By on December 3, 2008

The lead outside director at GM, George M.C. Fisher, informs the NYTimes that “Rick is the right guy to lead this management team through this crisis.” Acting on the assumption that GM has any reputation left to lose, all thirteen outside directors are in agreement with the Master Accountant that “bankruptcy would ruin the company’s reputation.” Fisher and his co-directors are “pretty convinced as to the serious damage to the brand from bankruptcy.” He’s right on that score, but doesn’t touch upon whether the fact that GM has been insolvent for close to a decade has given him any pause during that period. Fisher blames the company’s troubles on the dire financial conditions that have blindsided this fine collection of managers extraordinaire – noting that the sales rate in November was the lowest since 1982.

The article does touch upon the fact that “GM has lost huge chunks of market share in recent years, as well as tens of billions of dollars, as consumers have bought cars from foreign automakers in increasing numbers.” Mr. Fisher does not draw the appropriate conclusion: that GM’s near total lack of a reputation worth losing could account for this stupendous loss of customer loyalty.
Clearly lots of titans of industry out to salvage their reputations these days. No one wants to be holding the tail of the tiger when GM breathes its last.
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14 Comments on “Bailout Watch 231: GM BOD Hearts Rick Wagoner. Still....”

  • avatar

    Mr York drew different conclusion and where is he on the board?

  • avatar

    It’s time for you at TAC to call Chrysler out as the company that needs to go as part of the plan to save the other two. Why?

    their products have and continue to be the worst in the industry, they would not be missed.

    With a Chrysler liquidation, 10% of the US production would be taken out which would benefit Ford and GM disproportionally

    Why would we use tax payer money for these greedy Wall-Streeter’s who bought the company on the cheap? It’s about time they pay a little for bad decisions without government help.

    The argument that if Chrysler goes so will Ford and GM is bunk. How can eliminating 10% of the production affect the other two? Demand is well below 10% now. If they have mutual suppliers they will need to adjust to the new production volumes anyway.
    It makes me sick to see Nardelli at the table as if he or his company is an equal. Now this scum with his lackey Jim Press are revealing that they need the money more urgently than even GM.

    What’s worse is Ford and GM are acting like Chrysler is a key part of the equation before Congress. Their unified front is making them all look like dolts when only one really exists.

  • avatar

    This reminds me of Enron’s BOD and Exec management. So up their own asses they have no objective opinion whatsoever – even the “independent” directors.

    Give GM nothing until they clean house and get rid of these asshats. That is step 1 and the most important step needed. Bailout Money, Loans, debt, UAW concessions, brands, rebadges, etc. are all subject to real leadership – and if GM does not get new leadership it will fail.

    At least Ford has it right hiring Mulally – he’s made many changes there and is the right leader.

    Chrysler – Nardelli is a bottom line manager – whatever makes the bottom line better (regardless of long term effects) is his only position. Chrysler is in effect dead and being led by a greedy exec. No future left except CH7.

  • avatar

    The lead outside director at GM, George M.C. Fisher, informs the NYTimes that “Rick is the right guy to lead this management team through this crisis.

    Yup, the man who wrecked Kodak through sheer, bloody-minded incompetence is exactly who you want as the go-to guy on effective corporate governance.

    God, no wonder this company is in trouble: it’s blind overseeing the blind.

    Actually, no. It’s that, at this point, the lie is so big that it’s taken on a life of it’s own. Fisher and Co. can’t go back now because it’d be an admission that they’ve been doing exactly NSFW-all in their role as corporate oversight.

    GM should be nationalized. It couldn’t possibly be any worse than what people like Wagoner and Fisher have been able to manage.

  • avatar


    I agree that Chysler is led by greedy Wall Streeters, but GM & Ford already bankrupt their greedy Wall Streeters and owners are not part of this bailout. Owners, as private owners of GM & Ford shares, will gain nothing from attempt of rescue. Congress said so: they are losers. The rescue is only for employees who bankrupted employer.

  • avatar

    I’m guessing some higher up at GM is right now saying, “Damn! We put a muzzle on Lutz, but we forgot about Fisher!” Considering that some in Congress have openly called for a change in leadership at the D2.8 as a precondition for any taxpayer money, these comments by Fisher can’t possibly fly under the radar.

  • avatar

    Nah, the congress will give the money, because without giving money there would be less need for even bigger government. With or without change in “leadership” at D2.6. There will be need for more committees in Senate and Congress, more staffers, more departments, more everything. Actually 25, 50 or 100bn for D2.6 would translate into equal additional expense on overseeing in DC. Don’t forget we have more bureaucrats in Department of Agriculture then farmers and Mexican laborers working in the fields. You think this will be different?

  • avatar
    montgomery burns

    I’d just like to add my two cents worth here. In my business I’ve had to interact with management teams of both large and small companies. It seems, that with few exceptions, an inordinate amount of time is spent on figuring out ways to extract ever more money for the management team out of the company.

    Not by concentrating on making the company more profitable by producing a better product and more of it, but by cooking up schemes to raid the companies cash. The bigger the company the more prevalent this seems to be.

    I believe this is a big part of the current lack of competent management in Detroit theses days. These guys are/were way too focused on using the company as a private piggy bank.

  • avatar

    @montgomery burns,

    Don’t you think it is ailing all other layers of our society? I observed dramatic demise of integrity, work ethics and morals within our society, and this recession is sort of reckoning, hard landing.

  • avatar

    George Fisher is a liar, a failure in his own right, and to a large degree personally responsible for the failure of General Motors. he is a party to the Illuminati, Bilderberg, CFR, and proponent of a One World Order. the guy is a crook as is Red Ink Rick. he stated to me personally that the Board would be “more than glad to listen” then disappeared like the bullshit artist that he is.

  • avatar

    he is a party to the Illuminati, Bilderberg, CFR, and proponent of a One World Order

    No, he’s just so out of his depth that the fish have lights on their noses.

    Quote: Never attribute to malice what can’t also be explained by incompetence.

  • avatar

    Dear Nancy, Harry, and Barry:

    Install Roger Penske or Colin Powell.
    Inspire the troops.


  • avatar

    “What’s worse is Ford and GM are acting like Chrysler is a key part of the equation before Congress. Their unified front is making them all look like dolts when only one really exists.”

    Actually, the only one at the congress meeting who is not a dolt is Mulally. I think he is the only exec in all of Detroit who actually has a brain.

  • avatar

    indi500fan . I agree with your suggestion of Roger Penske. He is at the top of my short list of people on the planet that could right this dying behemoth. He has the unique skills that are needed to run a car company and has proven that with his sucess in all his business endeavors. He has been engaged in retail and manufacturing and most importantly knows how to make a buck.

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