Perry Glasser

Would You Like Fries With That?

In Business, Wall Street on October 10, 2008 at 11:15 pm

The price of a share of General Motors stock, or a share of Ford, is less than a McDonald’s Happy Meal.

This fact is a tribute to the clowns that run American Industry.

For Dollar$ readers, it raises a question about some standard Wizard advice–which is that the path to wealth for the common Citizen is to buy shares of major US coprorations, then hold for the long term. 

If you’d followed that advice and bought shares of GM at the time Ozzie and Harriet were weaning Ricky Nelson, right now, you’d be even.

The advice–BUY & HOLD!!–is Holy Writ, but notice that no Buccaneer or Wizard bidding for your money will engage that strategy. While feeding algorithms to their computers, they need less agile investors sitting still the better to suffer losses. Shooting fish in barrels is more sporting.

Meanwhile, over at GM, according to USA Today, Rick Wagoner, the Laff Riot King and CEO of GM, in 2007 made $15.7 million.  up from $9.57 million in 2006.  That’s probably for the sterling leaderhip that has made GM innovation the envy of every auto manufacturer in the world.

Wagoner sells cars in the same markets as Toyota and Honda, so there is no question of an inhospitable market or restrictive regulatory climate. Why create fuel efficient cars? Just because the oil supply is diminishing? 

Do you think Wagoner should get an orange fright wig? Floppy shoes? Do you think he will resign in shame?

Naaaaaahhhhhhh….when the dead cat bounces, he’ll claim a performance bonus.


The day after Dollar$ posted thoughts on GM and Wagoner, The Wall Street Journal confirmed that GM was in talks to acquire Chrysler. Chrysler, readers will recall, is the asset that Daimler-Benz acquired and then discarded when it proved to be toxic to the German corporate culture. Daimler erroneously believed that an American car company was interested in manufacturing quality as opposed to marketing autos that fall apart after three years. Wagoner is desperate.


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