Sunday, November 30, 2008

Big 3 Bringing Tin Cup Back to The Hill, Hopefully by Coach

The Big 3 automakers are coming back to Capitol Hill this week in an effort to get Congress and the President to loan them $25 billion. The House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to hold hearings to review restructuring plans of the Big 3--part of the song and dance the Big 3 must go through before getting their money (funny, I don't recall AIG or Citigroup officials being forced to dance for their money).

In anticipation of their Beltway maneuverings, it is being reported that General Motors is actively considering shedding several brands: Pontiac, Saab, Hummer, and Saturn. It wants to sell the Hummer brand and I would assume it would be able to do the same with Saab, a relatively recent acquisition. I don't quite get the reason for the bullseye on Saturn which seems to have more life in it than Pontiac or some other GM brands not on the chopping block like Buick. Speaking of, how often do you see someone younger than 60 driving a Buick? And, they usually drive it for 20 years. Heck, not even Tiger Woods could sell the dang things and now he's been let go as spokesman. Maybe Wilford Brimley would be a better spokesman for that demographic.

Ford's plan is to apparently not cut executive compensation. CEO Alan Mullaly only received $22 million in total compensation last year, a year in which Ford lost $2.72 billion, so you can totally understand why he would resist having his $2 million salary reduced to $1--because people like him care nothing for their own company or stock holders. It's all about their own pocketbook and perquisites.

As I've state before, I do hope the Big 3 get help and survive--they are too important to the fabric and economy of America to go under. However, I hope that as part of the condition of "tax payer compensation", the executives of the Big 3 are forced to give up their ridiculous compensation packages and that Ford and GM replace their CEOs with people with less hubris (Chrysler's CEO works for $1 a year currently until Chrysler is sold).

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