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Quick Hits: GM to Recoup .0011627% of Its Losses

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Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

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General Motors (GM) apparently feels lawyers are underfed.

The automaker, which lost about $38.7 billion in 2007, is suing to recover about $450,000 from workers and retirees the company says improperly extended employee discounts to non-relatives.

If every dollar is recovered, the total works out to about 0.0011627% of GM's 2007 losses - less legal fees.

Lawsuits filed by General Motors allege the improper discounts saved buyers about $1,000 to $9,000 each. It's unclear how many lawsuits have been filed, the Detroit News reports. But lawyers will be happy.

General Motors says it's now closely watching costs and seeks to halt the use of improper discounts in the future. Good idea - and the math is intriguing, especially as rivals Toyota (TM) and Honda (HMC) continue to grab market share.

With a little imagination, just about everyone could spend great gobs of money foolishly, topping GM's piddling $450,000.

We could start by mandating ethanol - and ignore the fact that it takes more energy to produce a gallon of the stuff from corn than it delivers when used a fuel.

Congress might want to think about making the tax code so bloated and complex that individual taxpayers and corporations have to spend billions of dollars and burn thousands of hours to comply.

Gold bugs like to say printing paper money is cheap, except that it degrades the value of a buck.

Coca-Cola (KO) could dump its classic formula and come up with something new and improved that would be embraced by loyal customers everywhere . . . oh, wait.

Who knows - AOL (TWX) may even want to go into the dial-up business.

With the money generated by these brilliant plans, everyone could afford to buy a Hummer. Oh, drat! GM ditched the 5-ton, in-your-face, I'll-squash-you-like-a-bug behemoth in 2006.

It's hard to keep up with these guys.

For more on AOL's cutting-edge plan, check out Hoofy and Boo's always astute report.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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