GM’s True Lies

If you watched any television last night, you probably saw this commercial:

“We have repaid our government loan in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule.”

CEO Ed Whitacre is telling us the truth, but not the whole truth. What about the other $45 billion that American (and Canadian) taxpayers gave General Motors last year, which was originally part of that loan? Why doesn’t he mention that still-outstanding amount as he so proudly touts the payback of less than 14% of GM’s unsettled debt? When do we get that money back?


MarketWatch is a bit more realistic about Whitacre’s announcement:

Yet for all the fanfare, this is icing on the cake — and there’s still no cake.

The federal governments of Canada and the United States are the majority shareholders in General Motors, and will be until the carmaker issues new shares to the public. We still don’t know when that will be, and Whitacre didn’t offer any new clues.

And the Associated Press reports:

The White House pointed to GM’s repayment of the loan and Chrysler LLC’s posting of an operating profit in the first quarter of 2010 as concrete signs that the bailout of the U.S. automakers was working.

In a report, they noted the American auto industry lost more than 400,000 jobs in 2008 and analysts estimated another 1 million would have been lost had GM and Chrysler liquidated. In the past nine months, the White House said the industry has added 45,000 jobs, the strongest job growth in the industry in nearly a decade.

Sorry, but given the record the White House has in their predictions, as well as their ability to accurately account for jobs “created or saved”, I’m going to take that assertion with a huge shaker of salt (until that’s outlawed, too).

Unless GM is engaging in financial shell games of a kind that would put Bernie Madoff to shame, how is it possible for a company which posted a $4.3-billion loss for the half year after “emerging” from bankruptcy last summer,  lost $30.9 billion in 2008, and has laid off nearly 65,000 workers over the past year expect to a) build good cars that consumers want to buy, b) keep up payments to unions and union healthcare trust funds, and c) pay back their debt to American taxpayers?

Just asking.



5 Responses to GM’s True Lies

  1. […] Grand Rants. GM Lies. But what do we expect from Guv’mint Motors? When does the Guv’mint tell the […]

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stoutcat: So GM paid off its entire TARP loan? Really? CEO Whitacre lies by not telling the whole $45 billion truth: #tcot…

  3. […] True Lies Redux: A Time to Boycott? In yesterday’s post about GM’s touting of their TARP payback (with interest!), I asked the following question: […]

  4. […] is still running that stupid ad, trumpeting the company’s payoff of its “government loan” (with interest! Five […]

  5. anonymous says:

    That the car manufacturer, Chevrolet, and General Motors, should not be building high-powered cars as from them engine, those cars are big and very heavy, and consume lots of fuel, gasoline, those car manufacturers, themselves are working with out the government approvals, they doing the same as it, happened it, to the car factories, in the decades of from 50’s and 60’s, building those cars from a heavy weight, and very high speed, very heavy to drive and to can make safe turn in the road, this problem had been solved, under the commands from the former expresident from the United States of America in the 60’s, that they were prohibited, plus commanding for the American auto manufacturers, that do not build heavier car and of high speed, the owners and representatives from those automobiles factories, they were said already and they got aware by the American government since the 60’s, why? and whom? those troubles to be happening again, the military authorities they command it, for the American auto manufacturers, that the cars for Americans should be lean, without many luxuries, they are to be by necessity rather than luxury, without being too expensive, and that American cars must meet the requirements of the Americans, to prevent cars from Europe and Korea, earning in the market from the United States of America, the American car market should not allow the entry of foreign cars,
    Up from the 25% percent of total sales, belongs to the international market, the U.S. government had discussed of this, with the legal owner from several American auto manufacturers, and the U.S. government had demanded it, since the years from 1960 to 1961, that these rules, should never change, and the U.S. government ordered from the owner, to the American business man Howard Hughes . to conduct a meeting for all the representatives from the factories, for he will advise it, that the U.S. government command it , for the president’s of each factory, that they should obey the commands from the legal owner only, that if the chief executives and presidents representatives do not follow those commands, fro the legal owner only not for any impostors, he must to do justice.

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