Bailout Watch 116: Forbes' Jerry Flint Quotes Shelley, Votes Aye

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 116 forbes jerry flint quotes shelley votes aye

Does anyone edit Jerry Flint’s columns? And yes that’s a trick question. If I were the editor in question, I would sit in awe of any curmudgeon brave enough to argue that GM deserves an extra long root in the federal taxpayers’ trough by admonishing readers that “we should remember Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem.” Ozymandias? That particular poem is about hubris and inevitably of death and decay. And yet our man Flint’s uses the work to suggest that U.S. taxpayers should bail out General Motors because we don’t want a great empire to, uh, decay and die. Here’s the deal: we owe them. “I have a long memory,” Flint opines, synapses firing like mad. “I remember World War II, when the president of GM– his name was William Knudsen– headed the successful effort to build our great war production machine. GM helped save America then.” That would be the same GM that aided and abetted the Nazi war machine. “I remember the great GM pay, pensions, health care and dividends that made life good for millions of Americans.” And the union corruption, intransigence and feather-bedding that made GM a sitting duck for transplant attack. But wait ’til you hear what Flint has to say about GM’s current management. You’re not going to want to miss this. Right after the break.

And we’re back. Thanks for joining us. Before the break, we were examing Jerry Flint’s florid argument for a GM bailout. Not only does the Forbes’ scribe think Americans owe GM another shot, but he’s also come to bury– and praise– the company’s leadership. “If there is a great weakness at GM, it is management. For too many years GM’s financially oriented managers ignored or mishandled the car business. I call it arrogance matched by ignorance. On the other hand, these executives were not thieves. They did not enrich themselves like the leaders of the financial service companies that the government is so eager to rescue. GM’s managers just did not understand why Americans love their cars.” Hello? CEO Rick Wagoner $15.5m annual salary? As Bryon once famously remarked, “for real?”

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  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Oct 15, 2008

    BostonTeaParty : Nope. Travel snacks? Maybe...

  • Matt51 Matt51 on Oct 15, 2008

    Can GM be saved even with a bailout? The British tried to save British Leyland but it was beyond saving. Are we throwing good money after bad? Would it make more sense to let one of the little three go, rather than try to save them all? Chrysler has the least debt and might be the easiest to save. Would it be more cost effective to provide incentives for foreign companies to add engineering centers to the US? Would it make more sense to back winners rather than losers? The largest problem at GM is their corporate culture. Is the only way to kill their bean counter management to let GM die? On the other hand, GM has some good product now. Should we let them die when they finally start getting product right? No easy answers here, but it looks like President Obama will turn the cash tap on for Detroit. It may or may not work.

  • SCE to AUX Base Price: $99,795 US / $115,133 CANAs Tested: $100,370 US / $115,133 CANBoth versions can't cost the same in CAN $.
  • SCE to AUX @Matt Posky: This may surprise you, but I agree with your criticisms is this story.This vehicle has the look and weight of the Telluride, but without the right chops. A vehicle like this is intended to be a great highway cruiser loaded up with all the stuff one takes on a trip - not a 0-60 racer.My former Sedona (RIP, sniff) had a great blend of space, power, and towing capacity. It was lovely for countless road trips, but it was a ponderous commuter.The EV9 won't make a great road trip car due to its short range, and it is too hulking to make sense as a commuter. They should have fitted a 150 - 200 kWh battery so it could at least go some distance, and that might justify the bulk.No way I'd go in for ~$60k for this vehicle.
  • Jeff S I like the looks of this car and in today's dollars it might not be that bad a buy but my issues with this Genesis would be Hyundai's reliability in recent years has been below average and getting a car like this serviced at a Hyundai dealership. I do like the rear reclining rear seats and the massage settings. Beautiful car but I would take the safer option of a preowned Lexus which gives you better reliability and lower maintenance costs than the South Koreans and the Germans. Genesis is definitely a luxury car with the extras that are standard but it is still a Hyundai. These will depreciate a lot as do the German cars which once they get old a Pandora's box of issues crop up and they become expensive to maintain. Good write up.
  • Tylanner Cinnabon is the holy grail but Starbucks or Dunkin will do. I will only resort gas-station coffee in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Akear My Fusion is nearing the 200,000 miles mark. However, I do not want to replace it with an unreliable Escape, which could blow its engine by 60,000 miles. Ford has gone down hill since Fields was forced out. Both Hackett and Farley have made Ford the nation's recall king. What happened..................