President Obama’s New Foreign Assistance Program
I imagine myself a cracker-jack vulture capitalist in need of a dandy new investment to beat MARR and make my money work for me – not vice versa. You couldn’t put a gun to my head and make me invest it in the manufacture of wheeled conveyances at US plants. It’s nice when a major corporation full of professional money managers agrees with one of my simple hunches. It tickles my masculine ego.
Regrettably, that major corporation with $15Bn to invest was General Motors. The $15Bn they’ve decided to invest in Brazil, S. Korea, Canada and Mexico came from US Government bailout funds. Money designed to alleviate economic misery in our country – not someone else’s.
That $15Bn they’ve chosen to export came partially out of my wallet. Not only that, I wasn’t even asked if I wanted to take a flyer on GM. Even if the miraculous happens, and GM turns a profit, no one will be cutting me a dividend check for my astute prescience. Robert Reich asks the question nobody in DC really wants asked.
If GM is going to do more of its production overseas, then why exactly are we saving GM?
If I were a mean-spirited, me-first Obama voter like Megan McCardle, I’d probably suggest something along the lines of this.
How Do I Know That the Chrysler Bailouts are About the Unions?
This question was asked recently by a seasoned political reporter of my acquaintance. Frankly, I hadn’t realized that anyone else seriously believed there was any other reason to bail out Chrysler.
Some would say the lady doth protest too much. She voted for the guy, she should bask in all the delightful hope and change. But she does make an intelligent point; albeit about six months too late for the sake of our economy and the rule of law.
We now, even more blatantly than usual, have economic policy decisions being made directly for the benefit of political subsumed classes. This invariable will lead to those decisions being made athwart the commonweal.
A hard-boiled act utilitarian would argue that GM has merely gone to Rome dressed in a toga. Theft, grift and graft now lubricate the wheels of commerce in the era of Obama. They held a House oversight hearing on how to oversee the stimulus spending passed this year. Only three of the ten committee members attended the appointed mummer’s farce and the buck was passed in manner worthy of Brett Favre in his salad days.
Any astute observer would recognize that this money was intended to be stolen, squandered and doled out as spoil. GM’s sin was a failure to be streetwise and shut up about their thievery. They weren’t supposed to be honest. They were supposed to keep their pie-holes shut.
So it goes in this great age of “Vae Victus.” As the Expropriator-In-Chief reminds us. “I won, and I will trump you on that.” Little Old I am not the only one trumped these days.
Honor, probity and the rule of law have all been trumped as well. We will learn to our demise that bankruptcy by favored faction and consent by silence to corporate brigandage by state-favored actors does not unfreeze credit markets. Wise managers lend no money in the absence of a clearly-defined rule set delineating how in the heck they are supposed to ever get said money back again.
Helicopter Ben’s Green Shoots will fare poorly in the toxic soil of institutionalized corruption consequent the newly-enthroned Aristocracy of Pull. The positive second derivatives our stock-jobbers now yammer over will always attend a dead-cat bounce.
The $300Bn quantitative easing the Fed employed to hammer down T-Bill rates has now been largely expended. The Long-Bond rates stand above where they were when Helicopter Ben commenced Operation Dissipation and spent your grand children’s seed corn on a good couple of months for mortgage rates. Chicks dig Nouriel Roubini! (Even with those garish plaster vaginas adorning the walls of his condo. )
With the pessimism aloft on wing and the current rule of law conducive to bandits, wag-halters and churls, GM can almost be accused of accidental corporate responsibility. If economic gains have value and wealth remains worthy of preservation, why would fortune favor leaving it in the United States during Barack Obama’s Amatueristration?
Like GM, a lot of serious men and women are asking just this sort of question. I love my country far too much to appreciate what they are getting for an answer.