Saturn

DeSoto To DeLorean - 14 Defunct Car Brands (& How They Failed)

Automobile enthusiasts around the world know brands like Studebaker, Plymouth and Packard, but you’d be hard-pressed to find any of these on the roads today. Former powerhouses in the American auto market, they have since become beloved by collectors, but lost to the general public.

Doug Casey Explains Why College Is A Waste of Money

"... the cost/benefit ratio of going to college is already so out of whack that the whole system has to change radically. A college degree, even now, is of only marginal value; most everybody has one. And things that everybody has are devalued"

"Lift-Off" Lies And The Fed's Reputational Risk

Every Fed watcher’s favorite word these days is “lift-off”. As if the Fed’s first rate increase, whenever that comes to pass, is the ignition of some giant Saturn V rocket that will inexorably carry interest rates up, up, and away. Please. This is Narrative creation … really, Narrative abuse … of the first order. The next time you read or hear someone use the word “lift-off”, I’m begging you to remember Jim Mora’s classic press conference when he was asked about the Colts’ chances of making the play-offs, because it’s a dead ringer for what Janet Yellen is saying in her heart of hearts.

Meet The "Lone Engineer" GM Is Blaming All Its Troubles On

Back in 2011 Goldman, when the FDIC-insured bank holding company with no deposits, was slapped with the biggest at the time SEC penalty for shorting CDOs it had sold to clients, it started a trend of scapegoating all its evils on a lone, then 20-something individual, Fabrice Tourre, who seemingly had "worked alone" and whose actions were not supervised by anyone: the chain of responsibility started and ended with him. Naturally, nobody went to jail. A few years later, stuck in the biggest scandal of its post-bankruppcy existence involving over 20 million recalls in just the first 6 months of 2014 alone, GM has decided that what worked for Goldman should work for it too, and as the WSJ reports, is "pinning of a decadelong failure to recall defective cars on a lone engineer." Meet Raymond DeGiorgio, said lone engineer.

Following Latest Recall Shocker, GM Has Recalled 56% More Cars In 2014 Than It Sold In 2013

Over the weekend we titled our summary of GM's unprecedented avalanche of recalls so far in 2014 - the year in which the company's criminal practice of covering up its faulty products became a congressional scandal -  as follows: "GM Set To Surpass Total Recall Record This Year." Three days later we are happy to report that while Detroit, we not only have a big recall problem, we also have a new record, after moments ago GM just announced another 4 recalls affecting 2.4 million cars. This brings the total number of vehicle investigations since the start of the year to 35, and with today's four latest fiascos, has initiated a whopping 29 recalls. More importantly, this also means that the number of domestic recalls rises to 13.6 million, smashing the previous record of 11.8 million recalls in 2004, and brings the number of global recalls to 15.2 million: or a stunning 56% greater than the 9.7 million cars GM sold in all of 2013!

GM 'Rocked' By "Record" DoT Penalty - Fined 0.02% of Revenue

$35 Million - that's what the Chevy Cobalt "ignition switch recall" probe fines cost GM based on The Department of Transport's maximum penalty... or 0.02% of their last 12 months revenues:

  • GM TO PAY UP TO $35M PENALTY ON COBALT PROBE, DOT SAYS
  • DOT:CONSENT ORDER REQUIRE GM TO SUBMIT REPORTS, MEET W/ NHTSA
  • DOT SAYS GM TO MAKE INTERNAL CHANGES TO REVIEW OF ISSUES

So the tax-payer bailed-out firm is paying the government a de minimus fine for killing taxpayers? (and the DoT now urges Congress to raise the maximum penalty to $300 million) Full statement below

Total Recall: GM Pulls 3 Million More Cars Due To Problems With Brakes, Lights, Wipers And Steering

When "new" GM emerged from bankruptcy, in addition to losing billions of taxpayer funds so the government can buy a few hundred thousand labor union votes, the narrative sold to the public is that the company is a new, and vastly improved version of the legacy monster that went bankrupt in 2009, and instead of worrying about its balance sheet, the company would have the freedom to innovate and impress new customers. However, following the recent spate of scandals rocking the "new" GM, the only thing that the bankruptcy appears to have done is pushed its litigation libailities into the pool of prepetition unsecured claims. As for the quality, well, not so much, which explains why recalls are now becoming a daily event such as the most recent one which as we learn today involves a whopping 3 million cars and trucks worldwide to fix five different safety problems that have triggered hundreds of complaints and some injuries, but no deaths. The bttom line: this most recent recall GM brings the total number of recalls for 2014 alone to 24 and includes 12.8 million vehicles worldwide,

Frontrunning: May 7

  • Alibaba files for what may be biggest tech IPO (Reuters)
  • Early Tap of 401(k) Replaces Homes as American Piggy Bank (BBG)
  • Developers Turn Former Office Buildings Into High-End Apartments (WSJ)
  • Thai court orders Yingluck Shinawatra to step down as PM (Guardian)
  • German industry orders fell 2.8% in March, the biggest drop in one and a half years (RTE)
  • Ukraine Bulls Scatter as Death Toll Mounts (BBG)
  • China Property Slump Adds Danger to Local Finances (BBG)
  • Stein Says Fed May See Bouts of Volatility as It Approaches Exit (BBG)