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Taking the Hummer Deal Into My Own Hands


Sixty-seven dollars seems to be a reasonable offer.

Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter (click for a free trial).

Greetings from New York, where the Chinese reneging on their deal to buy GM's Hummer division has me thinking of making an offer for the potentially mothballed monster SUV maker. As longtime readers know, I'm the deeply ambivalent owner of one of the surprisingly efficient beasts; dig the ride, wasn't remotely thrilled about it becoming the first Chinese car in America.

Now the Chinese deal is whatever the Chinese word for "toast" is and GM is talking about giving Hummer the Pontiac treatment by simply disbanding the brand. The Chinese I do know is that the symbol for crisis is the same as that for opportunity. That being the case, I'm preparing to do my patriotic duty and view Hummer's crisis as my personal opportunity.

Here's the deal: The current offer for Hummer seems to be $0. Having gone through my wallet and pockets, I'm fully prepared to offer General Motors $67. Keep it a secret but I can go up to $67.78, counting change. Between that and the fact that I've paid an appalling amount of taxes over the years, I believe my offer is more than fair. If all goes well, my TV comeback will be not in punditry but in commercials where I proclaim that I "loved my Hummer so much I bought the company!"

Here's what else I've got going on in terms of plans and observations:

  • Speaking of autos, count me among the professors around here who are liking the looks of Ford (F). CEO Alan Mulally is a stud, Toyota (TM) is a well-documented train wreck and GM is, well, GM. Remember, a company doesn't have to be great compared to the rest of industrial America, it just has to be better than the competition in its industry. Not to mention what a good hedge Ford is for my Hummer ownership.

  • In that same vein, is there a better Keanu Reeves movie than Point Break? Truly Mr. Reeves' finest performance.

  • As mentioned in Ticker Talk just after the open, I sold off one-fifth of UltraShort S&P500 ProShares (SDS) (two times the inverse of the S&P 500) long position at this morning's open. Until further notice, you can assume I'm shorting around 1,100 and covering between 1080 and 1050. It's a variant on what Todd-O has been discussing, which means we'll look back and rue our group think or celebrate great minds thinking alike, depending on how it goes.

  • With just about all of the biggies done reporting, the retailers generally beat estimates and took down forecasts. For the most part the stocks just shrugged. From where I'm sitting (as always, in flowing robes atop Mt. Judgment), companies that beat then guide lower are simply setting up another beat. Note that Nordies (JWN), which I'm long, and Walmart (WMT), which I'm not long, have taken back all of the losses incurred as an initial reaction to their reports.
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