Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Government Motors Lies, as Expected

When I first saw the new GM ad with Ed Whitacre, I thought WTF? The claim that GM had paid back all its loans was, of course, literally true, but not true in any useful sense of the word, as Scott Johnson documents.
What really disgusted me is that the US government (and I expect the Canadian one, also a sleazy shareholder in this company) clearly approved this ad.
First, Whitacre omitted any mention of the remaining $50 billion or so that the government has sunk in the company's equity. Second, Whitacre omitted any mention of the source of the funds with which GM "repaid" the loan. According to TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky, the source of the funds in whole or in substantial part was the United States government TARP program, not GM earnings. Shikka Dalmia has much more detail on the misrepresentations permeating Whitacre's public relations blitz in this Forbes column.
I agree with Scott on the disgusting priorities of the mental pygmy Carl Levin:
It was a fraud committed with the assistance if not the urging of the Obama administration. It was not, in short, the kind of fraud that Michigan Senator Carl Levin or his Democratic counterparts chairing other Senate committees will be holding hearings on any time soon.
Go read Scott's post.
UPDATE: Great reader comment (and I am opposed to Own the Podium):
When everyone was bashing Own the Podium, I kept thinking, OK, $11 million a year extra. That's 1000 years of the June 1 gift to GM. I know which one I think has greater social value. I drive a Honda.
I drive a GM pre-bailout car. Best car I have ever owned. But they are still liars.
The saddest thing in all this - as a software engineer most of my career, I am very prepared to believe that Toyota has a software problem; but I am now extremeley distrustful of a US Government persecuting Toyota. For obvious reasons.


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