I don't know if I know anything about anything, but the latest proposed government assistance to General Motors irks me. From what I understand, after the dust settles on this, the US government stands to have about a 70% stake in this ailing motor company. This means my tax dollars may soon be going to a place that makes overpriced cars with low gas mileage that I'd never buy. (Psst - Why couldn't we bail out something I like?)
So, I heard this on the Marketplace (Kai Ryssdal = dreeeeamy) coming home from work today, and I found myself nodding my head in agreement. Author Barry Ritholtz was being interviewed by Kai (sigh) on the current state of government bailouts:
"You don't want to reward incompetent management, and that's pretty much what we've been doing. Oh, you guys drove this company into the ground, and you've lost $180 billion, here's a check. Come back if you need some more. It's insane."
I know this guy was on Marketplace to sell his book, but I couldn't help but agree. I hate incompetent management. I hate the fact that old white men (and I AM making a vast assumption here, but it's my blog and this is the direction I'm going...) sit in their leather armchairs, taking risks, assuming THEY'RE TOO BIG TO FAIL and then lining up to suck at the teat of government handouts.
The thing that really kills me is that half these guys are probably Libertarians, too (!)
But, on the other hand, I understand that GM employes almost a quarter of a million people. I don't mean to sound hard hearted to the very real reality that these folks will be facing in the coming weeks and months. Some of these folks are my friends. Why should they lose their jobs because management didn't know what they were doing?
The thing I struggle with (aside from my latent hatred for the Global Patriarchy) is: what stops us from bailing out EVERYONE? We've all got (or most of us have) jobs. Why not my company? I realize I may be late in chiming in here, but WHAT THE HELL? WHO'S NEXT?
As Barry Ritholtz outlines,
"Once you reward people for their worst behavior, for speculative, irresponsible investing and punish the prudent and the people who are careful with that money. Everybody seems to think it's a free for all. Hey, you've got yours. How do I get mine?"
So yeah, where IS mine?
////.......It's with GM.