The following is from a recent blog post written on Aug. 5 by Fool analyst Anand Chokkavelu, who goes by the moniker TMFBomb on Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's investing community.
First, the government teamed up with JPMorgan Chase
But bailing out the likes of bumblers General Motors
Bloomberg reports that a Michigan Congressman is seeking to speed up the implementation of a $25 billion loan program for the U.S. automakers. That figure's eerily similar to the combined quarterly losses reported by GM and Ford recently. Sorry, dad, I crashed the car (company). Can I have money for another?
OK, I know this plan to help GM et al convert some of their factories over to alternative-fuel vehicle production was put in place back in December. But the U.S. carmakers' fortunes weren't so rosy back then, either.
Under the plan, the government would lend $25 billion for up to 25 years at Treasury rates. How much of a discount is that? Well, the market thinks GM debt is so risky that it charges GM almost 13% more than comparable Treasuries. Compare a rate in the high teens to what you pay on your mortgage. Talk about a subprime loan!
It seems like free competition has a very subjective definition these days. While the government has been socializing losses among its chosen children, it took 17 months to allow Sirius and XM to merge into Sirius XM Radio
I know I'm combining the actions of a lot of different government agencies here, but I can't discern any semblance of an overall game plan. It feels very arbitrary and reactive. As a guy who generally favors more government regulation over financial landmines like derivatives, investment banks, and hedge funds, these latest movements make me wonder how forward-thinking and skillful that regulation would be.
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Anand Chokkavelu owns shares of Sirius XM Radio. His other CAPS blog posts can be read here. JPMorgan Chase is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Fool's disclosure policy rules Fools.