Did GM Bailout Cost Lives?

The death toll for General Motors’ faulty ignition switch victims continues to rise with the last reported number being 42. There has been speculation that the death count is significantly higher, as safety advocate Clarence Ditlow has written to GM to request an expansion of efforts to uncover victims of accidents resulting from defective GM vehicles.

GM has known about the ignition switch defect for years and failed to recall the deadly vehicles for almost five years after the Obama Administration took over the company in June of 2009. President Obama’s Auto Task Force guided the company through a manipulated bankruptcy process that favored political allies like the UAW over other creditors as new management and board members were appointed by the Administration. We now must question the perceived “success” of the GM bailout and ask if a conventional bankruptcy process could have saved some of the lives that were …

Chevy Malibu Problems Epitomize GM’s Struggle

Government MotorsGeneral Motors is now approaching its fifth year of existence since emerging as a new entity as a result of the 2009 auto bailouts which saw taxpayers fund a bankruptcy process to the tune of $50 billion. Much has been debated about the “success” of GM since the controversial government-orchestrated restructuring. While GM management recently announced a dividend in an attempt to ensure investors of financial stability, a more telling indicator of the likelihood of future profitability may be found through an analysis of how competitive the company’s vehicles are.

Let’s face it; it should not be that hard for a corporation to look good to Wall Street after receiving an influx of $50 billion to its balance sheet along with the removal of creditor liabilities. But just how well are the company’s cars selling and what is the prognosis for longer-term sustainability? A closer look at the best-selling, mid-size …

Taxpayers Tally Losses as Treasury Exits GM Stake

money down the drainIt appears the time has finally come for the Obama Administration to end taxpayers’ forced investment in General Motors. Reports continue to roll in that Treasury is expected to sell its remaining stake by year-end. Of course, the news will be trumpeted as a great success by those responsible for the heist that cost taxpayers (along with creditors and shareholders of old GM) billions of dollars.

The final figures confirming how taxpayers fared will have to wait for the closing tally, but the estimated loss to those who footed the GM bailout bill is in the $10 billion range. A full retrospective view will reveal that the losses go far beyond that monetary sum. Worse yet, the money was spent to reward political allies that would, in return for the payoff, come out in force to secure President Obama’s reelection.

The hyperbolic spin by General Motors and the Obama …

Obama’s GM Bailout Nothing to Brag About

Obama debate photoAs the presidential election nears we continue to hear about what a great job the Obama Administration did “saving” General Motors. The claims are that millions of jobs were saved and Mitt Romney wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt. A review of the facts reveals that the auto bailout process that cost taxpayers billions of dollars is hardly anything to brag about.

When President Obama says he “saved” GM, what he means is that his administration guided a bankruptcy process for the company, funded with taxpayer dollars. The repeated statements by Obama that Romney would have let the company go bankrupt are deceptive. Let’s be clear, GM DID go bankrupt.

The bankruptcy process for GM was mainly funded by American taxpayers. President Obama formed the Auto Task Force and chose an allegedly corrupt hedge fund guy in Steve Rattner to run the show. Bankruptcy experts and Wall Street types were …

GM Bankruptcy Misrepresentations Prefaced Libya Attack Controversy

The 2012 election campaigns have seen accusations thrown about that both President Obama and Governor Romney have been less than honest at times. After Obama was soundly trounced in the first debate, the defense for the President’s poor performance (other than Al Gore’s theory that it was the high altitude) was that Mitt Romney lied. While that unsubstantiated charge might make Governor Romney an accused liar, the facts surrounding the General Motors bankruptcy process reveal that those in the Obama Administration are proven liars.

Although many in the media might choose to ignore the ethical shortcomings of the GM bankruptcy process, I believe the unprecedented, and mostly uncontested, nationalization of a major US industrial corporation that saw politically-favored groups rewarded emboldened our nation’s president when it comes to being a bit lenient with the truth. The latest example of truth leniency by the Obama Administration came when misrepresentations were made …

Shafted Delphi Retirees Suing Treasury, Auto Task Force

GM UAW Delphi logosThe unprecedented intrusion of the executive branch of the US government into the American auto industry when the Obama Administration orchestrated the General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcy processes is now leading to unprecedented responses. Groups that were clearly discriminated against and had their rights subordinated to politically powerful unions may actually have a winnable case against our own government as lawsuits are being brought against the US Treasury Dept. and others.

The Delphi salaried retirees who saw their pension benefits disintegrate after the GM bankruptcy are now suing the US Treasury, the Auto Task Force, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and ex-Auto Task Force heads, Steve Rattner and Ron Bloom. The first hearing against the Treasury Dept. and others will occur on August 17th. The basis of the suit is that the Obama Administration wrongfully used taxpayer dollars to pick winners and losers in the GM bankruptcy. I had …

Auto Bailout Czar Ron Bloom Changes Story

On Friday night, I discussed White House staffer Ron Bloom’s statement that the auto bailout was done for the unions, and his subsequent denial of making such a claim, only to now back off his denial. The show was America’s Nightly Scorecard on Fox Business Channel. Here’s a transcript:

David Asman: The auto bailouts infuriating a range of stakeholders who argued all along that the government was orchestrating the bail-outs to give the unions more power, some say all the power, Ron Bloom, the White House’s car czar, formerly a leader of the steelworkers union, reportedly admitting as much, twice saying, I am doing all this for the unions. But Bloom changed his story under oath. Take a listen.

Roll Video

Congressman Dan Burton: Did you say this at a dinner– there was a dinner and it was reported by David Shepherdson, Washington correspondent for The Detroit News– …

GM’s Free Insurance Incentive – Innovation or Desperation?

car insurance graphicGeneral Motors recently launched a pilot program in the Pacific Northwest offering free auto insurance on GM vehicle purchases. The move immediately drew criticism from independent insurance agents who point to possible legal problems with the move, as reported by liveinsurancenews.com. The agents are obviously concerned with the potential loss of business, but they make valid points that there are regulatory and licensing requirements that go with the offering of insurance products.

Other concerns raised include provisions that might exist for consumers who have more than one vehicle and are required to insure the vehicles under the same carrier. Are the incentive gimmicks at GM innovative marketing or a sign that they are becoming desperate to drive sales?

GM has historically offered gimmicky incentives in an attempt to drive sales. This latest promotion seems to carry extra logistical challenges; why does GM continue to rely on controversial marketing strategies …

Auto Bailout Czar: We Did It All for the Unions

Ron Bloom photoThe Detroit Free Press reports that the House committee holding hearings on the auto bailout process wants clarification from former head of President Obama’s Auto Task Force, Ron Bloom, regarding testimony he gave about a statement he allegedly made at a 2009 celebratory dinner. According to a news article written at the time and fellow ex-car czar, Steve Rattner, Bloom stated that he “did this all for the unions.” Bloom denied making the statement while under oath. The congressional panel isn’t buying it and has written a letter to Bloom requesting that he amend his testimony.

Given Bloom’s union background and the UAW favoritism displayed throughout the General Motors and Chrysler bailout process, the admission that the bailouts were done to benefit the unions should not come as a surprise. For many of us, that has been obvious for quite some time. Bloom was once the special assistant to the …

CNBC: Flaherty Says Open GM IPO to All (But Retail Investors Should Not Buy)

Today, I debated whether GM should set aside IPO shares for taxpayers with Julian Epstein, LMG CEO and Democratic strategist. CNBC hosts are Trish Regan and Melissa Francis. Here’s a transcript:

Melissa Francis: We are asking, should the government tell GM to set aside IPO shares for the taxpayer. Here is what you said. Mario: The taxpayers should be ably to buy as many shares as they can with the amount of money they gave GM to bail them out. But James says the government is doing the public a favor by preventing participation in the IPO. That really cuts both ways. Joining us now is Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center and Julian Epstein, the CEO of LMG and a Democratic strategist. Julian, this is kind of a PR disaster, I would say on the part of the government. What is the deal do …