William Thien

Archive for the ‘Bailouts’ Category

I am always a bit puzzled (not entirely, just a bit) when I hear our country’s leadership say things like “the dollar is too strong” or “we need to make the dollar more attractive in the foreign currency markets.”

What they are saying essentially is that American made products aren’t as attractive in overseas markets if the dollar is strong because the American products become too expensive or less attractive price-wise for foreign consumers.

But a weaker or weakened dollar also means that I have to spend more of my dollars to get what I want. If you don’t make that many dollars or as many as you’d like, if you are in the lower to lower middle income brackets, the argument that the dollar is too strong is a somewhat punitive statement and it means that action to bring down the value of the dollar will have a direct impact on your buying power, decreasing your buying power.

Few would disagree that America needs to sell more products in foreign markets but you would hope that our country’s leadership would find other ways to make sure such sales increase such as instituting quality controls on production or some other method rather than simply selling everything on the cheap and making everything more expensive for the American consumer, punishing the American consumer, which is what they are doing.

Manipulating currency may be easy on American producers but it is also hard on American consumers as it is the same as taxing their dollars so they have less or simply reaching into their pocketbooks and taking the money right out by decreasing their buying power.

Have you seen the price of a new car or house lately? Maybe the dollar is weak enough already.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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It would seem that my lobbying of my Federal Congressman and Federal Senator regarding the divestiture of GM has had some effect. I have been blogging recently that if the country wants to solve the looming fiscal crisis that it should divest itself of General Motors (GM), that the US Government should sell one of its prized possessions, you know much like the America public has to do when it needs cash quickly, usually selling something precious at a loss. I have made those observations available to Congressman Sensenbrenner(R) WI, and Senator Kohl(D) WI, as well as a number of others.

The good news is that GM will be buying back a substantial portion of its stock (the government will still own quite a bit), and the government will have recovered close to $30 Billion of the $50 Billion in bailout funds GM received. For the government to recover the full bailout amount GM shares would have to be sold at just under $70.00 a share. If Treasury sold back its remaining shares at current market value, it would come up with a $12 Billion loss. To many of you that may sound familiar, selling something you cherish at a loss to make ends meet. I think it is good that the government ‘gets’ an idea what the American public has to endure. Washington is so out of touch.

For reasons other than the fact that Detroit is full of large iconic car companies, I lobbied for the bailout of GM and the auto industry. But it has been quite some time, now. I think the time has passed for any continued bailout of GM which has substantial amounts of cash on hand that can be used to buy back its shares. And I don’t think it is right to be paying in any way for that nice shiny new car in perpetuity that the guy in the lane next to me is driving when I have car payments of my own.

Clearly the time is now for the government to divest itself of GM. With the looming fiscal cliff and a national debt sure to bring EU type austerity measures across the Atlantic, it is time for the government to get its house in order. I’d say in fact, there isn’t that much more time before the people will do it for them.

Copyright © William Thien 2012

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Recently I blogged that I supported the bailout of General Motors and in fact lobbied to see to it that a bailout was provided. The result was US Government ownership of a large stake of General Motors, a company which has made a dramatic turnaround but has also acquired the moniker, “Government Motors.”

With the US Government approaching a fiscal cliff, something we haven’t heard much about since almost all of the news lately has been about the habits of shoppers on Black Friday, but with the government approaching a fiscal cliff and desperately in need of money, why doesn’t the US Government divest itself of General Motors for starters?

Do what most Americans do when they need cash quickly, sell something. The US Government should auction General Motors off to the highest bidder. I am certain there is someone, some organization that would be interested in maintaining a controlling interest. Don’t wait for General Motors to obtain the highest price on the stock market and then flood the market with shares, that won’t do anyone any good and it might not happen for years. Simply sell General Motors all off, perhaps as a controlling interest. That would more likely create the most interest.

As I’ve said before, I lobbied for a bailout of General Motors. Though my intent was not for the country to buy General Motors itself, that apparently was the only option at the time. Now that it is time to address the approaching fiscal cliff, maybe it is time for the government to divest itself of GM to pay down some of that debt.

Otherwise the nickname “Government Motors” will stick for good. And then GM stock won’t be worth a penny.

Copyright © William Thien 2012

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