Friday, August 1, 2008

Why I can't stop laughing at GM

Because they just posted a large quarterly loss.

...greater than their entire market capitalization. (market cap being ~$6.5 billion) more than a factor of two.

...for a second time. under a year. (check the Q3 2007 column)

Did I mention their uncovered obligation to contribute $46 billion (7 times their market cap) to cover legacy costs?

And the steadily high cost of fuel scaring people away from their only profitable line of cars and forcing them to close plants (though this post will NOT get the oil label, since I think we all know they would be f'd even if magic fairies gave everyone free oil)?

And how they're so desperate they may even sell Hummer -- when its value is at a historical low?

And the subprime mortgage crisis ripping up its other formerly-profitable arm, GMAC?

And how they think dumping the brains behind the cars is the way out, since they can't touch unionized factory workers?


Okay, okay, I can breathe again. Ah, that felt good. Now, for part that will scare the hell out of you:

First, given all the costs GM has to cover, there are only two reasons anyone would pay a positive price for GM shares:

a) because they can turn around and sell it to another sucker on its next upswing, and

b) because expect GM to be able to stiff their pensioners -- not have to pay the full legacy costs, courtesy of a lenient bankruptcy court judge (oh, no, no, can't think about bankruptcy of GM, can we now?) and an undercapitalized Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.

And second? GM is listed on the bluest-of-blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Index.

I think I'm going to cry now.

1 comment:

Bob Murphy said...

Maybe investors are thinking there will be a bailout.