rambling I am I am

Top of the morning to ya.  It’s a beautifully yucky end of March day here in the Happy Valley. 

Well so much for my NCAA hoops bracket thingees.  Man I suck at those things.  I just can’t separate my head from my heart when I am trying to pick a winner.  I mean come on, who didn’t think Cornell could go all the way.  Damn.

I was reading this morning about this whole auto industry bailout stuff.  I know, I know…we can’t let them fail.  The records stuck, the records stuck. 

We the government of the people laid down the law and told GM that if they want more money the CEO has to go.   Considering that GM has effectively burned through all the cake ($17.4 billion) we’ve given them, since DECEMBER, me thinks they don’t have a choice. 

Sort of seems like we the government is taking on the role of a drug dealer….get GM hooked on cake and then if they want more cake – we get them to do something they might not have done without the original cake fix. 

Don’t get me wrong CEO Wagoner should have been gone a while ago.  I am sure he’s a sweet guy, however, GM’s performance under his watchful eye has been a wee bit less than stellar. 

This just in –  GM has asked for another $16.6 billion.  100 times more cake, 100 times more cake than the $165million in AIG bonuses.  That’s a lot of cake.

Has Jon Stewart stopped beating on that Cramer dude yet?

Is it just me or is there some weird irony that the former CEO of GM has the same name as that old faux wood sided Jeep called the Wagoner?  

As for Chrysler, they get no more cake  unless they consummate their partnership with FIAT.  By some reports the deal is basically giving FIAT a third of Chrysler for free.  Yes, that same company that was better known as (Fix it Again Tony) due to their incredible unreliability during the 70’s and 80’s. 

The good news is that FIAT is something of an example, an automotive success story.  They have risen from the ashes of financial despair to being a very viable European automaker.  It is interesting to note that having “failed” in the American auto marker Fiat abandoned the American marketplace in the mid 80’s.  Fiat also has a sports car division Alfa Romeo that I think stuck around in the American market until the mid 90’s.  Either way it will be interesting to see how FIAT can leverage Chrysler and Chrysler, FIAT.

Per the governments Viability assessment report here are some of Chrysler’s challenges:
Scale: Chrysler cannot afford to dedicate enough R&D to each product platform to maintain competitiveness, suffers from having a smaller supply purchasing base and amortizes its significant fixed costs over a much smaller base of vehicles than its competitors.

Quality: While the Company is committed to improving quality, its current quality scores significantly lag competitors. Chrysler admits that improving quality and associated brand perception will take a number of years.

Product Mix: Chrysler does not have a product pipeline to cover the smaller car segments which are projected to grow in share of the overall car market and will struggle to meet proposed fuel-efficiency standards.

Manufacturing: In contrast to best-in-class OEMs, as well as both GM and Ford, Chrysler has not investedsignificantly in common architectures and flexible plant manufacturing capacity, which will be critical to longterm profitability.

Geographic Concentration: Unlike many of its competitors, Chrysler’s business is heavily weighted to North America, which makes the Company more vulnerable to local economic fluctuations and less able to take advantage of developing markets.

Hmmm, I’d get laughed outta the bank if that was the assesment of my business.

Then we have the G20 meeting that I think is going to take place this week. 

No the G20 isn’t some new scaled down hybrid from Infinity.  It is the meeting of the finance folks of the world’s largest economies and a handful of other financially important  entities like the International Money Fund and the World Bank. 

You have to love the G20 – check this out from their website:

What are the criteria for G-20 membership?

In a forum such as the G-20, it is particularly important for the number of countries involved to be restricted and fixed to ensure the effectiveness and continuity of its activity. There are no formal criteria for G-20 membership and the composition of the group has remained unchanged since it was established. In view of the objectives of the G-20, it was considered important that countries and regions of systemic significance for the international financial system be included. Aspects such as geographical balance and population representation also played a major part. 

So there is no formal criteria to belong.  Interesting – we have Country Clubs in this country that have tougher membership criteria – and that includes the ones that DO let in woman and African Americans.

It pisses me off that South Africa is included in this meeting.  Bastards. 

I read the other day South Africa was having a world peace conference and denied the Dali Lama a visa to attend.  A world peace conference without the Dali Lama.  Seems that South Africa didn’t want to create headlines that would take away from their hosting the soccer world cup in 2010.  The irony of this whole cluster fuck is that the conference was to have discussions on how soccer can help fight racism and xenophobia.  I bet that if the Dali Lama had a good soccer club he’ d have been included.

I understand the racism part but why is everyone concerned about people with a fear of xylophones.  I for one, enjoy a good xylophone.

The G 20 Meeting is in London.  I think the meeting should be held in Caerbannog.  Pronounced (Kire- ban – nog).  The reason Caerbannog would be perfect is that it is a terrifying place.  Having the meeting at a place that harbors such evil would make the topics that need to be addressed at the meeting seem tame.  Can you imagine what would actually get done at such a meeting if, say, unless they all came up with concrete solutions, that everyone supported –  we’d not remove the rabbit from the lobby of where they are meeting.

Don’t laugh, this is more than just a rabbit.  It is a killer rabbit with huge fangs that rip and tear.

Caerbannog is not for the week of heart.  We’ll see who amongst these folks will scamper and who will emerge the most brave.  Early bets are on Merkel from Germany and Brown from the UK.

One last bit of advice – Brother Bernanke you better pack the Holy hand grenade because these folks are going to need a couple of them.  Remember thou counts to 3 no more no less.

G20 attendees – you people are smart, work together and come out of these meetings with a solution for the world not just your neighborhood!

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One response to “rambling I am I am

  1. Mama N drives a mint 14-year-old Infiniti G20 and my ’97 Honda CRV has 220,000 miles on it. I just read about a million-mile Accord with stars in my eyes… GM is going to have to change SO MUCH to compete with those. Can they possibly do it?

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