Ask The Best And Brightest: Will Americans Care If A Petro-State Owns GM?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ask the best and brightest will americans care if a petro state owns gm

The flip-flopping over GM’s IPO strategy continues, as The General backs away from its “retail investor” focus and begins courting Sovereign Wealth Funds in earnest. Bloomberg reports that GM’s underwriters have approached

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia- based Kingdom Holding Co., Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Co., Qatar Holdings LLC and Singapore-based Temasek Holdings Pte.

In hopes that they’ll become “cornerstone investors” in the new GM’s IPO. Who knows what will come of the negotiations, but assuming that one or more of the Arab SWFs end up with a large chunk of GM equity, a number of PR problems present themselves. Though (marginally) less emotionally-charged than a possible ownership stake by a Chinese firm, such an outcome would amount to the US-sponsored foreign takeover of an American firm. Politically, the bailout is much easier to justify if GM ends up in American hands… especially since Fiat is likely to gobble up the Chrysler equity it wasn’t handed on a taxpayer-funded platter. But beyond that, GM will have to work twice as hard to convince the American people that it’s not working to serve the interests of its oil-rich Gulf State owners. Renewed scrutiny over its most profitable business, namely gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs, would be a given. Any hesitation (however well-justified) over electrification of the automobile would be interpreted as an oil-cartel plot. And renewed turmoil in the middle east could further inflame anti-Arab or anti-Muslim sympathies, potentially bringing greater pressure on GM. Meanwhile, GM’s energy-independence rhetoric around its E85 ethanol efforts would be extremely awkward.

But will Americans notice or care? At what percentage of ownership would these factors come into play?

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2 of 51 comments
  • Cardeveloper Cardeveloper on Oct 06, 2010

    How about GM get sold to the HIGHEST BIDDER. Lets return to free market and let CAPITALISM rule. This government intervention is getting crazy!

  • AaronH AaronH on Oct 07, 2010

    The USA Federal Terrorists-on-the-Potomac are going to keep controlling interest in GM forever anyway. Why would the parasite voter's political psychopaths steal something and then give it back? Think!

  • Redapple2 UAW - Already overpaid. Relevant question. What are the transplants paid? Honda, Toyota, Nissan, VW. What about Tesla? What about Tier 1 and 2 auto suppliers. UAW should have been smashed when GM and FCA went bankrupt.
  • Redapple2 TV screens to run everything instead of knobs. Turbo 4 that poorly does the job of a V 6. I think i will turn away from new product and preserve what I have for 15 years. I m reaching that point.
  • Redapple2 Air tags are cheap, if you must
  • Teddyc73 "While this may simply be the result of electric sales reaching peak saturation until technological improvements, emissions regulations or novel designs move the needle forward" You mean until Democrats using their lies about the climate change hoax further sabotage the oil industry forcing us into EVs.
  • Chris Doering I have a decent 78 xe lots of potential