Archive for December 15th, 2008

“Not HELPING!”

Now, do you suppose maybe they could have a word with Corker, Shelby, and all the other foreign-car-state senators?

Detroit’s Big Three aren’t the only automotive companies that want to see the government step in with some much needed financial help.

Overseas automakers, most notably Toyota Motor, all endorse some form of federal aid to keep General Motors, Chrysler LLC and possibly Ford Motor out of bankruptcy.

(…)

“We support measures to help the industry,” said Toyota Motor spokeswoman Mira Sleilati. “We just want a strong, competitive healthy industry.”

This may seem surprising at first, especially when you consider that much of the opposition to the auto bailout was from senators from Southern states home to auto plants operated by Asian auto companies, such as Alabama and South Carolina. But the Asian automakers insist they never lobbied against such help for the Big Three.

(…)

The overseas automakers, who between them produce more than 3 million vehicles a year at U.S. plants, all worry their production would be hurt if one of the U.S. automakers went under. That’s because a Big Three failure would likely lead to widespread bankruptcies in the auto parts supplier industry.

Erich Merkle, lead auto analyst with the consulting firm Crowe Horwath LLP, said there is much overlap between the automakers’ suppliers. Since most parts in an automobile have only a single supplier producing them, the disruptions in production will be severe and prolonged.

“It could take months for a Toyota to work through that and resume normal production,” he said.

Merkle said the current network of auto suppliers, manufacturers and dealerships have worked well for the overseas automakers, who have posted steady gains in their U.S. market share during the past few years.

Besides sharing suppliers, many dealers sell both U.S. and overseas brands. So the failure of a U.S. automaker could hurt the overseas manufacturers’ dealer network and their sales as well, Merkle said.

“There would be a severe disturbance in the force,” he quipped.

The story also points out that mass unemployment would seriously depress the foreign automakers’ sales, and that a collapse of the Big Three would be an opportunity for Chinese and Indian automakers to buy themselves an internationally competitive automotive operation, which would also eat into Japanese, South Korean and European auto sales.

The Republicans are so obsessed with breaking the UAW at all costs, that they don’t even care if they take their own states’ economies down.

(h/t dakine)

2 comments December 15th, 2008 at 10:05pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Republicans

Monday Media Blogging

My favorite Eurythmics song and video, Love Is A Stranger:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7qW4h25r2E

You kids out there may not remember this, but about 25 years ago, Annie Lennox was quite possibly the sexiest woman on earth.

UPDATE: Oh my.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRESYQLPkA4

(h/t Spear and Magic)

4 comments December 15th, 2008 at 09:03pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Great Moments In Republican Hypocrisy

Hey, remember Richard Shelby (R-AL), fearlessly crusading against the government bailing out private industry?  Apparently it depends on the industry…

Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, one of the infamous politicians of the auto bailout fiasco, recently obtained $160 million for the fishing industry nationwide. A portion of this amount is headed for the Alabama fishing industry for reasons they have no control over. Shelby states on his own website and we quote “This funding will provide much needed assistance to an industry that is a vital part of the Alabama economy”. The taxpayers of this nation should be aware this is not a government approved loan to the fishing industry but rather a handout.

Maybe the Big Three need to diversify into fishing, or start giving their cars aquatic names.  Or establish more of a presence in the South.

(h/t Pachacutec)

December 15th, 2008 at 07:35pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

If It Weren’t For Bad Faith, The Bushies Would Have No Faith At All

Any time it appears that Dubya or his minions have done the right thing, assume that there’s either a catch, or that it’s simply a lie:

Congress wanted to guarantee that the $700 billion financial bailout would limit the eye-popping pay of Wall Street executives, so lawmakers included a mechanism for reviewing executive compensation and penalizing firms that break the rules.

But at the last minute, the Bush administration insisted on a one-sentence change to the provision, congressional aides said. The change stipulated that the penalty would apply only to firms that received bailout funds by selling troubled assets to the government in an auction, which was the way the Treasury Department had said it planned to use the money.

Now, however, the small change looks more like a giant loophole, according to lawmakers and legal experts. In a reversal, the Bush administration has not used auctions for any of the $335 billion committed so far from the rescue package, nor does it plan to use them in the future. Lawmakers and legal experts say the change has effectively repealed the only enforcement mechanism in the law dealing with lavish pay for top executives.

I can’t think of a single exception to this little rule of thumb.  Even the Bushies’ suggestion that they might use TARP funds for a bridge loan to the auto industry turned out to just be a scheme to extort Congress into releasing the second $350 billion for the financial sector.

(h/t Teddy and Ian)

1 comment December 15th, 2008 at 07:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Republicans,Wankers


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