June 1, 2009

What Taxpayers Are Getting from GM for Their Billions [Dan Collins]

Short version.

In a conference call, yesterday, according to NPR, White House spokespeople stated that they don’t want to be in the business of owning most of GM for long. So, even if there emerges a viable GM from the other side of bankruptcy, shares are going to be sold at an enormous loss.

Moreover, it’s been announced that under the new union-succoring management, GM will not be permitted to import cars built in China. So, the bottom line is that taxpayers are in no respect an important consideration, unless they happen to be employed in a UAW shop.

Anybody feeling alienated from the means of production, yet? Where’s my Wingnut Welfare? Trade war? Bring it on.

GM shares fell 22pc to 87 cents yesterday, valuing the group at just $550m against $56bn at its peak in 2000.

Tens of billions of dollars will buy the Treasury a company capitalized at just over half a billion. Super. That ought just about cover Fritz Henderson’s golden parachute.

It’s also going to be interesting to see what the lawyers representing GM and the government get remunerated, considering the salary caps at financial institutions, and all that.

More super: The 31 year old tasked with dismantling GM

Mr. Deese was not the only one favoring the Fiat deal, but his lengthy memorandum on how liquidation would increase Medicaid costs, unemployment insurance and municipal bankruptcies ended the debate. The administration supported the deal, and it seems likely to become a reality on Monday, if a federal judge handling the high-speed bankruptcy proceeding approves the sale of Chrysler’s best assets to the Italian carmaker.

Mr. Deese’s role is unusual for someone who is neither a formally trained economist nor a business school graduate, and who never spent much time flipping through the endless studies about the future of the American and Japanese auto industries.

Maybe Mr. Deese can tell us who made the Chrysler dealership decisions, and what were the criteria they used?

Terrorism? Political assassination? (h/t topsecretk9)

Posted by Dan Collins @ 6:23am
135 comments | Trackback

Comments (135)

  1. Dan, GM will be “alienated” from my means of purchase, once my current Saturn runs out it’s useful life.

  2. Don’t forget to BUY AMERICAN folks. After this little display … where UAW jobs were saved at the expense of those who worked for suppliers … UAW voters bought and paid for by you and mean.

    I’m gonna start swearing again.

  3. Does anyone out there actually ever see the government’s stake in GM going away? Really?

    Until the day I die the feds will own part of GM, guaranteed.

  4. And part two to my comments. If you think GM will actually become so unprofitable that it will die you’re kidding yourself. The feds will do the following to ensure this never happens.

    First, they will subsidize the company with taxpayer dollars forever.

    Second, they will artificially reduce prices, through said subsidization, so low that millions of people will buy their cars simply because they appear so cheap.

    Prediction: The B.O. administration will create a ‘Department of Automobile Manufacture’ or some such before his first term is over.

  5. It’s a quagmire, Eben.

  6. They should just sell future GM cars with the little Obama stimulus symbol on the back.

  7. Buy Ford.

    Knock, knock.
    Who’s there?

    BOOBIES!

  8. Nothing is quite so permanent as a temporary government intervention.

  9. What we bought was nothing. The fear was if the big three collasped, the rest of the economy would come down with it. So DC showed Chrysler and GM with billions. Did it go to pay off creditors? Who knows? Seriously there does not appear to be any accountability.

  10. From this:

    “In the U.S., the UAW’s ratification of concessions, announced Friday, will save GM $1.3 billion per year. The new deal freezes wages, ends bonuses and eliminates some noncompetitive work rules.”

    some/i> noncompetitive work rules. Some?!

  11. your trade war link is that one about the fire fighter people again

  12. GM and Chrysler should have been allowed to go bankrupt months ago, before dime one of our money was extended to them…

    Essentially, our money was used to buy the otes of the UAW for the Dems; a purchase that had been made wholsale years ago. Just as with the fishy smelling dealer closures, the Obama administration has found a way to reward their political allies with government money…

    And as Dan noted in closing, another of their big poitical allies-trial attorneys-will benefit from the business generated in all of the court wrangling over the fallout of the restructuring; just like with the “big tobacco” settlements of the 90’s…

    I’ll go on record now as betting that there will be nary a mention of salary caps for them; indeed, where is all of the Outrage! over the money made by “Big Law”…

    For the most part, they’re just another class of useful idiots, that will become inconvenient somewhere down the road. And that’s when tort reform will finally take place…

    No offense meant to the fractional percentage of well intentioned attorneys that are actually invvolved in helping folks protet themselves and their private property, or otherwise serving the public good…

    Romney’s right, the Governments shares should be distributed equally among taxpayers, and the UAW should do the same with their among their membership. Then they will be consolidated in the marketplace, and an ownership group emerge that will create a board and run the company in the usual and customary fashion…

  13. Oh, and when Ronnie Reagan lent Chrysler money to stave off bankruptcy in the 80’s, they paid it back in full, ahead of schedule…

    Under no circumstances should the debts that GM and Chrysler be written off in any way-evah! I want our money paid back, just like eeeeeeevil AIG will have to…

    This whole situation disgusts me, and calls to mind how crappy the Zils and Trabants were; another example of how government run motorcar companies were completely effed up in the former socialist paradise that was the USSR…

  14. One more thing…

    You don’t think that the Chinese are gonna sit back and simply allow cars that are to be sold in China to stop being made there and simply imported from the US, do you…

    There will be a whopping tax imposed on them, I’m sure…

    Way to go UAW, great piece of business acumen there; way to rachet up your competitiveness by ensuring a price increase out of scale with your other competition…

    And if the Chinese simplt take over the factories, or essentially fire sale “steal” them, we should take it off the balance of the debt we owe them…

  15. Does anyone else remember Bonanza sponsored by Chevrolet? When America was confident, unapologetic, happy, drove really big cars, and served mashed potatoes with real butter? When good was good, bad was bad, and things hadn’t been inverted by miserable leftist drech?

    It is good to be a geezer.

  16. Not sure. You might ask psycho.

  17. Romney’s right, the Governments shares should be distributed equally among taxpayers

    Sort of like the way that Alaska handles its oil revenue?

    Nah, that would never work.

  18. The Chevy bowtie logo will be replaced with the hopenchangey O logo, but anyone overheard emphasizing the middle syllable in the brand’s name (or simply leaving off the first one) will be convicted of an anti-Latino hate crime.

  19. Between Deese and Gattner, there must currently be about 2 months of experience in the automotive industry. Good Allah.

  20. Mr. Deese’s role is unusual for someone who is neither a formally trained economist nor a business school graduate, and who never spent much time flipping through the endless studies about the future of the American and Japanese auto industries.

    Sudden expertism is not that unusual in this administration. There’s something perefectly consistent about a law prof president putting a law school grad in charge.

  21. SBP, in fact there’s another Alaskan analog to that idea, the Native Corporations, in which enrolled members of Alaska Native tribes have received shares in regional and village corporations that handle resource income earmarked to those groups by the Alaska Native Claims Setllement Act.

    At some point during the ’90s there was an attempt to turn those shares into actual personal property as opposed to the pseudo-property they actually are — so that their owners could <gasp> SELL them. Like actual shares in actual corporations. The horror!

    Alaska PFD “shares” are the same except that anyone who moves to Alaska becomes a shareholder until they move out of state. You buy and sell with your feet, pay nothing else to buy in, and receive nothing for selling.

    Any “share” scheme that doesn’t include the right to buy and sell like any other real property, is socialism in disguise.

  22. What is next, Yglesias in charge of the SEC?

  23. Buy Ford Honda.

    FIFY.

  24. In a rational world, people would laugh in their fucking faces for these kinds of gross incompetence.

    Other than saving the UAW, what did our $30,000,000,000 buy us? I thought we could not let those companies go into bankruptcy, and 30 billion dollars later, that is exactly where they are going.

  25. Mr. Deese’s role is unusual for someone who is neither a formally trained economist nor a business school graduate, and who never spent much time flipping through the endless studies about the future of the American and Japanese auto industries.

    Mr. Oprompta’s role is unusual for someone who is neither a formally trained anything of any note nor a published academic, and who never spent much time flipping through endless studies about the nature of American-style constitutional republics.

    White House spokespeople stated that they don’t want to be in the business of owning most of GM for long.

    Are White House spokespeople in the business of owning most of GM for long? What’s more, isn’t it interesting that they then have that choice. Where did that come from?

  26. If you guys read Drudge he has a link up where there is allegations they were threatening the bankruptcy judge. Beautiful.

  27. The whole GM and Chrysler thing is a fiasco. However, I do agree with preventing GM from importing cars from China. The whole massive trade imbalance is one reason we are in this mess. We need to actually start producing consumer goods here again. So, while Obama and company are doing all of this for the wrong reasons (i.e. buying UAW votes), and in a lot of wrong ways, the goal of helping US manufacturing is correct.

    Conservatives need to offer more than shouting “free trade.” A little mercantilism would do us some good right now.

  28. The best way to introduce a little mercantilism would be to lower corporate taxes.

  29. I love how people who just want to “help” seek to determine the “right” balance of freedom to transact business. It’s a lot like setting the “correct” average temperature of the Earth.

    Moronic, in other words.

  30. Well, maybe I can pick up a Saab crossover for no $$$ now.

  31. Amen Dan,

    Chris, if the government would reduce the US corporate tax rate, which is the highest in the world, and perhaps the capital gain tax as well, to spur capital reinvestment such as new factories, etc, than more companies would locate here in America…

    That and perhaps reduce the legal extorsion of the labor unions…

    While signing the exorbitant contracts, for expedience sake, was simply another of the poor decisions made by GM management over the years, they also realized they had no choice in the matter…

    One needs look no farther than the disparate labor agreements that the big 3 had, and the deals made with foreign manufacturers moving into the southern US…

    Peope should be paid a decent living wage, that’s for sure. But, if you don’t invest in your own worth, through education and training, then why should someone at an auto assembly plant deserve to make the same wages as a doctor, lawyer, or engineer..?

    I hear a lot of crying in Michigan about the concessions the UAW is having to make, and how folks will “lose everything they have”…

    I know that folks are suffering, and I hate to hear that. But, by the same token, there are folks that have been making 50K/year since the 80’s. Now maybe it’s just me, but with that kind of jack coming in, I might have been temted to pay my house off early, or perhaps save some cash…

    Or maybe buy some American products, for a change…

    It’s popular now to disparage the right for advocating lower tax rates. This matter is a real example of why thise rates should be lower than they are now…

    I BLAME BOOOOOOOOOOSH!

  32. The best way to introduce a little mercantilism would be to lower corporate taxes.

    Right.

    Of course, what the Blowbots are trying to do instead is raise taxes on foreign operations of U.S. countries.

    Supposed to “prevent outsourcing”, I guess.

  33. “U.S. companies”, that should say. Grr…

  34. Excellent observation SBP,

    So when US companies try to do business in other countries, their competeiveness is at a disadvantage a priori, owing to the fact that not only do they pay taxes in the country where they do business, but US taxes on the profits as well…

    Brilliance!, Judgement!, Leadership!

    O!

  35. We need to actually start producing consumer goods here again.

    Of course, but it’s a little late for protectionism, don’t you think? How will we recapitalize industry? How will O! remotivate the worker, especially now that he’s 180 degrees out of phase with that necessity? This is one of those problems that goes back the better part of a century, sad to say, and it’ll never be resolved when, as is being said, debts that can’t be repaid won’t be repaid.

    The problem was excess credit meaning the problem was the entire monetary system. With your household now owing the better part of seven hundred thousand dollars, just how will erecting a trade wall at the coasts bail us out?

    It’ll take the average American fifteen years to repay his portion of what he owes (and that’s w/o the interest of years two through ten or twenty or whatever) and that assumes he pays 100% tax for those two decades. At a rate of nearly fifteen thousand paid per household per year we’ll take a half century to repay what we owe, and that assumes we balance the budget tomorrow.

    About banks Jefferson was right. About money Oprompta is as wrong as anyone has ever been. Even old John Meynard is spinning furiously while Friedman and Rothbard stroll the golden streets, so to put it, commiserating. The aim of property is liberty and holding property takes diligence and clarity, not the unmitigated torrent of fiscal bullshit spewing out of the DC sewers.

    This is a very serious problem. Of course, we can just ignore it and surely that’s just what we’ll do. Writing statehouses weekly making demands is such a chore. And it’s all but outlawed, I hear.

  36. JHoward: Sad to say, I don’t see any options other than default or hyperinflation. Maybe both.

  37. How will he recapitalize these comapnies after the ass banging he gave the investors in favor of his political buddies in the UAW. It should be any broker’s fiduciary duty to steer clients away from these fuckers.

  38. Those Aveos sure are sporty.

  39. Hey pops I gots me a date Friday you think maybe I can borrow the Aveo?

  40. Dunno if anyone else is watching Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism blog, but someone sent him an interesting quote recently:

    Thus we shall see what fascism has to do to make a system of private ownership and management workable, so far as arrangements involving capital income or reward are concerned. The ruling principle must be that capital and management reward must be kept in continuous and flexible adjustment with economic possibilities, and that legal and institutional arrangements—like loan contracts, bonds, legal concepts of just compensation, due process of law, and confiscation—must not obstruct executive action of government to maintain this adjustment otherwise than by the present devices of bankruptcy, foreclosures, reorganization, and cycles of booms and depressions. [Lawrence Dennis, The Coming American Fascism (New York: Harper & Bros., 1936 ), Ch. V. “Can We Reorganize the Present System?”]

    It’s like the guy was writing a brief for the Obama administration!

  41. We do make products here. Practically every Honda in the showroom was made in Ohio or Alabama. Most of the parts come from here, too.

    We just don’t make stuff in Detroit. No sane person would.

  42. There are a shitload of Hondas and Toyotas (Tundra and Sequoia) made here in Indiana.

  43. You might ask psycho.

    I’ll take that as asking.

    I do have a big old car that didn’t seem big when it was made, and I was once composed largely of metabolized potatoes that had actual butter on them. None of us was around for the rest of that good-sounding stuff, though.

    This shit happening now is old shit. Traditional, precedented, American.

    People who are about the age that it seems most of us here are have some strange ideas about the political history of the U.S., pre-us. For non-Democrat types, I think it’s because of Reagan talking how he did when we were impressionable, and giving us the wrong impression. He was really old, almost old enough to remember that other America he was talking about. We’re not.

    I’ve complained about the needless rhetorical wuss-ness of it, but Goldberg’s book could have had one good effect, reminding people how long things have been this way. That hasn’t happened. That stuff blows right by. It just won’t stick.

    Some things, people can’t let themselves know.

  44. That was today’s “Face It” segment from Psycho, author of I’m Okay in a Limited Way, But You Are Totally Fucked.

  45. Ha. Well, at least we can maintain our sense of humor.

  46. Psycho is alternately confounding, entertaining, amusing, and difficult to fully depcipher.

  47. Psycho’s right and I will tell you how I know. It’s cause of the sort of I can’t really explain it fealty and a sort of protectiveness I have for Texas. It’s better than other places as far as respecting freedom and the individual and property and … it’s just more robust about stuff like that is all. The dirty socialists have something special planned for it I’m sure.

  48. That prolly makes he/she/it (;-)) a confounding, entertaining, amusing and difficult to decipher racist sexist homophobic murder supporter.

  49. Well, I suppose I could agree or disagree on whether or not Psycho is right if I knew what he was saying. But, then, I’m easily distracted today, lots of stuff going on here.

  50. Alls I know, is that I’m never ever going to buy a Chrysler or GM car ever again. Lots of people from the area on saying that – which is pretty big.

  51. Is it internally consistent to purchase one used, since the proceeds will not trickle back to the Barcky administration? Say, if I buy a used Saab at a Ford or Honda dealership?

  52. Lousy cup holders, JD.

  53. If you can live with yourself, JD.

    I’m thinking as long as it wasn’t produced by Obama MOtors and they in now way get the $$ .

  54. Even buying used you lend your cachet to the brand I think.

  55. True, Dan. But the ones that pop out of your dash and then do the little twisty flip to get in the proper place are pretty cool. Fun toy when you are driving hours on end.

    Carin – As Doc Holliday once said, “My hypocrisy knows no bounds”. It seems alright so long as GM is not getting the money. But those fuckers have earned my eternal venom for making my favorite brand practically un-buy-able for me. Fucking fuckery fuckers.

  56. My cache is of little value, negative value prolly.

  57. Mr. Pink: “Look at this tounge bath they are giving Deese.” Yes, but my inner optimist does wonder about the possible subtext of the article . . .

    Some NYT readers, who are predisposed to support the Obama administration, but have not yet drank a full pitcher of the coolaid, might read that article and think, “boy, that Obama administration has a lot of nice young smart kids working for it.” In the backs of their minds, though, they are beginning to feel an unexplainable existential feeling of dread and anxiety.

    Maybe the NYT is beginning to sense it, too?

  58. I’d be worried about the quality and continued availability of spare parts.

  59. *Knock Knock*

  60. So it was sock-puppeting last night as “some asshole”

    Knock, knock
    Who’s there?
    Poon
    Slams door in face

  61. This is a business day, “poon”. Shouldn’t you be out looking for a job?

    Barack will REQUIRE YOU TO WORK, remember? Maybe you should be getting a jump on it, huh?

  62. SBP – Poon does not need to work. He/she/it just need us to keep earning money and paying taxes.

  63. Poon might want to look into the typical fate of “useless eaters” under fascist regimes like the one he wants.

    Just sayin’.

  64. Well, PTL Obama motors is going to save us from the Global Warming. Here in Michigan, where the Obama used our taxpayer money to pay off the UAW, gas is $2.70 a gallon and the temperature is 56 on June first.

  65. Yeah, we had frost last night, Carin.

  66. Practically every Honda in the showroom was made in Ohio or Alabama.

    Not long ago,in southern Alabama, I saw an exit for “KIA Boulevard.” My first thought was, “Well, I support acknowledging the troops, but that just seems a little…” Then I saw the factory.

  67. But the earth is fuckin’ warming, you DENIERS !

  68. As a diversion from the depressing news (depression news?) of the day, found at ChicagoBoyz, paper art.

  69. That stuff blows right by. It just won’t stick…Some things, people can’t let themselves know.

    The prof who started National Association for Scholars at my university once said the problem we faced with political correctness was “there’s not enough of it.” What he meant was it affected too few people to generate an uprising. Which I figure will apply to The One’s New Fascism if the economy kicks back into gear any time soon. People act on their self-interest more than on ideals.

  70. “Tens of billions of dollars will buy the Treasury a company capitalized at just over half a billion.”

    As with every thing the Obama Administration has done relating to spending of tax moneys (stimulus, TARP) this can be looked at in reality as a money laundering scheme. Wealth is being taken, stolen legally or not, and run through a series of complex transactions to disguise where the money flows are to eventually go.

    He said during his campaign that this was what he would do in the name of what he thinks of as “fairness”. Expect more “fairness” to come.

  71. This is Teh One’s version of economic justice. Having the DOJ drop the charges against the New Black Panthers was his version of social justice. And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  72. geoffb – Roger de Hauteville at maggiesfarm has it right, I think. This isn’t so much about leftist ideology. Gestures towords socialism are just a way to keep the left onboard while distracting the right, while what’s really happening is right in front of our noses: the naked plundering of the treasury, or in your words, a money laundering scheme. I don’t think it matters one whit if another GM or Chrysler is ever made or sold, since they’ve already been paid for (“tens of billions to buy a company capitalized at over half a billion”). Its cronyism and facism, and its robbing what’s left of our wealth. The plunder will continue until all of the wealth is redistributed to those members of the democratic party constituency who are work to find new avenues to plunder. Next up, your 401(k) will need to be taxed to pay for decreased IRS revenues.
    This is scarier than socialism.

  73. White House spokespeople stated that they don’t want to be in the business of owning most of GM for long.

    No. not very long, just long enough to drain all the valuable assets and hand them to their buds. Then what’s left of the corpse can be sold to the taxpayers, the suckers.

  74. The only problem, AP, is that they’re going to have a hard time finding buyers for those putatively valuable assets, which means they’re actually worthless.

    I mean, would YOU invest money in a U.S.-based auto company, knowing that your investment would be confiscated the moment it becomes convenient?

    Neither will anyone else.

  75. Unfortunately, as long as American Idol and Britain’s Got Talent remain on the air, the government can pretty much do anything it wants. Apathy is the cancer that is destroying the country. Barack Mugabe can do anything he pleases.
    When the government starts confiscating private property to pay for an unsustainable federal conflagration, when homeowners stare with disbelief at a letter they receive in the mail telling them that the government now owns their house and they are now just lessees, it will be too late to exit the highway to hell.
    We are going to be subsidizing Chrysler and GM for quite some time, or at least until our country defaults on all those treasury notes China holds.

  76. The only problem, AP, is that they’re going to have a hard time finding buyers for those putatively valuable assets, which means they’re actually worthless.

    Willing buyers, sure — but where government’s involved, who needs a willing buyer?

    “Youse wanna keep breathin’, youse’ll buy this here car company from us for, oh, howse about a hunnerd billion?”

  77. #76 Steph,
    It’s worse than that actually, concerning 401K’s.
    Congress twice has considered having Social Security manage everyone’s 401K’s.
    Meaning, they will loot them and the only thing the citizen gets is a worthless promissory note form the SS Department claiming to repay the citizen at some future undetermined time.
    This government proposal is more widely described as robbery.

  78. Unfortunately, not more widely. More accurately, yes.

  79. Once GM “emerges” from bankruptcy, I would hope that the new entity will change its name to reflect its new reality.

    I propose “People’s Democratic State Auto Plant #1″.

  80. This is scarier than socialism.

    Indeed. And far older, too.

    Welcome to the United States of Grand Columbia.

  81. Congress twice has considered having Social Security manage everyone’s 401K’s.

    Hahah! Fooled them. My pension fund is already under water!

  82. Comments open at Instapundit!

    Be one of the few, the proud, the Instacommenters!

  83. Be one of the few, the proud, the Instacommenters!

    Why?

  84. “Comment by Asymmetric Polyhedron (formerly mojo) on 6/1 @ 12:08 pm #

    White House spokespeople stated that they don’t want to be in the business of owning most of GM for long.

    No. not very long, just long enough to drain all the valuable assets and hand them to their buds.”

    More and more Ayn Rand is turning into a friggin’ Cassandra.

  85. Two problems with lowering corporate taxes:

    1. It would work and reduce corporations reliance on big government
    2. Limbaugh has been pounding the same point home for over a year now. I expect Obama to drive this country over a cliff, Thelma and Louise style (with Michelle’s amazing arms glistening in the hot desert sun) before doing anything Limbaugh has ever suggested.

  86. Well, Big Government mustn’t have fewer clients, Matt.

  87. I concur comrade.

    shot of Vodka ?

  88. Please. I’m stuck here with nothing but beer.

  89. Dan, a few grains of salt are in order I suspect, but I came across this via Zero Hedge.

  90. I’m stuck here with nothing but beer.

    I denounce you.

  91. If that were so, bh, it would make the Clinton transfer of missile guidance technology seem like small potatoes.

  92. …seem like small potatoes

    Small potatoes to meet our vodka needs, no doubt.

  93. Obama has already driven us over a cliff.
    When even he says we are out of money, well, let the complete rape of the taxpayers begin.
    We are now waiting for the car (or more aptly: a full gasoline tanker truck)to hit the ground at the bottom of the cliff and explode into flames, with no survivors.

    Hollywood never did it so well with complete destruction as Obama is managing.

  94. God help us all if there is any truth to that piece, bh

    It would be unreasonable at any price to do so, but if he were considering it, at least get a trillion or two for it…

    It wouldn’t surprise me if a Democrat president were to consider such a deal. I mean, Clinton gave the Chinese unprecedented access to Los Alamos…

    God help us all…

  95. Agreed, Bob, I hope to hell it isn’t true.

  96. here … that’s … go figure

  97. happyfeet,

    Make sure you forward that to thor…

    He was under the mistaken impression that there was some up-side momentum there…

    Be cool…

  98. Its an excellent day for beer here.

    I’m getting some long-overdue lawn and garden work done, and checking blogs during “breaks” (read: coming in to cool off in the AC and having a few chugs of my Bass Ale).

  99. Mr. Deese was not the only one favoring the Fiat deal, but his lengthy memorandum on how liquidation would increase Medicaid costs, unemployment insurance and municipal bankruptcies ended the debate.

    I wonder if this was the same sort of worthless ‘analysis’ which Obama’s dimwit flunkies used to predict that the stimuseless would drop the unemployment rate, when in fact it’s tracking pretty much exactly as it was predicted to do without the Economic Suicide Act of 2009.

  100. More non-super fantastic news. Wow.

  101. Cheers, SBP. Bass is a fine ale.

  102. Yep…. probably my favorite among the commercial brews, although Guinness is right up there, too.

    I only wish I had time to get back into homebrewing….

  103. Damn, the stock market brought in a lot of suckers today.
    Dow closed up 221 points.
    I guess people are buying tons of oil stocks – like the banks are doing.

    Ahhh….$7/gallon gas is going to be so fun!
    Let’s party like it’s 1929!

  104. I only wish I had time to get back into homebrewing…

    I hear you. I’ve recently solved that by making my friends help. They drink most of it anyways so now I get them to sanitize and do the other grunt work. I just do the fun stuff now.

  105. Interesting idea, bh.

    I got rid of some of the hassle by switching to a kegging system, but it still takes a lot of time to do it right.

  106. Yeah, SBP, that made a big difference for me too. I still bottle some because I have a number of brown 16 oz bottles with grolsh style caps.

    I’ve also switched to using extracts half the time.

  107. In other news, under the pseudonym Damien Walters, Jeff shows off the mad skillz he’s been working on while absent from posting, and in the process impresses all and sundry.

  108. Wanna see how taxpayers are being treated in all of this. How about this?

    And no, it is not fun.

    I would recommend forgetting about it with some homebrew. If you can pull it off a summer lager would be great, but a medium ale or an IPA is good this time of year too.

  109. I got rid of some of the hassle by switching to a kegging system, but it still takes a lot of time to do it right.

    Listermann sells — or at least sold — a widget that turns the itty-bitty 5L kegs into re-usable kegs. If I drank more beer, I’d be using this all the time. It’s fricking amazing — much quicker and cleaner than bottling, cheaper than full-size kegs.

  110. It warms my heart to know there are multiple homebrewers at pw.

  111. A five gallon mini keg system would be super convienent. I like to bottle some to give as gifts, but mostly bottling is a messy, time consuming operation, that just increases the possibility of stray yeasts and bacteria getting into the brew.

  112. “It would be unreasonable at any price to do so, but if he were considering it, at least get a trillion or two for it…”

    Probably is a down payment on the bonds they hold. We give you our Mil. Tech. they continue to prop up our Treasury Bonds.

  113. Anybody remember Ford under McNamera? Same thing only this time GM and Chrysler have an unlimited amount of money to build cars nobody wants.

    Why do I have to pay the UAW to build cars nobody wants?

  114. I use the old stainless steel soda kegs. Those were dirt-cheap a few years back when all the soda fountains were switching to the new mix-on-demand systems. They work great.

    The only thing you have to watch out for is that you buy all one kind (“ball lock” and “pin lock”, IIRC… I think one was Coke and the other was Pepsi or some such) because the fittings don’t mate otherwise (or you could get two sets of fittings, but that would be a big PITA).

    Get a CO2 tank from a welding supply store, and you’re golden.

  115. I’ll telL you what I got out of it: a deep desire to never buy a GM or Chrysler product, even if I had the money.

  116. Well, I suppose I could agree or disagree on whether or not Psycho is right if I knew what he was saying.

    I think he is basically saying there is nothing new under the sun, just different dogs is shines on day to day.

    I am just crushed to find out LTC John drives a Saturn. What the hell kind of car is that for a Rethuglican war mongering corporate lawyer robber baron oppressor of the masses?

  117. Why do I have to pay the UAW to build cars nobody wants?

    Racist.

  118. Federal, state, and local governments buy a lot of vehicles. Who here thinks that they won’t be required to buy from Government Motors?

  119. Who here thinks that they won’t be required to buy from Government Motors?

    Yep, which will be one more thing that will touch off a ruinous trade war as it violates GATT.

    Mises knew decades ago that socialism is, by definition, nationalist.

  120. #93 bh

    Dan, a few grains of salt are in order I suspect, but I came across this via Zero Hedge.

    Yeah, bring the whole shaker for that one. This is Richard A Hogarty, and he doesn’t appear to be that plugged into international affairs. There is no such publication as the Boston Reviewer. There is a Boston Review, but Hogarty doesn’t appear to write for them. I call bullshit.

  121. Thanks, Pablo.

  122. Really, Baracky can’t be that fucking stupid, can he?

    I’d prefer that you didn’t answer that.

  123. #120 – but I have really cool plates.

    #122 – the Feds will probably push that, the States, meh, who knows?

  124. From a link at Maggie’s Farm. BizzyBlog

    “The Federal Deficit Gets Nearly Indecipherable. Treasury’s “investment” programs are making hash of what was once comprehensible.

  125. Mr. Deese’s role is unusual for someone who is neither a formally trained economist nor a business school graduate, and who never spent much time flipping through the endless studies about the future of the American and Japanese auto industries.

    Anybody want to buy some GM stock?

    Cheap?

  126. Joe, #112, goddammit you need to warn us about that shit…my wife thought I was having an epileptic fit or something I laughed so hard that that second link.

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  129. I am just crushed to find out LTC John drives a Saturn. What the hell kind of car is that for a Rethuglican war mongering corporate lawyer robber baron oppressor of the masses?

    You misunderstood. He drives a Saturn V.

  130. I just had a ride in something that’s much closer to Saturn V than Saturn.

    A Lexus GS300 that’s had serious work. Maybe 750hp on street gas. 850 on 116 octane. Wow. I could actually feel blood pooling in the back of my skull.

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