Economy & Budget

General Motors CEO: We’ve ‘Gotten Over’ Our $23.6 Billion Auto Bailout Loss

Government General Motors (GM) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dan Akerson – a President Barack Obama post-bailout Crony Socialist appointee – is hard to confuse with someone in touch with the common man.

There’s Akerson’s palatial house.  Or his second, palatial, beachfront condominium.  Neither of which were used in the filming of Good Times.

As we pointed out back in March, Akerson is a foundational part of the uber-wealthy, interwoven Washington, D.C.-Wall Street Crony Socialist nexus.

Akerson is not – and never has been – a car guy.  He said so himself.  What is he?  He is a DC-connected, Wall Street hedge fund big coin guy.

Akerson’s immediately preceding gig was Managing Director and head of Global Buyout for the incredibly inside-the-Beltway-connected Carlyle Group.

This hip-joined relationship with the federal Leviathan means Akerson’s a cardboard cutout for the real CEO of Government Motors – U.S. Treasury Secretary (and yet another fellow DC-Wall Streeter) Tim Geithner.

And from all we have since seen, Akerson is one giant toe on the Huge Government, Obama Administration line.

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We have for the last several months witnessed the federal government engage in the terribly shortsighted and inadequate debt ceiling and Super Committee budget debate. 

One tin-ear aspect of the warped focus throughout has been “How will this affect Wall Street?”  Almost never has it been “How will this affect taxpayers?”

In the end, it looks as if We the People will be force fed a deal that pleases Wall Street – and leaves the taxpayers on the hook for another $10 trillion.

Government Motors – under Akerson – is similarly situated.  The absolute last thing about which they seem to care is We the People.  We stand to lose about $24 billion on our generous – conscripted – auto bailout.

And we get the distinct impression that Akerson couldn’t care less.

”We are in the midst of transforming an iconic American company so 20 and 30 years from now (taxpayers) will look at this company and they’ll say, ‘Absolutely it was the right thing to do,’ ” Akerson said. ”And it shouldn’t be measured on did it sell for $43 or $53 (a share) or did they lose a couple billion dollars?”

“A couple billion dollars” being an Akerson euphemism for about $24 billion.  Can’t you just feel the compassion for us Little Guys?

How about now?

“You know what I’d rather have them do – this will make my Republican friends puke – …we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas.”

Bask in the warmth.

Akerson in part wants this huge gas tax hike to “transformationally” herd us sheep into his expensive, unprofitable hybrid Chevy Volts.  In which we have thus far shown very little interest – a pathetic, piddling 4,000 sold thus far this year

(Despite this distinct disinterest, GM is looking to expand its Volt-ishness.  Upping production next year to 60,000 – and adding new hybrid Cadillacs and Cruzes

Oh, and Volts are repeatedly leaping into flames and failing two out of three crash tests, while possibly requiring immediate battery drains thereafter to avoid further explosions.  So I’m not sure the technology is at all ready for free market prime time.

GM, in fact, last year registered more Solyndra, Fisker-esque green non-energy patents than any other company on Planet Earth – excuse me, I mean Mother Gaia.  Yet again, Government Motors and the Left are building on failure.)

Akerson in June said he’d prefer a $1-per-gallon gas tax increase to raised Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mileage standards.

Akerson’s remark has everything to do with the upcoming CAFE requirements starting in 2017 that will push gas mileage standards as high as 47 miles per gallon and even higher still to 62 miles per gallon by 2025. Such an increase will put a major strain on vehicle prices (and costs) — some estimates run as high as an additional $3,500 to $10,000 per vehicle…

But in July, there was Obama Administration toady Akerson backing the more than doubling of CAFE standards.

Here’s some more of Akerson’s Little Guy glow:

“I think you need to cut the hell out of the budget and you’ve got to increase taxes…on everybody.”

That’s all of us – the people who bailed out his failing company to allow him to now make such fabulous pronouncements.

In all of this does Akerson sound just like any other lackey for the Obama Administration.  Which of course he is.

“I can’t go on (television). I’m toxic. I’m like a lightning rod. I couldn’t have an intelligent discussion without someone saying, ‘He’s a welfare guy from the bailout.’“

I wonder why we’d think that?

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Akerson’s latest oblivious iteration?  That we’ve “gotten over” our looming titanic auto bailout loss.

The U.S. government got a stake in the restructured company, part of which was sold in an initial public stock offering about one year ago on Nov. 18, 2010. The government’s remaining 500 million shares would have to sell for around $53 per share for the U.S. to break even. Such a sale probably won’t come anytime soon. GM shares are trading around one-third less than the $33 IPO price.

The summer before the IPO, then-GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre said government ownership was hurting the company’s sales. Whitacre said GM didn’t want to be known as “Government Motors.”
But Akerson said on Thursday that the new GM is now making money and has passed that stage.

“I do think that we’ve kind of gotten over that,” he said.

As Akerson has said – you shouldn’t measure the GM bailout “on…did they lose a couple billion dollars.”  Or 24 billion dollars.  Whatever.

And if you shouldn’t measure by that measure – you certainly should have by now “gotten over” the bailout.

Right?

To someone like Akerson – riding so uber-comfortably high on our gi-normous looming loss – it may seem like old news. 

But when we finally do sell our 500+ million GM shares – and take our 16 or so billion dollar haircut just thereon (www.Bailoutcost.com) – We the People will be the only ones on whom anyone has “gotten over.”

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