Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bailoutistan Dead Ahead

Mark Steyn takes on the argument that GM and Chrysler are "Too Big to Fail." Not so much. Where does the current "bailout everyone in sight" course lead us? We're in the fast lane to Bailoutistan. It's an excellent article, full of Steyn's unique wit:
"General Motors now has a market valuation about a third of Bed, Bath & Beyond, and no one says your Swash 700 Elongated Biscuit Toilet Seat Bidet is too big to fail. GM has a market capitalization of about $2.4 billion. For purposes of comparison, Toyota's market cap is $100 billion and change (the change being bigger than the whole of GM). General Motors, like the other two geezers of the Old Three, is a vast retirement home with a small money-losing auto subsidiary. The UAW is AARP in an Edsel: It has three times as many retirees and widows as 'workers' (I use the term loosely). GM has 96,000 employees but provides health benefits to a million people."
What was justified initially as an essential, temporary, emergency measure (TARP) to prevent a credit freeze-up from bringing down everything is now open for everyone. Nevermind that it's illegal to use that money for a loan to GM and Chrysler. Apparently, the bailout window is open wide, so line up and sign up. Get it fast before it's gone, because then... ?

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