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30 March 2009

Comments

Franklyn S

"Must have missed the Administration's speech on "painful concessions" from Wall Street and ousted auto executives. "

Umm, I don't think we'll be hearing that speech either lol

blkbandit

thank you rod for noticing Obama's stance on the automakers but gives Wall Street free reign to take this country down. why are people, especially black people, giving Obama a free pass? if Bush was doing anything like this liberals would be very upset. when are people going to realize that Obama is in bed with Wall Street?

Ravenback

The US auto industry has been hanging on by a thread for quite a few years. This is the moment. Either they act boldly and develop a new business model for success or they fail. Besides, if they go into bankruptcy, all contracts will be broken and the auto workers will be without anything. So it's in their best interests to give up something in order to help keep as many of their jobs as possible. I have a cousin who used to be an auto worker for GM. He saw the handwriting on the wall and went to college. He now works as a systems engineer and makes very good money.

I support President Obama because I agree with most of his views, not because he's Black. There were only two choices: Obama or McCain. And I definitely wasn't going to support McCain. And I always vote, regardless. And it does matter who you vote for. Just a few more people in Florida and Al Gore would have been President. Instead, we got Bush and the Iraq War, Patriot Act, torture, a wrecked economy, a wrecked environment, deregulation, and circumvention of the Constitution among others.

I welcome the change from just giving out carte blanche bailouts to these companies without strings attached. Most of the bailouts were handed out during the Bush administration. At least the President realizes that we can't continue making the same mistakes. I applaud him for that. And look at what he's taken on in less that 70 days in office. Most administrations don't do this much in their first complete year. He's not perfect, but he's generally moving in the right direction.

Greg G

"Supporting" the president doesn't mean he is "right" on everything. Of course I "support" Obama. I voted for him and want him to succeed. And am confident he will! But really we have no choice but to "support" the president until 2008, so the phrase is basically meaningless.

But Blkbandit is right. I haven't heard a get tough speech to Wall Street. I haven't heard anything about "concessions". I have not heard any of this talk to Walkl Street,. If a Republican were saying or doing this the people would be livid.

And of course the union workers are going to have to give up something, everyone does. But its a DANGEROUS time when black folks and so called Democrats are encouraging UNION BUSTING just to try to agree with the president. I thought the Republicans and conservatives promoted breaking contracts and dissolving union shops? And I thought the progressives and Democrats stood for the COMMON MAN and those who couldn't take care of themselves?

Actually, some of you don't need to answer that question. I get the impression many "supporters" of the president don't know or care what the Democrats historically have stood for.

And of course I agree we are moving in the right direction. But not everyone will agree on what steps we should take to get there. And I'm saying this as someone who has voted Democrat for 20 years, not a BRAND NEW voter.

blkbandit

the automakers may have been hanging by a thread but you don't see them holding the economy hostage until their demands are met. you dont see the automakers making the government buy all the cars that havent been sold to balance their books.

what i see is the fed printing money out of nowhere and banker/isreali cabal running our government. You have the treasury secretary giving his boys on wall street our money and they all are smirking all the way to offshore tax haven. Atleast bush was transparent with his take over. Obama charms the nation while wall street takes our money that can used for education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

I didn't vote for mccain but to me he was the lesser of the two evils.

Ravenback

As stated earlier, I support his change in the way he's handling this situation. I certainly hope this signals a new beginning. Wall Street doesn't have a union like UAW to deal with. Unfortunately, the current system can't continue as is. No matter how you put it, there is no escaping that fact. Other car manufacturers like Toyota, Honda, and BMW build cars in the US and pay decent wages and benefits. In Canada, US auto companies build cars. Both of those examples show that it can be done cheaper. Because we lack a national health care system, Canada builds cars about $2000 cheaper than their American counterparts. The UAW needs to take heed and price themselves back into the game before its game over. Bankruptcy will kill the UAW. Period.

We can argue until the cows come home over Wall Street vs Main Street. But just because Wall Street wasn't dealt with more harshly, that doesn't mean the auto industry shouldn't be dealt with in this manner. The biggest problem with Wall Street and the banks centers around deregulation. They were allowed to do subprime loans of every type and create securities backed by these bad mortgages. The bond rating companies were handing out AAA bond ratings like it was candy on Halloween. This is the next phase of dealing with Wall Street. President Obama will face stiff opposition from Congress on re-regulating the financial markets.

I know what the Democratic Party stands for. My parents both worked union jobs for over 40 years. But times are changing. The UAW's number one priority is to save jobs. If they aren't willing to do what's necessary to save their members, they will lose out entirely. Principles and platitudes will not put food in your stomach, clothes on your back, or a roof over your head. Get ready to work at Wal-Mart. And there's absolutely no union there.

Ravenback

As a side note, the latest casualty may be Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis. BofA has received $45 billion from the government. Lewis has made some bad decisions including a merger with Merrill Lynch that has helped cause BofA stock to lose 80% of its value. I think a sea change is brewing. Companies that want government bailouts in the future are going to have to dance to a different beat.

blkbandit

Wall street doesn't have UAW. They have AIPAC, the ADL, and the federal reserve. With friends like those who needs union representation.

Ravenback I see that you are an intellectual and very informed but please do not become another obama apologist. You and I both know he will never talk about regulating wall street or ask giethner to resign. He will bomb canada before asking wall street to show some respect.

Rod Mc

This is a very interesting late night conversation. All of you--BlkBandit, Ravenback, Greg--make some very good points.

I'm a union member, and am for unions, jobs, and health care. IMHO the auto industry has been mismanaged for years, benefits and pensions are part of the problem, but it's not just UAW's fault. Leadership at the Big Three is lacking. The product is poor. And the profit motive has been reduced by Washington's loans.

It is entirely acceptable the companies have a demonstrable strategy. But make no mistake: This tone and these conditions were not placed upon the financial industry whose bailout eclipses the automakers. Just my thoughts. Carry on ...

blkbandit

I will eat my words if Obama asks Lewis to resign but the cynic in me doubts it will happen.

Well said Rod. The financial industry got a handjob while the auto industry was raked over the coals. Even though the auto industry was mismanaged atleast they produced something. Quants, Credit default swaps, etc is basically making money out of thin air. When you go to Vegas the house does not pay you back when you lose a bet. Wall street needs to realize the good ole days are over and restrategize.

blkbandit

Also if BofA were to fail it would be horrible for minorities especially hispanics. Check the history of that bank and look at how many minorities bank there.

The conspiracy theorist in think this was the plan all along. Complete disenfranchisement of the poor and minorities.

D. Askew

"Why are people, especially black people, giving Obama a free pass?"

Because he is black. We always do this. We are so happy to have a brother in the White House, we basically we justify everything.
Not saying he wasn't the best man for the job. He is. But many Obama supporters, especially black ones, refuse to admit Obama is ever wrong on anything. They will change their entire value system to rationalize something he says.

If the Republicans were bailing out Wall Street HEADS WOULD ROLL. You would NEVER hear the end of it. If Bush and his Wall Street friends were giving billions to Citi, Goldman Sachs, etc. there would be a riot. Now, not so much.

Jim

blkbandit said:

"If a Republican were saying or doing this, the people would be livid.

Are you sure the person saying these things is not a Republican?

I thought the Republicans and conservatives promoted breaking contracts and dissolving union shops? And I thought the progressives and Democrats stood for the COMMON MAN and those who couldn't take care of themselves?

If those days ever really existed, they were long ago, before the rise of Clinton's Democratic Leadership Council in the early 80s.

Obama is a man who abandoned his own pastor, a man he supposedly loved and respected, precisely because his pastor said some things about this nation that were truthful. So why would anybody who doesn't have big, big money ever think that Obama would not abandon him?

I guess there is one sense in which you could say Obama didn't abandon us: Did he ever give us any reason to believe that he was ever for us? Not that I could see.

blkbandit

well said jim and d. askew. obama threw reverend wright, and negroes, under the bus a long time ago. he does this with white guilt on his left and black solidarity on his right. obama is the perfect face for the new world order.

Jai

This thread is tight.
I respectfully disagree with D. Askew and Blkbandit, I believe Obama is doing the best he can. I think there is a lot of racial solidarity and pride but if he doesn't fix the economy all bets are off. So I tend to agree more with Ravenback.

I enjoy the mental stimulation on these posts and threads, I am new here.

Ravenback

Blkbandit, I don't particularly understand your reference to AIPAC and ADL. Both organizations are Jewish, but I choose not to draw any conclusions behind your motive for mentioning them. I support unions too; however, the UAW in particular has priced its workers out of the game more than any other. Perhaps I am defending President Obama because I agree with his course of action with GM and Chrysler. Also, I don't buy into conspiracy theories. You need to put some more meat on those bones before I can believe it. And if you think McCain was the lesser of the two evils, then that alone highlights the chasm between the two of us. And your comment about President Obama bombing Canada before getting tough on Wall Street makes absolutely no sense at all.

D. Askew, all Blacks don't think alike. For your information, the bailouts began under Bush -- a Republican. Heads weren't rolling then. Some people expected President Obama to be a far-left liberal. Even the Republicans are calling him a socialist, marxist, and communist all in the same breath. They are highly critical of his decision to ouster the GM CEO.

And Jim, Rev. Wright said some ridiculous things. He had left the scene, and what was done was done. But then he came back on the scene and put on a performance at the National Press Club. Obama was left with no choice but to cut him loose. Frankly, I would have done the same thing. Rev. Wright didn't show Obama any respect. Therefore, he got canned.


gurlene

The only reason why the government has not let the all but bankrupt auto industry file for bankruptcy is because of the psychological damage it would do to the economy and americans as a whole. There is no hope out there.

There are well over 1.5 million plus jobs tied to the auto industry (suppliers and so forth) that would be gone with 2-3 months in the event of a bankruptcy.

However, what good does it do to keep throwing money at an industry whose very customers needed for survival (Mr. You and Me) can not get a loan to buy their product? Talk about POURING money into a black hole this industry is the poster child for that saying. Banks and credit unions are not lending. If yours is consider yourself lucky but dont get too comfortable, they are canceling and reducing credit for nearly all their members/card holders.

With the average Joe knowing he is doing good to get a $15-$18 an hour job who can afford a $350-$500 dollar a month car note along with insurance and upkeep (tune-ups, oil changes and general maintainance) throw another $250 at least on top of the note. Last but not least don't forget gasoline and how unstable the price of that can get (remember $4.50 a gallon last summer?).

Then after factoring in rent/mortgage, credit card, utilities, food and such and what is left of that paycheck after taxes? Not very much. Keep in mind that was a very good salary 5 years ago too.

When you stop to think how GM is now worth less than Ford after looking at the balance sheets of both companies Wagoner knew he had best take the $20 million and run.

I would have done the same thing. But I am just like many of you. A $50k plus per year working slave. Here in NYC it takes $125k to be considered MIDDLE CLASS.

Ravenback

Very good comment Gurlene. The economy has been fueled by overextended credit. People borrow like crazy and they don't save much money. Too many look at credit cards in terms of being able to pay the minimum amount each month. People were allowed to buy homes with little or no money down. It became insane. There was no room for error. When interest rates increased and people started losing jopbs, the tightrope they were walking on broke, and people came crashing down. People can't pay their mortgages and credit cards, and foreclosures and bankruptcies are up. Some people won't even be able to get loans because their credit is so bad.

So now people are being forced to live within their means. If you can't save up enough money for it, you can't afford it. People won't be buying as many homes, cars, big screen TVs, washers and dryers, computers, clothes, and etc. This means an economy that won't be as strong as it once was. Combine that with the fact that companies are shutting down facilities here and moving them overseas. That means fewer jobs available. IBM recently laid off 2000 workers and announced they were opening jobs in India. To add insult to injury, they offered recently laid off American workers first crack at those jobs. Now you have to go to another country just to work the job you once had. That's crazy.

Let's face it. Our education system is lagging behind much of the industrialized world. More skilled labor is exiting the country because countries like India, China, and Brazil have a better educated populace than they had before. Also, skilled positions like nurses, doctors, engineers, mathematicians, and computer specialists are going unfilled in this country. Therefore, more and more foreigners are being brought here to fill those positions. This country is turning out too many lawyers and not enough other professionals. Take a look at your hospital's medical staff nowadays.

blkbandit

actually wages have not kept up with the rate of inflation for some years now. yes americans have overextended themselves but you can thank reagan, bush sr, and clinton for the reason why were in the mess we are in today.

also i am not saying that the american auto industry didn't do alot of the damage to themselves but obama's response to them was much more harsh then it was to wall street. wall street is holding the nation hostage after they are the ones who us in this mess. even worse is that its on a global scale and other nations do not want to use US currency. the america empire is over and we have to scale back.

what triggered all this economic mess was the repealling of glass-steagall act. once investment banks and regular banks were able to merge again, thank you bill clinton, the game was on. additionally quantitative analysis, or quants, didnt help much cause they gave a mathemetical gloss to stocks. so with that wall street was basically printing money but after a while the whistler blowers realized that they made a bad bet especially since the assets werent worth anything to begin with.

ravenback i mention the jewish organizations cause the US turns a blind eye when isreal does something wrong. the atrocities that isreal commits towards palenstinians at this point is genocidal. you can thank the adl and the aipac for that. they are the most influential lobbey right now. follow where there money comes from and oops you are on wall street again. and yes i am a conspiracy theorist who believes there is a zionist cabal running our nation.

Ravenback

Also, interest rates were kept low. Money was cheap, the banks found new ways to spread it around, and people were all to willing to take it. But in the end, you have to pay for it. That's the part most people had a problem with. Nothing in life is free. And that leads to the next crisis that is unfolding -- the credit card crunch. Talking about bailouts now. Wait unto this mess fully explodes in our faces. And after that, pension funds becoming insolvent. They'll be extending their hands for a bailout. If you think the President was harsh on the auto industry, then you haven't seen anything yet. This country is built on a house of cards. It never ends.

gurlene

Ravenback you hit the nail on the head with your comment on education in this country.

If we woke up one morning and discovered that a foreign power had been behind our educational system for the last 30 years we would declare nuclear war on them.

We now depend on foreign computer techs, software engineers, healthcare workers (from lab techs to doctors and nurses) from India so much that if India were to call home these workers we would have no other choice but to hold them hostage because our national security and healtcare system would crumble overnight. That's just how bad it is.

Less than 4 years ago GM had a market value of $40 billion dollars. By christmas of last year it was less than $1 billion. The stock price for Ford and Gm would be far lower (both have trade/traded at less than $3 per share on any given day for the last 4 months) would be even lower were in not for day traders manipulating the price.

What this guy, Wagoner, walked away with amounts to a cruel kick in the pants when you stop to think how Stan O'Neal, the black chairman of Merrill Lynch, walked away with nearly $200 million plus (after long-term incentives are factored in that were in his contract) while Merrill Lynch crumbled all around him.

Ravenback

Excellent post Gurlene. Speaking of Merrill Lynch, before it was bought by Bank of America, they had paid out bonuses 22 times greater than what AIG was paying out. All of it is obscene.

And you're right about GM. About 10 years ago, GM's market share was about one-third. Today, there share is 18% and dropping. As much as I would like to see GM survive, the odds are greatly against them.

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