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Minyan Mailbag: A Bailout Here, A Bailout There, Where Does It End?

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A recession is a "healthy" thing

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Prof. Succo-

In my opinion, General Motors (GM) is falling because the $4 million boy "CEO" is clearly incompetent! I base that opinion on his last few moves without consulting the union.

Regardless, I don't believe President Bush is gonna want a dead GM on his legacy... NO WAY! Not gonna happen, not in his library. I say there will be a big pension bailout to save the "lousy co.'s."

Minyan Ron

MR -

And if that occurs, does it not make your boots shake? A government bailout here, a bailout there; when does it end? It clearly shows something very wrong structurally in our economy.

I had a conversation with an investor recently and we were discussing the economy. When I told him that a recession was a "healthy" thing, his eyes lit up. He had not heard that one before, but agreed with me. A recession tears down unproductive capital that finds its way into an expanding economy. Yes, companies go out of business but the fact is they should (on average). This frees up capital for more efficient companies that prosper in the next expansion.

Through a combination of lack of political will and Fed hubris, they have refused to allow a recession of any magnitude. The Fed has printed money in response and we are now where we are: saddled with huge debt and left with an economy based on speculation and ever rising asset prices. Deflation is not an option now, although in another time and place there is nothing wrong with deflation for the consumer and general wage earner. It is only the rich that cannot accept deflation for that would debase their power. Is it any wonder we are where we are?

As for GM, I am afraid they will go bankrupt at some point; if not, it will be by breaking up the company into neutered units. It is a matter of time and how it plays out in the economy. They do have a few bullets left and they will use them, so I doubt it will be in a straight line. But you never know.

Position in GM

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