Timing the market is a tricky matter. There are people who urge the Canadian government to dump its shares in GM at a considerable loss. And there are others who rather wait for the stock to go higher. Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is in the second camp.
Canada has no immediate plans to sell its shares in General Motors Co, Flaherty told Reuters. Separately, Aly Vitunski, a spokeswoman for Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, said Ontario will sell its GM shares “when the time and circumstances are appropriate and in a judicious manner to ensure that Ontarians receive the best possible return on their investment”.
Translation: No sale.
There is more involved than simple buy low, sell high: Simple politics.
- Selling the stock would raise cash for governments scrounging for money to cover deficits.
- The Canadian Auto Workers union wants the governments to hold on to their stakes. The CAW wants to use them as leverage vis-a-vis GM.
- Then, there is the man behind the curtain: Finance Minister Flaherty said he has had “continuing discussions” on the subject of the GM stake with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.