Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

… And Whom Would President Romney Pay Off? Do Tell!

Car sales “are growing so fast that Detroit can barely keep up,” according to an AP report published this evening bearing a Detroit dateline.  “Three years after the U.S. auto industry nearly collapsed, sales of cars and trucks are surging. Sales could exceed 14 million this year, above last year’s 12.8 million.” The report says that as a […]

BREAKING NEWS: Bain Capital Wanted to Lend GM and Chrysler Money For Their Managed Bankruptcies!***

**This appears to be incorrect. It was based on a story that CNBC has now updated. It was “Bain Consulting,” not Bain & Co., that advised the government on re-financing the automobile companies. — klh Ah!  Mystery Solved! Yesterday,in my post, “Crony Capitalism On A Grand Scale“—the title of the post borrowed from an op-ed […]

Goldman Does Something Good

The lower the fee, the more money raised by the IPO that actually goes to pay back the taxpayer. Doesn’t change that Michael Moore’s analysis of GM is likely much more true than not (especially the likely reasons for the abrupt sidelining of Ed Whitacre), but every little bit helps. In related news, it’s Economists […]

Evaluating Cash for Clunkers: The Case of the Missing Denominator

by Tom Bozzo An AP story (via Felix Salmon) based on an analysis of “Cash for Clunkers” transactions is circulating with the non-news that a number of the transactions involved trades of gas-guzzling trucks for only modestely less gas-guzzling trucks. Here’s the lede: The most common deals under the government’s $3 billion Cash for Clunkers […]

Levitt on Cash for Clunkers

by Tom Bozzo Steven Levitt wonders aloud at the Freakonomics blog whether it could possibly be true that the CARS a/k/a Cash for Clunkers is about to run out of money, given the level of new vehicle sales in the U.S.: The program went into place on July 24th. One week later, the program was […]

Sympathy for the Car Dealers?

by Tom Bozzo A Washington Post article suggests that car dealers may be getting a bit more sympathy than other stakeholders in the GM and Chrysler bankruptcy adventures: The dealer complaints have resonated in a way that the objections of bondholders and others have not. Many are leaders in their local communities, where they are […]

Why Wagoner?

Tom Bozzo 1. Well, duh. 2. In the NYT, William J. Holstein’s case for Wagoner should be read as damnation by faint praise. Promoting efficiency and quality improvements is laudable enough, but hardly the sort of vision thing that merits a U.S. CEO salary. Bob Lutz’s product-development record is mixed in part due to Lutz’s […]

Econ Profs Rule the World

Tom Bozzo Notes with approval that Barack Obama has chosen Ed Montgomery, Professor of Economics and lately Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland at College Park, as “Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers.“