General Motors Chairman Ed Whitacre is letting the opinion page readers of the Wall Street Journal know he doesn’t like being called Government Motors anymore. Okay, then how about Genital Motors since Mr. Whitacre insists on acting like a dick and has the giant testicles to suggest the government take a $15 billion loss after bailing his company out just three years ago.
Three short years ago General Motors was on the verge of bankruptcy and received a fat bailout saving the company, its employees and the many industry partners it had put at risk. Now it’s complaining about government interference in running its business?
Whitacre states in his opinion piece “according to published reports – and I claim no special knowledge here – GM is now trying to convince Treasury to sell (its stake in GM).” So as Chairman, you know nothing of this effort or these conversations? Can we also assume you had no knowledge that the Journal editors would support your view on the day before your piece was published? Or that your communications team didn’t provide the background for those published reports to the WSJ to turn up the heat on the boys in D.C.?
Of course you didn’t. How could you possibly keep track of these things when those pests administering TARP force you to check with them on everything from hiring to executive compensation and management?
I’m sure you’re just looking out for your employees, especially the “executives (who) have grown increasingly frustrated with … the stigma of being known as “Government Motors.” Not to mention, although the Wall Street Journal does, “privately, some of those executives are also irked at the continued curbs on corporate jet use.”
General Motors has rebounded. That’s great. So GM can afford to use some of its earnings to reward the government with a premium price for it shares. If not, quit whining and take your medicine like any other public company that allowed an investor to amass 26.5% ownership stake. You don’t have to pay the full $53 per share, but you can’t expect Treasury to accept the current share price. Not after the risk they took on you.
Look Ed, I feel ya man. I know you weren’t there when it happened. And nobody wants to ride the bike with training wheels. It’s embarrassing and all of the other Chairmen make fun of you in Sun Valley, Davos and all of the other places the cool executives hang out. But your bike almost fell over a few years ago and threatened to scratch up a lot of other bikes along with it. So when you’re ready to pay back the government what they paid for those training wheels, or at least a larger portion of it, you’re going to have to keep them on. And you can go out to the hangar and play in the G5, but you can’t ride it.