. Hearings addressing the failings of the agency were headed by Senator Claire McCaskill and centered around NHTSA’s part in General Motors’ deadly ignition switch recall delay. The death toll (currently at 20) continues to rise as a result of GM and NHTSA allowing the dangerously defective vehicles to remain on the roads for about 10 years from when the problem was first recognized. While the criticism of NHTSA is well-deserved, it is past time for harsh words to be accompanied by an overhaul of the agency.
Senator McCaskill has stated that an overhaul is exactly what she intends to accomplish according to a NY Times report on the hearings. From that piece:
In an interview after the hearing, Ms. McCaskill vowed to continue working on legislation to overhaul the
… Read More ➡
There was little doubt that once CEO Elon Musk and Tesla announced they would locate their electric vehicle battery “Gigafactory” in Nevada, that Silver State lawmakers would vote in a special legislative session to support targeted tax breaks and incentives – even at the breathtaking amount of $1.3 billion.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, the courter, would have appeared an extreme fool if he didn’t already have the political backing needed for the deal. But there were other mini-surprises: Unanimity at the legislature; four separate bills passed to construct the package; and benefits enjoyed by other industries in Nevada that were rescinded to help with the Tesla payoff.
“This is obviously an historic and exciting day for our great state,” said Democrat state Sen. Justin Jones from Las Vegas.
Just imagine how Nevada lawmakers would feel if they won the heart of a real automobile company, like Texas just did… Read More ➡