Thursday, November 13, 2008

And even *more* GM ROFLcopters!

This is too rich. Daniel Gross of Slate writes in defense of propping up the Big Three automakers. But since Slate recently started putting links in the middle of articles instead of at the end, we see that right in the MIDDLE, they post a link to Gross's previous article from '03 where he REJECTED the claim that the auto industry was doomed. Check out these gems:

"...the Big Three enjoy remarkably large market caps: $21.5 billion for GM [now under a tenth of that -- SB].... Throw in all the money that has been lent to the companies, and you have to come to the conclusion that either there's an awful lot of stupid money invested in the survival of the U.S. auto industry or the declinists are mere alarmists."

"...the Big Three are unlikely to seal their own near-term doom for the sake of short-term labor peace. It's safe to assume that the companies will gain the upper hand in negotiations ..."

Yeah, why would unions shoot themselves in the foot? And why would GM have anything but a long-term perspective?

"Ford, as Moneybox has described it, is a profitable bank lashed to an unprofitable carmaker."

Now, without the profitable part!

"'s hard to go out of business when you have a great deal of brand equity, ready access to the capital markets, and the potential to print money when you have the right product mix at the right economic climate."

I really have to hand it to Slate: highlighting an author's unflattering earlier work is quite a selfless, helpful act!

(Cross posted at the ever-more-foot-in-mouth Megan McArdle's blog.)

ROFL = rolling on floor laughing
ROFLcopter = internet meme alluding to mechanization of this phenomenon

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