General Motors

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Electric Car Sales Plunge To 4 Year Lows





But low oil prices are supposed to be unequivocally good? On the day when Ford lays off 700 Michigan plant workers in small cars and hybrids manufacturing, The Detroit News reports that, according to Edmunds.com, sales of electric cars and hybrids are at the lowest level since 2011. What is even more worrisome, motorists who leased those first-generation cars, and have decided not to buy them, are turning them in, leaving dealer lots full of low mileage cars at huge discounts to new ones. As Edmunds concludes, while "the government's going to keep pushing it, there is time to pause right now."

 
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Futures Unexpectedly Red Despite Disappointing Economic Data From Around The Globe





Today is shaping up to be a rerun of yesterday where another frenzied Asian session that has seen both the Shanghai Composite and the Nikkei close higher yet again (following the weakest Chinese HSBC mfg PMI in one year which in an upside down world means more easing and thus higher stocks) has for now led to lower US equity futures with the driver, at least in the early session, being a statement by the BOJ's Kuroda that there’s a "possibility" the Bank of Japan’s 2% inflation target will be delayed and may occur in April 2016.

 
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Frontrunning: April 16





  • Euro zone bond yields sink to historic lows (Reuters)
  • Clinton Foundation to Keep Foreign Donors (WSJ)
  • Russia says U.S. forced it to act on Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Bankers to China's Rescue (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia Adds Half a Bakken to Global Oil Market in a Month (BBG)
  • Valuations of Hong Kong's stock market operator go interstellar (Reuters)
  • Switzerland Attracts Fewer Firms as Politics Hurt Business Image (BBG)
 
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Days Of Crony Capitalist Plunder - The Deplorable Truth About GE Capital





GE’s announcement that its getting out of the finance business should be a reminder of how crony capitalism is corrupting and debilitating the American economy. The ostensible reason the company is unceremoniously dumping its 25-year long build-up of the GE Capital mega-bank is that it doesn’t want to be regulated by Washington as a systematically important financial institution under Dodd-Frank. Oh, and that its core industrial businesses have better prospects. We will see soon enough about its oilfield equipment and wind turbine business, or indeed all of its capital goods oriented businesses in a radically deflationary world drowning in excess capacity. But at least you can say good riddance to GE Capital because it was based on a phony business model that was actually a menace to free market capitalism. Its deplorable raid on the public purse during the Lehman crisis had already demonstrated that in spades.

 
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Frontrunning: April 9





  • Greece pleads cash running out, told to hasten reforms (Reuters)
  • ECB Cash Said Likely to Fall Short of Greek Request This Week (BBG)
  • Chinese Stock Buying Frenzy Sweeps Into Hong  (WSJ)
  • Shell’s $70 Billion BG Deal Meets Shareholder Skepticism (BBG)
  • Yemen's Houthis seize provincial capital despite Saudi-led raids (Reuters)
  • Iran Nuclear Deal Gives Syria’s Bashar al-Assad Reason to Worry (WSJ)
  • Slow apps, low battery life limit appeal of Apple Watch (Reuters)
  • Gilead’s $1,000 Pill Is Hard for States to Swallow (WSJ)
  • The Oil Industry's $26 Billion Life Raft (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: April 7





  • Israel, U.S. Lawmakers Press Case Against Iran Nuclear Deal  (WSJ)
  • Rand Paul tries to broaden libertarian appeal (Reuters)
  • Fewer Oil Trains Ply America’s Rails (WSJ)
  • Chicago voters go to polls in first ever mayoral runoff (Reuters)
  • FedEx to buy TNT to expand Europe deliveries (Reuters)
  • Mohamed El-Erian Has Most of His Money in Cash (BBG)
  • In Surprise Move, Australia Holds Rates (WSJ)
  • Oil falls as Iran, China discuss more supply (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: April 1





  • Oil holds around $55 as Iran nuclear talks drag on (Reuters)
  • Bob Diamond’s African Banking Venture Runs Into Problems (WSJ)
  • Iran Nuclear Talks Resume With Lavrov Saying Deal at Hand (BBG)
  • Wal-Mart Ratchets Up Pressure on Suppliers to Cut Prices (WSJ)
  • Renegades of Junk: The Rise and Fall of the Drexel Empire (BBG)
  • Explosion at Yemen factory kills at least 25: residents, medics (Reuters)
  • Macerich Rejects Simon Property’s $16.8 Billion Takeover Bid (WSJ)
  • Reckoning Arrives for Cash-Strapped Oil Firms Amid Bank Squeeze (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: March 30





  • Setbacks and progress as Iran, six powers meet to end nuclear impasse (Reuters)
  • Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Leave Iran Nuclear Talks (WSJ)
  • Obama Ramps Up Lobbying on Iran as Deadline Looms (WSJ)
  • Greek yields edge up as lenders scrutinise reform pledge (Reuters)
  • Oil prices drop on possible Iran deal, dollar (Reuters)
  • Yemen’s Houthis Battle for Aden as Saudi Strikes Hit Rebels (BBG)
  • Iran nuclear deal to see $20 oil if Tehran floods crude market (Telegraph)
  • China’s Zhou Says PBOC Has Room to Act on Growth Slowdown (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: March 27





  • Google's new CFO to make $70 million (WSJ)
  • Senate passes Republican budget with deep safety net cuts (Reuters)
  • With Yemen strikes, Saudis show growing independence from U.S. (Reuters)
  • Banks Slash Dividends as Loans Sour From Beijing To Pearl River (BBG)
  • North American Railroads Caught by Speed of Crude-Oil Collapse (BBG)
  • Japan’s Zero Inflation a Setback for Abenomics (WSJ)
  • Cooperman Says U.S. Seeks Information About Omega Trades (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: March 19





  • Fed May Not Hit Neutral Until 10th Anniversary of Lehman Collapse (BBG)... make that never
  • Global stocks and bonds roar Fed approval, dollar fights back (Reuters)
  • EU to tell Greece time, patience running out (Reuters)
  • U.S. likely to delay planned closure of two Afghanistan bases (Reuters)
  • Norway Signals Reduction After Unexpectedly Holding Rate (BBG)
  • Oil Falls to $55 as Kuwait Comments Refocus on Oversupply (Reuters)
  • Tsipras Heads to Summit as Merkel Tries to Defuse Greek Crisis (BBG)
  • Yahoo Pulls the Plug on China Operations (WSJ)
 
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Harvard Business Review Throws Up All Over Stock Buybacks





GM did $20.4 billion worth of buybacks from 1986 through 2002. If it had saved that money and earned a modest 2.5% on it, the company would have had $35 billion on hand when the financial crisis and Great Recession hit and probably would not have had to file for bankruptcy protection. As Bob Lutz, the veteran auto executive, said recently, stock buybacks are “always a harbinger of the next downturn…in almost all cases, you regret it later”... Taxpayers and workers brought GM out of bankruptcy, yet it is the hedge funds that will reap the biggest rewards. Taxpayers and workers should demand that open-market repurchases by all companies be banned. Stock buybacks manipulate the stock market and leave most Americans worse off. In this case, it is clear that what is good for the hedge funds is bad for the United States.

 
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Frontrunning: March 10





  • Dollar at 12-year peak versus euro, emerging markets spooked (Reuters)
  • CIA sought to hack Apple iPhones from earliest days (Reuters)
  • Draghi Urged Greece to Allow Troika Back Before It’s Late (BBG)
  • Brent crude dips below $58 on strong dollar and supply (Reuters)
  • Credit Suisse replaces CEO Dougan with Prudential's Thiam (Reuters)
  • More "distressed" energy M&A: Verisk buys Wood Mackenzie for £1.85bn (FT)
  • Prepare for a surge in defaults: Investors Are Buying Stocks and Bonds From Energy Producers Amid Oil Price Drop (WSJ)
  • Private equity executive ordered to pay £72m to ex-wife (FT)
  • Democratic donors unfazed by Hillary Clinton's use of private email (Reuters)
  • Expensive Hepatitis C Medications Drive Prescription-Drug Spending (WSJ)
  • 'ISIS Hackers' Almost Certainly Not ISIS Hackers (NBC)
 
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GM Authorizes $5 Billion Stock Buyback, Will Return All Cash Over $20 Billion To Shareholders





Doubting if the growth ahead of GM is now over, and the great post-bankruptcy "success story" is rapidly fading as the company has been pushed to resort to the kind of financial engineering which has pushed the S&P higher for all of 2014, and follows a record month of stock buyback announcements? Then doubt no more: moments ago GM announced it is authorizing an immediate $5 billion stock buyback, and plans to return all cash above a $20 billion floor to shareholders.

 
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Frontrunning: March 9





  • ECB Starts Buying German, Italian Government Bonds Under QE Plan (BBG)
  • Creditors Reject Greece's Reform Proposals (BBG)
  • Is Apple Watch the Timex digital watch of the Internet era? (Reuters)
  • Tesla shedding jobs in China as sales target missed (Reuters)
  • Malaysia Airlines says expired battery on MH370 did not hinder search (Reuters)
  • Gunmen kill more than 12 Islamic State militants in eastern Syria (Reuters)
  • GM Plans Share Buyback, Averting Proxy Fight (WSJ)
  • Wisconsin capital marked by third day of protests after police shooting (Reuters)
 
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