miércoles, 13 de mayo de 2009

A Mirthless World

We all – quaint and unlucky humans – run like crazy people covering our faces with masks and our hands with gloves, rejecting handshakes because we don´t want to caught that nasty swine flu. That specter appeared in Mexico letting our more troubled fears come to life. We don´t want to fly anymore – at least not to Cancun – we don´t want to use public transportation or hang out at enclose spaces – at least for Biden.

As this influenza fret with deadly 24/7 appearances around the news media, governments around the globe deal with uncertain policies in order to prevent a wide spread of the disease. China – with a roughshod standing – persecuted Mexican citizens and stripped them of any rights to freely travel – they even had trouble getting back to Mexico.

The WHO rapt response to the crises was not enough to prevent the hysterical response from several governments that pursued resolutions that hoped to close all traveling from and to Mexico. The US president decided against such measure by saying that it is too late now; the virus already crossed the border so it will be unwise to do that.

As we travel around the globe we may take the influenza from Mexico to Hong Kong in a matter of hours, when we convey for viruses we also make it impossible for authorities to control the spread of a disease. We grill to travelers at airports victimizing the innocent as well. But there may not be much of a choice for authorities desperate looking at preventing a pandemic that could disrupt our daily lives.

Some ludicrous journalists underestimate the imminent threat that we face when a new virus surfaces and mutates. If we only had panicked at AIDS when it first appeared, we may not be losing that war right now.

The influenza is a powerful fiefdom that stopped normality and created – for the time being – a chaotic climate that shutdown Mexico for an entire week. Many countries like China wreak visitors with such panic that Mexicans look like terrorists carrying bombs. The over coverage of the news media is also threatening. We are seeing – gladly – that nothing major have happened, and this could pose a terrible precedent for a future outbreak of the flu. Next time we could be lulled and let the influenza spread and kills many more, and then the pessimistic will rise in “glory”.

This appears to be the case right now, lots of people jeer to what they call “excessive” coverage of the virus. If our current measures turn out to be a life saver – and no more throe appears upon us – then we will put down our guard and be much more vulnerable next time.

In any case we did not see derangement as you might have expected from such deadly monster. A complicate matter though, is that this virus pads around us all the time. Dead from regular flu stands in the thousands every year, this new virus has not caused that many dead but has the power to do so.

Flu medicine was also running out in every drug store around the world. Even when they are useless to prevent or control the new influenza, people crawl around begging for some pills. The appearance of flu peddles was just the new underworld business appearing in third world countries. One thing that came up was that people may have also wanted not to look sick, cause coughing or sneezing was the new ugly, and if you were “kind” of sick at the airport there was a good chance that you may spend several days in quarantine at the local hospital.

What dreg we have left after this whole freak episode is that we have no clue what wager will eventually appear in the future. Any disease that attack the young and healthy is much more likely to cause wide spread panic upon us. Comely people tend to be self assuring that with good health many well known illnesses won´t hit them. If they are part of a cultural virus target, then a spiral of chaos will rise.

We must be careful not to let this virus hit us with fury in the future. We know from past experiences that it comes in waves, and those usually appear months after the first group of people were affected. Even when we feel knackered with all the nasty media coverage of this issue, we have to be careful when our guard is down. Being miff is the one thing that will cause the worst case scenario to become life threatening.

One of the reasons that scientist judge as correct, is that the virus has not adapted to humans, therefore it is not lethal in the way that it could be after it hit us for the second time. Irate citizens must comply to a common denominator in the future, a world with lots of panic and virus that may or may not become a pandemic. We will see this type of schizophrenia disemboweling our daily lives to the point of becoming a grueling lackadaisical routine that will change our world.

The world as we know it is coming to an end.

martes, 28 de abril de 2009

Let´s shut down Latin America

Let´s Shut Down Latin America

I am exhausted of feeling shame about our continent. Our land is great, our ladies gracious (exotic and charming to the point of creating a new level of pure beauty, above every other creature in the world), our spirit is strong and some people are even impulsive and bright – nevertheless – we are in the same path that has dragged us down for centuries.

It could be that we – a disgraced mix of races – are so determine to walk the path of self destruction that we are unable to think. Take our current drama stories that succumb in distorted views, we are victims of a mere delusion of socialist governments that create dreams that will never become reality. Just like the master of the universe created virtual wealth, Chavez and Co. create virtual prosperity.

That is why the first scar in our continent is Hugo Chavez. He has not just destroyed his country´s democracy; he has also created a despicable left wing thinking that poisons our continent. As he spews passé ideas the rest of the “no brain followers” replicate his same lame agenda in their own places.

Chavez may think he governs South America, parts of Central America and the Caribbean – even Castro is getting sick of this. Some of us think that he is just an unstable intolerant leader who is prompt to ignore de basics of democracy so he can be in power until the end of time. A self center egomaniac who tries to prove that he is the “man”, while bulling everyone who steps on his way.

Sounds familiar?

This is the type of leader that we like in our continent. A macho society that can´t tolerate weakness needs a macho leader that proves us that we are the “man”. When Pablo Ramos goes through life in his book “La ley de la Ferocidad” he does so by proving to everyone that he can – be successful. Falling in drug abuse and alcoholism he ends up being miserable at the same time that hi makes everyone miserable. The story told – in the beautiful Argentina – shows his tendency to be a womanizer and the irreplaceable corruption at all levels, presenting a society in decay that reflects how we treat and are treated when money matters more than life. The book is like a painting of Latin America, it intends to tell the story of Gabriel – the main character – but in doing that it also tells the story our a narcissist society that will not self endure, it will disappear.

Chavez pushed Cuba out of the dark bringing it to the spotlight as it took almost every country in the continent to a photo up magazine cover begging for Castro´s attention.

The left out?

The disgraced Rafael Correa of Ecuador.

Which bring us to this tiny country in the middle of Peru and Colombia. Correa is not only Chavez´s puppet, he is also his experiment. Since most other leaders are resolute to own their own agendas or at least get something back from Venezuela, Correa seems highly naïve to compel with Chavez´s will.

Correa may think he outsmart every other living creature in the world, which is sad because he may not be even above average. The sad story about him and Ecuador is that nothing this continent does, will take us out of this hell.

TIA may refer to a dangerous and inhumane place on earth. That continent may be the vivid image of human intolerance at a great scale. What we see in Latin America is at least a better version since we became a democracy. But the strong hopes of developing are nowhere to be seen – we may never get there.

The main reason is that we blame the US for all our problems, while the US thinks of us as their back yard. Unless we start blaming us for our own mistakes, we will never be able to overcome our simplicity.

Lugo – genteel and horny – may well have accomplished the first sex scandal this year. Not only he managed to pregnant several women, he may also be in legal trouble for doing it so to a minor. Way to go priests. At least he did nothing to children.

Morales and his coca leaf may last a month in peril of searching for a better suit constitution. This is the way our continent works, idiots become presidents, idiots keep them in power and then we complain that we have incompetent leaders.

The sad thing is that this so called leftist governments fawn to a dictatorship in Cuba. Instead of helping the Cuban people be free, they actually help the Castro´s infamous power. We – an oleaginous continent – have our evil doers depending on a incapable and lazy bunch of inhabitants that breathe in only to breathe out, they are prompted to believe that they only, are the righteous owners that should rule this continent forever.

So tangled is the core of our own mystery that the ail of millions of poor people becomes irrelevant when they cling to power. They all gather in these irrational meetings where we have become an obnoxious land of no ones. This gaga continent has become the pray of centuries of unpleasant existence. Our self deprecating art and harrowing movies are nothing more than the reflex of our lost ideas and low self stem.

We need laconic governments to provide more freedom. We need less constitution changes and much more individual liberties. Sadly we rather praise our own self destructive nature than acknowledge the wonders of individualism.

Latin America is a place where the party goes on and on. Gorgeous ladies destroy your will with a simple smile. A diversity of artists bring the world down to our rhythm – filling the lacunae in our daily lives.

But we still have no identity. This creates the perfect stage for chaotic governments that enable a masquerade to go on forever. When we became unhinged by the rhetorical questions our leaders asked, we let the precious fight of liberty go down the drain. Not only we have to fight ourselves in the search of new and innovative ways of governance, but in the process of doing so, we allowed the demons in our hearts to run rampant.

Latin American contribution to the world is less than impressive. While Asia is creating the new heavy weight champions while the US is slowly fading, we on the other hand run experimental democracies waiting for the perfect one to fit our needs.

Ortega, Correa, Chavez, Morales, Lugo, Castro, Fernández de Kirchner, all rule in third world countries with no real development to show for their socialist governments. Lula on the other hand is much more prepare and wiser than this other mediocre misbegotten leaders. He has the model that will be best to follow and he is not intimidated by anyone, so you can´t say that Brazil is a weak country just because he does not bully others.

If we are to learn anything from human history, is that we have to manage our own fate. If we let disastrous leaders run our economy we end up slaving our own future.

Although this may seem like the accurate way to go, geography matters more than before according to Robert D. Kaplan on his latest article published on Foreign Policy “The Revenge of Geography”. This could mean a lot of trouble to Latin America, which had a clear advantage over the US market for its proximity, now that Asia is growing as a super power we are in a clear path to be left behind. Asian poor nations plus Africa could provide China and other Asian nations with rough materials, in the mean time Latin America will still fight ideological ideas that go nowhere.
If geography will rule again, then opposing forms within the countries fighting the “threat” of globalization will rise – we face a new world order far away from us. Now it was fun thinking of the US as a superpower – that no matter what our leftist presidents said – was never going to invade anyone in our continent. Even more, most of our emigration was going to the north.

Now we have to emigrate all the way to Asia?

Sorry to say but that will really be a problem.

It will be better if this economic crisis turns out to be just like others in our recent history, and that the US may still hold huge power for decades to come.

The US may be immerse in the worst economic crisis in decades, but they sure know how to get out of it; and that is not at the hand of their government. They will do so trusting their own individual capabilities. It is time that we search our destiny doing the same.

In the mean time lest stop the experiments, bring back our dignity and get some decent leaders. If we lose our geographical advantage, then we will have nothing left to offer to the world and we will be the next Africa, where no good is created, and places like Darfur show us just how horrendous humans really are.

jueves, 12 de febrero de 2009

Too cool to be good?

Don’t get me wrong, my friends, my associates and my business all come from the United States. The last thing that I want is for the US to stay on this downturn any longer. But things are looking bad right now. Not only Obama´s nominees are dropping out like amateurs in a poker game, but the rescue plan is just awful. I don’t know what will happen next and that may be the problem.

This is just terrible, thousands of people are losing their jobs and businesses are cutting on costs, all this brings the scenario to a bitter end. Judd Greg withdrew from being the secretary of the commerce talking about his disagreement with the Obama administration as a reason why. But take into account that is the second nominee to withdraw. This after a week in which the Obama team had seen three nominees left the table.

Obama seems to be lost in the middle of the worst crisis of our life time. When we need someone to assure us of a better future we watch the administration fighting to resolve problems. Not only on the nominee side but also on the rescue package. Geithner was part of the team that saved Wall Street from catastrophe leaving in the process billions in the pockets of those greedy CEOs.

The US economy won´t stop its free fall until trust is built again. This won´t happen until Obama can make the market trust him. Wall Street so far is not looking good, it has been going up and down but ending below the 8000 mark.

So what we need?

Someone willing to make tough decisions.

What will be of the future will be a matter on how fast things turn around in the rest of the world. So far the US looks like it is not going to make any progress any time soon. The core of the problem is far too complex for the current administration.

The economy is going down mainly because no one is hiring or investing in the future. Even tech companies are cutting costs. This means that unless people feel confident that this crisis is over there will be no turn around.

Obama may make things much better with the right team. Instead he is going for a consensus that seems to go nowhere. Suddenly Republicans are going into attack mode hitting the administration hard enough turning the public opinion against the rescue package. Democrats and Republicans agree on stimulus package of $789 billion dollars cutting billions of dollars to programs bringing the final toll to an insignificant number that will do nothing to bust the economy.

Most economist that I trust on listen to said that at least the US economy needs a trillion dollars to start a decent recovery plan. I believe the figure will be enough to bring back the lost trust in a weak system.

Take these points just to understand what I would do to improve in the short run our situation:

1- Don’t bail out banks, buy the toxic assets but wipe out stock holders, giving billions of dollars so big shot executives give themselves millions in bonuses is not only stupid, it should be illegal. Obama does not understand this.
2- Buy stock from troubled companies so they have an inflow of money, stock holders will benefit for the rising of price, but also the government that will own part of those companies.
3- Create a state fund for entrepreneurs in which states could allocate money into local banks to finance new projects, giving the new companies tax benefits encouraging people who lost their jobs into getting in a new business.
4- Let foreign people come to work, give working visas to investors, open your doors so the common man and woman that want to live in the US and want to take their money to the country. This will not big huge investments looking for quick returns, this will be people committed to make a living and to work in the US.
5- Let as many students as you can in, some of them will seek to stay bringing to the US a powerful amount of smart brains. When the economy starts picking up they will be the ones in great position to make a recovery last longer.
6- Encourage states to improve their school systems, give the necessary resources so they don’t have to cut on fundamental programs related to education.
7- Don’t go protectionist, keep your borders open to commerce, that will mean that you must improve your productivity and innovation.
8- Regulate, yes it sucks but rules must be clear so when banks go into reckless behavior they must pay for it.
9- Bring back the troops, although this is much more complicated than anyone could predict, the economic cost will easily pass the one for the economic program – yes Republicans don´t mind paying for war but complain about recovering the economy – saving billions of dollars. It will also easy the excruciating labor that those brave soldiers have carried for way too long.
10- Create a motor power based on green technology, as we are seeing the devastation in an extremely dry Australia we have to realize that the world is entering a face in which we not only have to worry about all the problems that we face right now, we have to add that mother nature just have had it with us. The world needs to find a balance between progress and conservation.
As in a strategic game there could be an infinite number of possible solutions that take us to the same bright end. This is a young administration that has faced tons of problems but that is still on time to make the right choices.

Obama is smart enough to change the course now and get things done as he truly believes they should be. I just hope that he moves quickly in the right direction, all of us depend on the well being of the US, some of us most than others. I believe that the world is not ready to have other super power, not yet.

jueves, 5 de febrero de 2009

Let me entertain you

Take a look at the best performing companies in the US. Most of them are in the fast food business or in entertainment. This means that no matter how sordid the world seems, we will always cling to unreal thoughts that make us laugh and get us distracted for a while. We are sick of hearing how Madof embezzled for decades.

Sales of consoles and their video games were up in December even when everything else was falling. Movies are doing fine in this terrible economy, sports still get large crowds – although advertising is down – and concerts are scheduled as planned, meanwhile even tech industries face a tangled outlook.

This modern coliseum of entertainment is just part of well known effort to keep us from our ailing state of mine. Sports are a powerful force in shaping our lives, so do movies and lately real like video games – You Tube is the beginning of a new era of entertainment. But this also applies to politics, no wonder why Sarah Palin´s pregnant daughter got that much attention and the outstayed Blagojevich is a permanent gaga show.

I was watching the Australian open men´s final this last Sunday, and for a moment I completely forgot about the myriad of problems that we face, the millions of jobs lost, the negativity among many Republicans that just don´t seem to get it –naysayers to the stimulus plan – and finally my own despair.

Then I realize that we all need some distraction. It is good and it is not. As artists and big shot stars are destine to be in the spotlight – so we are distracted from our pity lives – politicians are also victims of the same parody. We are jealous of their success; we want them to fail – big.

Being frivolous about Britney Spear´s life is nothing to be ashamed of, her falling life enthused much more our TV sets than the raising price of oil. In the middle of this never ending economic crisis we tend to watch more sitcoms, funny movies, sport events, concerts, gossip about the stars, we hope that another politician gets caught with a prostitute – democrat – or that a gay man – republican – falls for a cop in the airport´s bathroom. Their subpar professional performance is part of their job.

From a strict business point of view being in entertainment is the right choice, recession prove? Even Tony Soprano heard complains that the mob was no longer recession proved – but good entertainment is. Unless we see Las Vegas in a harrowing free fall, there is nothing to worry about if you own a casino.

Fast food restaurants such as McDonalds are doing great, if you still want to feel like you can eat out – changing Zagat´s for Dennis may seem inappropriate – but when the economy is falling from a cliff, millions will do just that. One surprise was the poor performance of Starbucks, they are not just doing badly, they are also closing up hundreds of stores and plan to lay off thousands of employees.

Things are not just looking dim; they seem to be getting worst and with no exit in the near future. Obama only plays cool as he goes for a delicate consensus –laconic at least when we need certainty and punishment. If he only had the Bush determination to bully people around to make his top priorities work – it may have been Cheney bullying people around – we could be seeing a rapid increase in short term spending, plus reform in health care and social security. I wish that some oversight over Bush policies was also an Obama priority. He did made a statement on the sordid close to $20 billion in bonuses given by Wall Street last year. What we did not hear from him was the claim that these jackals should disgorge the money that was actually tax payer´s money. In any case these news are just part of the distraction, whether it is done on purpose we don´t know, but the final outcome is just as reveling. We are embedded by which poppy will the Obama family chose.

Needleless to say there is a sense of urgency in every word that is being expel from Obama, like Bush before him, everything has to be done at light speed, nothing short of a fully approved law will be allow when it comes to accountability. If you don´t do what I want, as fast as I want, then you will be to blame for this whole mess. He may chided lawmakers for their flimsy performance but without getting much reaction from them.

We got TVs that are running out of time, Obama has been pushing so analog TVs have more time before they go into history. We really don´t want millions of Americans thinking or reading the news instead of laughing at Rush Limbaugh or Bill O´Reily. We have to ban HBO before it runs too many Chris Rock´s performances. We want people to be entertained, we don´t want them to be entertained and think. That just won´t be right.

There is nothing wrong with any of this; we – the people – have to distract ourselves from this surreal world. Nowadays that we live more into private islands when we don´t seem to care much about social interaction – in the good all fashion manner – TV has been great at making us users of byproducts that keep us from thinking straight. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

What we have to worry about is the increase of distraction to epical levels – something that could unmoor our savage inner self – the sense that every event has to be bigger and better than the one before, that athletes have to run faster and farther than ever before, that TV shows have to be funnier and cleverer than anything before, that economic growth and recoveries have to be faster and greater, that production has to increase, that productivity has to be better, that barriers have to go down. Grandeur is our new god.

Obama was a good show – I am not saying that he is not smart enough to be president because he may be one of the smartest presidents ever – but he unhinges me with his rhetoric about change when he nominated Tom Daschle, Nancy Killefer and Timothy Geithner to the highest ranks when they had some tax problems.

In any case, the world was shocked about his performances, his speeches draw thousands of attendees and his inauguration set a new record – that makes my point. Obama is a celebrity, but every politician is one. The difference is that so far, he is trying to make things better. I hope that he is able to restart the US engine as fast as possible. I can´t take another oxymoron.

Now that Obama has become the first black president of the United States there is no other minority that will drive that much attention. He was the first and everything after this is not much news. Although another Sarah Palin could do the trick for a while – that is until something happens with Britney Spears – cause the genocide in Darfur is just boring. Maybe Craig could seduce another man, or Spitzer get another prostitute, because illegal wiretapping is not good news. We are not interested in important stuff; we do not like the boring news about famine or the human abuses in Cuba, not just from Fidel, but in Guantánamo.

Don´t blame the media, blame yourself, cause you didn´t even finish this article, or you did and thought it was really boring. Maybe next time I should put some “naughty” thoughts in here – that will make the news. In the mean time, the entertainment industry will win big, unless of course you are in the porn industry – and you need a bailout.

All the Eyes in the Right Place

Today something incredible will happen, Obama will be sworn as the next President of the US. The immense magnetism that this is causing around the globe may be enough to bring one or two UFO to look down on earth and say, what is all the fuzz about?

Millions are going to Washington to admire an event as unique as the current world situation. Obama is the hope of a world in need of someone strong, with leadership, smart, curious, but most of all, with an aura of hope.

The heavy bag that Obama must hold on his shoulder is not the only problem that we face, we also need to find a lasting confidence in his economic team and his choice to be a foreign affair erudite must solve a myriad of devastating issues around the globe.

Hillary Clinton is tough and energetic and Emanuel seems like the Washington insider that will give Obama advice like a good lawyer – the one that takes your house, money, car, alimony… – well you get the point – giving him the leverage to negotiate in this tough economic times.
Obama may have recruited the best available team of experts, people proud of being eloquent and enchanted about reading an analyzing. No more friends in top places, no more ignorance running rampant on the highest jobs, no more corruption rewarded as if that was the right thing to do.

I will try to make a positive note despite the fact that Obama was never my choice, but democracy has given the world a unique opportunity to understand how things really work, and how simple they are.

We need to understand a basic premise, have Bush not been so tremendously wrong about so many things, and therefore people so desperate for change, would Obama have been elected?
This is an exquisite fact to analyze, cause as Chris Rock brilliantly put it, blacks need to achieve extraordinary things just to keep up with average white people. The same thing applies to most majorities and small countries. This may be bad for blacks, Latinos, Asians and other minority groups in the US who as a whole are more likely to achieve little. But the ones that actually achieve more than the average Joe, are prompt to be hail as remarkable examples.

Obama is that case, for what seems to be a fact, he is smart and capable of discerning the most complex matters into simple pieces that are read and reread until the final outcome that looks adequate. We look for the panoply that his image portrays on our actual misery, that sentiment reflects the need of a change in the course in which the US was heading under Bush. As Cheney vied and did not feel remorse of the spitting and destructing of the constitutions, many others see that as a closed chapter that hopefully will never be seen again.

What we must avoid is to think that just one man may bring panacea to the world, that the only presence is enough to turn things around and make this whole mess to be dissolved. If we are to bode about the outcome of this, we may as well be positive, things are down so much that it seems impossible to get any lower, but you never know.

In any case the status quo always needs slight adjustments and credible changes, right now we must wean from our current unsustainable situation, if we think of sacrifices that end in a happenstance, we may be understanding the first step of a sacrifice that needs to be done, and the sooner, the better.

Good luck to Obama on this tough journey, we all believe that a feasible future is hard to achieve, but is doable. On this epochal moment we need to cling into what we think will be best for the common good, the maudlin past that long ago offered homes and cars to hard working people is in shadows, the future is much more dim, but we haven´t seen abject poverty jet, we can still stand and create a new world.

The future scurries and we can´t hold it back. We must now stand behind the new elected leader and hope for the best, no stymie will hold back the opportunity that we must seize. In few months we will see a big difference, when Obama shows up on your TV and tells you that he and his team are doing all necessary to improve the economy, you will feel certain that is true, and work harder to make it. Bush lost that faith that people grasp to, Obama must encourage the people using his leverage to succeed in this tedious times.

Now is the best period to achieve so many things that need to be fix, let´s hope that the new leaders are at their best to take the risk and turn things around so the prosperity that was promised actually comes, this may be the time to claim that, “hard work is the only thing you need, in order to succeed.”

lunes, 17 de noviembre de 2008

Let the Giant Fall

It is easy to speak when you are not the one losing a job or finding that at an advance age – having worked at G.M. all your life – you may not be able to get a decent job. But tough times are here to shape a better future, and letting G.M. survive with a bail out won't be the right answer.

I always had my doubts over Rick Wagoner, I found distress knowing that he always enjoyed a wide support from every employee and car dealer of G.M., meaning that everyone is to blame for the mismanagement. Just after reading an article on the New York Times from David Brooks I came to realize that he is right. Saving the big three will send the wrong message to other companies that are in trouble. After all as David puts it "are the employees of Circuit City or the newspaper industry inferior to the employees of Chrysler?."

Maybe if Ford, G.M. and Chrysler file for chapter 11 they may never recover. But that may be the right signal to send to the companies, you either have a genius like Steve Jobs on your ranks, or you may find yourself begging for money after years of incompetent management. Obama is trying to save Detroit sinking the very own foundations of the American spirit of development.

Those millions of jobs related to this companies that may be lost will put even greater pressure on the already belated job market. No matter what the outcome is the government must assure people that it will take care of workers left out with no jobs, but it will also need to make sure that stock holders and the high management team are left with nothing.

It will be painful to see one of the big three falls into bankruptcy, it may never emerge from chapter 11, but companies like Google will grow stronger trusting their entrepreneur instincts rather than bad calls that could stalled them for years. A bail out on Detroit will only mean that CEOs like Wagoner could still find a high paid job while millions of really hard working smart guys are left unemployed.

If any of the big three survives this crisis it could emerge stronger, really embracing a new technology to transform those polluting machines that we drive today. It could also mean that no matter how iconic a company may be, it knows that it is on its own to forge a stable and prosperous future because Uncle Sam won't be there to save it.

This will also mean that if the government does protect workers, they will feel comfortable working at any company even when it is facing trouble times, they will feel that the state will back them, after wiping out all the big investors money. This will show Kirk Kerkorian to better know where he puts his millions, and stock holders to see a sweet deal when it appears.

We will see what happens if by this Friday nothing really shows that Democrats will have the votes to save the car companies. G.M. does not have enough cash to make it until Obama assumes the presidency next January. So maybe before 2008 ends being the worst year in recent memory, we will find that the big three may be the small two, or the lonely one.

jueves, 13 de noviembre de 2008

One more joke Rick!

I know, Rick can´t say that G.M. will face bankruptcy unless it gets that so needed money from the US government. Mr. Wagoner was self assuring on CNBC ´s interview with Phil LeBeau telling him that G.M. does not think about going bankrupt, the country can´t allow that to happen.

The US should not allow that to happen, that is true. When Lehman Brothers was left to the sharks the spiral of chaos unfolded much faster than anyone had anticipated. On the other hand I always thought that Mr. Wagoner was a lousy CEO. G.M. has been losing ground for several years now, it changed its big monster cars years after Toyota was enjoying a PR success called Prius.

I don´t know much about mechanics, but as a consumer I can feel the engine´s power and gas consumption, even when I do not understand the specifics. With this in mind Asian cars like Hyundai, Toyota or Honda give me the sense that they are more fuel efficient, have more power and are more comfortable. I would rather buy any of them than any of the G.M. brand.

Talks with Chrysler were fine now that we are facing recession. Talking about not getting a deal while your stock it’s at $4.36 is just stupid. If there is a lesson out of another lousy CEO like Jerry Yang is that you have to do what is best regardless of what your feelings are.
Mr. Yang rejected a $44.6 billion takeover by Microsoft back in February, instead he went to Google to cross a deal in advertising. Google backed off that deal facing possible inquiries of monopoly leaving Yahoo with a $12.2 a share as on Friday.
Microsoft´s proposal was for $31 per share, you know a bad move when you see it.

This could make G.M. a possible candidate for chapter 11, burning roughly $2.3 billion a month on Q3 it faces a huge liquidity problem as soon as January. Even with $15.2 billion in “available liquidity” it cannot risk to get to its minimum needs to get cash infusion. That is when Rick needs to run to Capitol Hill to beg for some money.

A bankrupt G.M. won´t be good for anyone being the same case as AIG. This confronts those two face phony Republicans that claim a free market wonder, just to bail out almost every big player in the American economy.

My concern does not lie on G.M.´s future, it goes to the fact that Rick Wagoner is just inept. If you hear him claim that G.M. needs around $11 to $14 billion minimum to operate and it has roughly $15.2 billion on cash liquidity, burning around $2.3 billion a month, then you now if has less than 2 more months until if goes below its minimum level.

Maybe it is time to show the exit door to Mr. Wagoner and teach an important lesson to stock holders, hey! fire the big boss before he brings down the company, do not reward him with millions of dollars on bonuses, do not give them a second chance.

To all those free market lovers, please accept the fact that free market does work but letting it be “free” could destroy the world economy as we know it. Rick Wagoner was defending that bail out of the auto industry saying that the domino effect that G.M. could cause if it goes out of business could prove devastating to the entire economy. If you are a free market pundit you may feel comfortable stating that AIG should be on chapter 11 with Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, IndyMac, Meryl Lynch, G.M., Ford, maybe Chrysler and Freddie and Fannie.

If that is the case then our current economic situation will be catastrophic, yes the world would have learn its lesson and we may waking up someday in the long future with a much stronger system, but for many years we could have suffered tremendous devastation in every corner of our economy.

When Mr. Wagoner says that in difficult times policymakers need to be ahead of the problems instead of reacting to the problems, it sound as if he never was told that the price of oil was jumping and people were looking for fuel efficient vehicles. He is talking about his own mistake for years, he is telling policymakers not to do what he did, making it sound as if he never crossed that path.

Do not react, that is a huge lesson. About 240000 jobs were lost this past month, maybe it is time for Rick Wagoner to be part of that statistic.