The Chairman and CEO of General MOtors says: "Being the captain of the Titanic is no fun."

On Sun, 10 Feb 2008 10:38:40 -0800 (PST), wrote:

This is the end result of the "bean counter coup" of GM after Al Sloan left in the early '60s. Car guys will remember that's about the time that GM's product started going into the crapper as well, as the bean counters overruled the divisions by instituting a "less car for more money" strategy that showed up first in the dismal 1971 model lineup. Now, the bean counters are reaping what they've sown, as has and is happening all across US industries...the guys that "make the stuff" and are passionate about that have been shoved aside by a bunch of "generic manager" MBAs...they don't give a crap at GM about their product; they're just in it for the money. Al Sloan was a genius at organizing Durant's messy GM into a powerhouse that gave the divisions almost complete authority to design and market their own product, using limited shared materials and parts and central fiscal management. The bean counters screwed that up by first, taking away the divisions' ability to meet their own markets and finally, abolishing the divisions completely, as the MBAs saw their managements as being a threat to their control.

GM since the '70s has felt that the markets will come to them, and despite the pleadings of Wagoner that they're being "market responsive," the opposite is obviously true...they're still trying to "make markets" for themselves, ceding all the real markets to the Asians. If Wagoner were serious about meeting new markets, he would've challenged Toyota's hybrids head on and actually used their resources to "one up" Toyota with the Volt. Instead, he and his bean counter pals just laughed at the Prius and Honda's Insight, while the Japanese quietly ate GM's lunch, and continue to do so, even with conventional models. Now, it's "too little, too late."

"Laissex faire" is a corner stone of the "Rockefeller wing" of the Republican Party, to which all the GM and Ford honchos belong.

...and, as anyone knows, American corporate leaders are ANYTHING but "intellectually curious." A perfect example of such mutton heads was Bob Allen, who almost single-handedly destroyed the "old" AT&T, which was gobbled up by one of its estranged scions, the old Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, which became the power house, SBC. Another such jerkoff is "Neutron Jack" Welch, held in high esteem by other MBAs and brainless Wall Street analysts, reviled by just about anything else. His clone, Jeff Immelt, now presides over a shrinking and increasingly capital based corporation that really has no real product lines other than jet engines (which will wind up going to China me) and cheap locomotives for the mismanaged US rail industry. They've managed to trash their electrical distribution product line and have almost ceded the whole thing to the Europeans.

Exactly. That was the response of the RayGunites to Carter's loan guarantees to Chrysler. It was a fait acomplie by the time the laissez faire crowd got into power, but they did their best to sabotage Iacocca's plans by dumping Chrysler stock options right when Chrysler was making an incredible comeback with the K-cars, which gave Chrysler a big hit to their market capital right at a time they did NOT need it. The reason? The loan guarantees violated their "religion" of laissez faire free marketeering, and they were going to use any method possible to make Iacocca (and, of course, Carter) look bad. Didn't work, Chrysler paid back all their loans early and went on to become the lowest cost/fastest to market auto maker in the US. Net cost to taxpayers: ZERO. Then, the whole works came unglued after a greedy ex-GM exec, Bob Eaton, sold the whole works down the river to the maniacal Germans at Daimler-Benz. As Iacocca says now, "He took the money...and RAN!"

Iacocca was prevented from going in to snatch Chrysler back from the disaster-bound Germans along with Kirk Kerkorian exactly for that reason...they knew about Iacocca's "liberal" fiscal ideas, and locked him out of being able to leverage Kerkorian's worth into a total "re-buyout" of the company. Now, Chrysler is in the hands of a bunch of laissez faire Republicans, and is cutting about 40% of its model line, and getting ready to issue more pink slips as it closes more plants.'s another Republican "strip 'n flip" in the making!

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