DetN Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: Kirkorian Sold Ford Stock Because of Escaping Execs

detn wild ass rumor of the day kirkorian sold ford stock because of escaping execs

As we’ve just reported, The Detroit News seems to have abandoned the normal standards of reporting. In j-School ethics world– informed as it is by the movie All The President’s Men— if you can’t confirm a story with two independent sources, you either don’t run it or you clearly identify the info as unverified. As in “according to unconfirmed anonymous sources,” presenting the resulting material as speculation. To avoid the semantic hoops, TTAC established the Wild Ass Rumor (WAR) category. With this story on Kirk Kerkorian’s Ford stock sell-a-thon, we’re deploying WAR on the DetN’s behalf. “Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian’s decision to sell off his stake in Ford Motor Co. may have been precipitated by a series of high-profile departures from the struggling automaker that began less than two weeks ago with the abrupt resignation of Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair. Since then, two of Ford’s most respected board members also have tendered their resignations. Ford says the events are unrelated, but a source close to Ford’s largest private shareholder told The Detroit News that Kerkorian doubts that and is concerned that the departures signal trouble at the top of the nation’s second largest auto company.” Trouble at Ford? NO WAY! And there’s no reason Kirk would want to pin the blame for his $600m or so loss on someone else, is there? More meshugas after the jump.

“Privately, Ford executives suggested Kerkorian began selling off his shares in the automaker to protect his MGM Mirage investment. Publicly, Ford said it is too busy fixing its automotive operations to worry about where Kerkorian puts his money.” Privately, as in another anonymous source? Sounds like you need a reservation to secure a quiet corner of a parking garage in Motown these days. Or maybe we could just substitute “publicly” for reporting and “privately” for reportorial creative license.

“And while York has said publicly that he views the [Ford] family’s continued ownership as a source of stability in a turbulent industry, Tracinda has privately maintained that it represents a serious impediment to the kind of collaborations with other automakers it wanted to see explored.” You see, “Ford family members have been wary of Kerkorian’s intentions since he first began buying up shares. That contributed to the cool reception Ford gave his offer to inject additional cash into the automaker, which has lost nearly $24 billion since the end of 2005.” Which Ford family members? Oh right, they probably spoke to Bryce G, Hoffman “privately.” Sorry for asking.

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  • Bancho Bancho on Oct 22, 2008

    Mr. Kerkorian looks exactly like "The Grinch". It's a little creepy...

  • 4runner 4runner on Oct 22, 2008

    Does anyone think this was done for tax purposes? I'm a little fuzzy regarding the law in this area, but a loss due to a decline in stock price can't be written off as a loss for tax purposes until it is sold. Right?

  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.