Friday, October 10, 2008

Corporal Motors

Wondering how GM is doing amid the worldwide economic crisis? Do you have to ask?
"A dire new forecast for global vehicle sales battered the shares of auto companies on Thursday, particularly General Motors, whose stock plunged more than 31 percent and was the hardest hit of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average," reports Bill Vlasic of The New York Times.

"G.M. lost $15.5 billion in the second quarter and ended the quarter with $21 billion in cash. However, the company is burning through more than $1 billion a month and has been unable to tap the debt market to raise additional money.

"The credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s put G.M. on “watch with negative implications” on Thursday, and one industry expert said the company was running dangerously low on cash.

"'I would have to say there is a possibility of bankruptcy, but the probability is low,' said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich."

As Flint Expatriate Rich Frost told me recently, a share of GM stock wouldn't get you a combo meal at Burger King. The fortunes of GM prompted this joke from Eugene Cappuccio: "Now that General Motors has become a $5 stock, its board members met in emergency session, but could not come up with a better plan than to call it Corporal Motors."

Hey, Corporal Motors, that would be pretty funny...if we weren't on the verge of another Great Depression.

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