Congressional Oversight Panel says the government overpaid

Kannon Fodder

No surprise here – “The Congressional Oversight Panel says the government overpaid”

Elizabeth Warren, the head of the oversight panel called the process “… an opaque process at best.”

(Warning! Incoming Sarcasm) Who could have seen this coming?

The Kannon did – read his October post:

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Kannoneer Returns Fire on Ford Motors

We recently posted an article that ruffled a few feathers and solicited a response from Scott Monty in Global Digital Communications for Ford Motor Company.

The following was in response to the Kannon Fodder post “Superbowl Advertising – GM, Chrysler and Ford are missing the point”

We here at the Kannon Team would like to thank you for responding to our post – Ford is doing the right thing by monitoring influential blogs – kudos to you!

Yes, we will concede the point that Ford has yet to take bailout money – but the point about transparency in advertising is still valid – now is not the time for the same old hyperbole. Really, does anyone really believe this is my “last chance to save?”

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Superbowl Advertising – GM, Chrysler and Ford are missing the point

Kannon Fodder:

It’s been noted in virtually every newspaper and online resource that the American car companies are not advertising in the Super Bowl, for example, this article in the Baltimore Sun.

The argument is that it would appear tacky to spend $3 million for one thirty second ad when they just got a sweet handout from Uncle Sam.

The Kannon Fodder team thinks it is what you advertise that is tacky – not where you advertise it. Just the other night, one ot the team saw a Ford as that shouted “THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO BUY AT EMPLOYEE PRICES. PRICES WILL NEVER BE THIS LOW.”

Bull Crap. We don’t believe that, you don’t believe it, the dealers don’t believe it. No one does.

What we need now is some honesty – and some transparency. Step forward and be the first manufacturer to say:

“Please go to Consumer Reports or our own website to download the dealer invoice. You’ll see exactly the price our dealers are paying for these cars. We pledge to you that this is the lowest we can sell them for to still be able to pay back the money we borrowed from you, the tax payer.

We’ve instructed our dealers to charge you no more than $500 more than this price. If they try to play games, find a dealer who will treat you fairly.

We’re all in this together. “

That Ad would sell cars. If that ad was on the Super Bowl, and the manufacturers really followed through and stopped playing games, and the dealerships stopped doing business as usual, people might start trusting again.

Not running an ad in the most viewed event this year is just playing more games.

The Detroit Riot of 2008

I’ve heard all kinds of economic and political pros and cons concerning the potential bailout of the Detroit automakers.

Examples:

1.  Failure is the price that’s paid by a poorly run company in a free market capitalist system, but these companies and the companies they support are too big to fail. Additionally, millions more will be added to the unemployment lines and a national deficit that already knows no bounds will reach an even greater level of obesity.

2.  Politically, we’re in a void for another couple of months, as all unpleasant, divisive, and crucial decisions (except, of course, bailing out the beloved banking and insurance industries) are put off until Barack’s hand leaves the Bible on inauguration day

The above thinking is all well and good, but the elephant in the room (or donkey, if you like), that isn’t being mentioned, is the high probability of severe civil unrest in Detroit should the car-makers be allowed to collapse under the weight of their own bad decisions.

This may well be followed by the newly unemployed taking to the streets without the structure and salaries that keeps much of the middle class’ discontent at bay. They will no doubt be joined by others who have been left impoverished by having lost jobs in other sectors of the economy, and still others who haven’t yet experienced being in the workforce, and have nothing better to do than embrace the mob mentality and contribute their fair share to the mayhem.

There will be white men, and there will be black men, united by impotent frustration and desperation. No doubt there will be an effort made to pin this unrest, should it come to pass, on an administration not yet in office, although their only sin may well be luckless timing.

This piece is not meant to incite, and it require hubris beyond that which even I possess to think that this lone observer can provoke anything more than a food fight at a birthday party.

It’s meant as a giant heads up, but again, I don’t think I’m the only one seeing this possibility. I think we’ll hear more about it in the days to come, once the ostriches get tired of eating sand.

Hopefully it ends here, in the speculative stage. Otherwise, from what I’ve read and seen, it’s going to make the riots of ’67 look like a fine and proper tea party.

Wake Up Or Die In Your Sleep

You may have read with disgust any or all of the following items, as well as others like them:

1. From the WSJ: “The U.S. government unveiled a plan to scrap its $123 billion bailout of American International Group and replace it with a new package worth around $150 billion.”

2. Michael Alix, the chief risk officer of Bear Stearns from 2006-2008 and their global head of credit risk management from 1996-2006, has been named a senior vice president in the Bank Supervision Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This the the same Bear Stearns whose abuse of risk caused its demise as a free standing entity.

3. Hank Paulson, the fox who, as head of Goldman Sachs, petitioned for the increased leverage that turns out to have decimated the global economy, is now in the hen house attempting to restore order.

This is what happens when John and Jane Q. Public abdicate responsibility for the actions of their government, preferring to play ostrich rather than pay attention. We are the the cats who were away and let the rodents play. And this is just the economic realm. Don’t get me started on foreign policy.

I can’t stress enough the need for what these days passes for an extreme level of vigilance, but is in fact nothing more than minding our collective store, which is currently teetering on the edge of a national Chaper 11.

White Collar Looting: Redistribution Republican Style

Obama wants to increase taxes on the top 5% of American earners. And if he’s elected, dollars to donuts says he’s going to delay that as long as we’re mired in the economic quicksand. He can’t change his position now, because middle class America needs a villain (the top 5%) as part of the incentive to vote for him.

Let’s put Joe, who’s not a plumber, and has a tax lien against him, aside for a moment. Obama’s proposed “redistribution” is a variation of the progressive tax code that’s been in business since the IRS was created. No big deal.

The Republican’s idea of a bailout, as proposed by Bush and Paulson, was supposed to take taxpayer money and use it to establish a market that would slowly but surely get the toxic paper out of the system. Instead, taxpayer dollars are being REDISTRIBUTED and used to prop up the banks by buying stock in them and raising their share price, thereby increasing the net worth of the same avaricious knuckleheads who caused this mess in the first place, because those knuckleheads still own company stock and options.

Add to that the fact that some of those financial institutions, which were formerly high flying investment banks, just can’t get that “big bonus regardless of how we perform” mentality out of their self-centered craniums.

Old greedy habits die hard.

So the Democratic candidate proposes a variation on the theme that has been in place for generations while America grew, and he’s labeled a socialist.

The Republican administration pulls the rug out from under the ostensible intentions of the bailout, and REDISTRIBUTES taxpayer dollars to prop up the culprits, while shamelessly allowing them to continue their end of year bonus system.

Looting, white collar style. Instead of breaking a window and running out with a TV, break the backs of working Americans and run out with a wad of cash.

That’s Republican REDISTRIBUTION.

Former Wall Street Execs Arrive For A Job Fair