Meh Culpa

I’m not an economist and I don’t play one on TV

I’m just a mathematically challenged American, yet I,–yes, I!–have a plan for the banks.  And for that matter, the automobile industry.

I can remember way back  when the Former Husband was attending grad school for his MBA (*cough*in the 1980’s*cough*), the so-called logic of egregious salaries was gaining sway,  greed was all  good, and ethics were [possibly] questionable.*  Here we are, about 20 years later and  gone are the days when anyone can argue that executives are paid such vast sums because they’re the ones with the expertise, and if you want to keep them on the job, you need to  compensate them with astronomical salaries, bonuses, perquisites and parachutes.

Uhhh, hellooo?!


Here’s the Plan: I think we should fire all the overpaid executives at the top.   C’mon, who needs retention?  When those narcissistic fools drove their companies into the ground, they planted all of us taxpayers as well.  Then too,  the automobile moguls drove a stake into the Big Three’s collective heart, the one pumping with the lifeblood of its distressed employees.   You know, the folks who had some of that $28 an hour lifeblood siphoned to keep the bottom line from bottoming out.  If any other American employee had done such a masterful job,  he  (or she) would have been pink-slipped as soon as the ink on the annual report dried red.  Hey, not even HP’s former CEO, Carly Fiorina, was spared when she failed to produce after the merger with Compaq, so neither Wall Street nor Detroit should off the hook.  Besides, the corporate cultures could use a little fresh air.  The thing is,  you can’t open the windows without throwing out all the upper level execs.

What, we can’t do that?

Sure, we can. They aren’t the only people in the world who know how to run a business, whether it be money business or car business.  Import ’em if you have to.

Next, do away with creative accounting. Let’s see those balance sheets balance without any fancy tricks. If they don’t,  then nationalize the insolvent banks.  (I’m sure Geithner and Bernanke already know which are which. They’re just not telling.) If shareholders have to take a hit, then so be it.  Shareholders know  going in that they’re taking a risk.  We shouldn’t change the rules of the game just for them.

Merge Chrysler and General Motors.   Sell off everything  that can’t make a profit, but keep GM’s parts business for all the used cars.  That’s a market that won’t go away.  Sell a line of Light Weight Classics that make 60 mpg for starters.  (If China can do it now, why can’t we?)   Bring in new design teams and Green Teams.  Let there be independent quality control.  Educate the workers, and along with them, repair techs, in greening the fleets.  Now that’s an investment.

(If I have any other ideas, I’ll let y’all know…  :D)

* I think the Former Husband’s class was asked a rhetorical question that went something like this: “If you had the chance to steal $40,000 (or $100,00) and get away with it, would you?” When the fundage increased, ethics decreased by an equal margin.  It was a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure no one said they would resist temptation.

February 13, 2009 Posted by | automakers, bailout(s), banks, Chrysler, Economy, Federal Reserve, GM, recession, Treasury | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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