Payday Loans

By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup

In what has been an ongoing saga worthy of Charlton Heston epic, GM has finally decided that selling Saab for something is better than spending millions to shut it down. Apparently, the GM Board consulted with its economic advisors, who told them, “Getting money is better than spending it.” According to an insider, the board has formed a blue-ribbon committee to find out if this principle can be applied to other parts of the business.

The Swedish government has reviewed the transaction and the related request for guarantees of a Saab Automobile loan that has been requested from the European Investment Bank, and has apparently approved it.  Assuming quick action, the transaction is expected to close in mid-February, and previously announced wind down activities at Saab will be immediately suspended, pending the close of the transaction.

Saab's Upcoming 9-4x Crossover

Saab's Upcoming 9-4x

As part of the agreement, Spyker intends to form a new company, Saab Spyker Automobiles, which will carry the Saab brand forward.  The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals.  Other terms and conditions specific to the sale will be disclosed in due time.

As part of the deal, GM will get $74 million cash, $326 million of preferred stock, plus some other consideration that GM refused to identify. GM will also continue to provide powertrains, the upcoming 9-4x finished vehicles and engineering services on an ongoing basis. GM will continue to honor warranties until Saab Spyker sets up organizations in markets around the world. No word yet on whether the present plan to close down some of the Saab dealers will proceed under Saab Spyker.

That’s what I think – how about you? Please leave your comments below.

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GM today confirmed it has selected AlixPartners to supervise the orderly wind down of Saab, and has requested approval of the selection by the appropriate authority in Sweden.  The use of a wind down supervisor is a commonly-used process in Sweden and works in the interest of the shareholder.

The wind down process is expected to take several months, and will ensure that employees, dealers and suppliers are adequately protected.  As stated previously, Saab customers can be assured that warranties will continue to be honored and that service and spare parts will continue to be available.

GM also confirmed that it has received several proposals for Saab and is continuing to evaluate these proposals. This evaluation is not affected by the appointment of AlixPartners.

You have to really wonder what the heck is going on in the tubes (GM’s RenCen HQ in Detroit).  GM keeps rejecting deals for Saab, but then decides to just shut it down.  A little common sense might go a long way here.  It costs money – lots of it – to shut down a company or an automotive brand.  GM should seriously consider a deal to take it off their hands for a player to be named later and a cup of coffee.  But aside from the costs of the 2 possibilities here, GM also needs to consider its reputation.  Saab has legions of loyal customers, despite GM’s mismanagement of the iconic brand over the years.  If it shuts it down, not only will many thousands of people worldwide be put out of work, GM’s reputation will take yet another hit that it can ill afford.  Yo, Big Ed, take however much time you need, and take the best offer you can get.  Shutting it down should only be a consideration if you have no credible offers in hand.

That’s what I think – how about you?  Please leave your comments below.

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Saab Story

18th December 2009

Pontiac, Saturn and now Saab.  Can Hummer be far behind?  I’m not talking about brands that GM has decided are not “core” anymore, but those that are going or out of business in the last several months.  Pontiac was supposed to become a niche brand, and then the government told GM to shut it down.  Saturn was supposed to be sold to Roger Penske, and when that fell through, GM decided to just shut it down.  Now Saab will have a similar fate.  Saab was supposed to be sold to Koenigsegg, a Swedish producer of exotic sports cars.  That fell through, and then GM sold some of Saab’s assets to Beijing Automotive (BAIC) this week.  Word came out that GM was working with Spyker on a deal for the rest of Saab.  Today, GM made the announcement below.

Detroit.  General Motors announced today that the intended sale of Saab Automobile AB would not be concluded. After the withdrawal of Koenigsegg Group AB last month, GM had been in discussions with Spyker Cars about its interest in acquiring Saab. During the due diligence, certain issues arose that both parties believe could not be resolved.  As a result, GM will start an orderly wind-down of Saab operations.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has become very clear that the due diligence required to complete this complex transaction could not be executed in a reasonable time. In order to maintain operations, Saab needed a quick resolution,” said GM Europe President Nick Reilly.  “We regret that we were not able to complete this transaction with Spyker Cars. We will work closely with the Saab organization to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner. This is not a bankruptcy or forced liquidation process. Consequently, we expect Saab to satisfy debts including supplier payments, and to wind down production and the distribution channel in an orderly manner while looking after our customers.”

Saab will continue to honor warranties, while providing service and spare parts to current Saab owners around the world.

As part of its efforts to become a leaner organization, GM began seeking a buyer for Saab’s operations in January.  Last week, Saab Automobile AB announced that it had closed on the sale of certain Saab 9-3, current 9-5 and powertrain technology and tooling to Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd. (BAIC).  GM expects today’s announcement to have no impact on the earlier sale.

As the company continues to reinvent itself, GM has been faced with some very difficult but necessary business decisions. The focus will remain on the four core brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC – and several regional brands, including Opel / Vauxhall in Europe.  This will enable the company to devote more engineering and marketing resources to each brand and model.

You have to wonder what was the hurry?  GM has only referred to a December 31 deadline to get a deal done.  That sure seems like an artificial/meaningless/arbitrary date, which is fine – it’s their business to run as they please.  Just spare us the self-imposed emergency.

That’s what I think – how about you?  Please leave your comments below.

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Penske Cancels Plan to Buy Saturn

30th September 2009

GM CEO Fritz Henderson issued the following news release this afternoon:

“Today we learned that Penske Automotive Group (PAG) has decided to terminate discussions with General Motors to acquire Saturn. This is very disappointing news and comes after months of hard work by hundreds of dedicated employees and Saturn retailers who tried to make the new Saturn a reality. PAG’s announcement explained that their decision was not based on interactions with GM or Saturn retailers; rather it was because of the inability to source new products beyond what it had asked GM to build on contract.

As a result of PAG’s decision, we will be winding down the Saturn brand and dealership network, in accordance with the wind-down agreements that Saturn dealers recently signed with GM. Pursuant to the terms of those agreements, the wind down process will be determined and communicated shortly.

Saturn customers and owners will continue to be able to purchase and have their vehicles serviced at Saturn retailers during this process. Once the wind down is complete, Saturn owners will still be able to have their vehicles serviced at other GM dealerships. We will be communicating with our customers very soon to explain the next steps in this process.

Today’s disappointing news comes at a time when we’d hoped for a successful launch of the Saturn brand into a new chapter. We will be working closely with our dealers to ensure Saturn customers are cared for as we transition them to other GM dealers in the months ahead. I’d also like to thank every GM employee and Saturn retailer who worked so hard to try to make this new beginning happen for Saturn.”

To say this is a shocking announcement is an understatement.  Roger Penske, who some wanted to take over GM, was considered a white knight for Saturn dealers.  If anybody could have saved their butts as GM discarded them like day-old coffee, it was Penske.  Those dealers deserved so much better than the fate which will now be theirs.  Saturn consistently has ranked as one of the highest brands in dealer satisfaction, despite years of product neglect by the General.  That means they really worked their tails off to make the customers happy.  And what was their reward?  Selling out-of-date, less than adequate product for more than a decade.  Only recently was the lineup overhauled, making it one of the best around.  But it was too little; too late.  The damage was done.  Now there is only the task of shutting off the lights as the last employees of the once-proud dealers go home for the last time.  Like I said about Pontiac recently, RIP Saturn; you will be missed.

That’s what I think – how about you?

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GM Agrees to Sell Opel to Magna

10th September 2009

GM issued the following statement today:

Zurich. General Motors today announced that its Board of Directors supports a bid from the consortium of Magna International Inc. and Sberbank to buy a majority stake in its European Opel/Vauxhall operations.

Several key issues will be finalized over the next few weeks to secure the binding agreements, including the written support of the labor unions to support the deal with the necessary cost restructuring for viability and the finalization of a definitive financing package from the German government. The definitive agreements should be ready to sign within a few weeks, with closing to follow within the next few months. Under the deal, Magna/Sberbank will purchase a 55 percent stake in New Opel; GM will hold a 35 percent stake and employees will be provided a 10 percent stake.

“The hard work over the past two weeks to clarify open issues and resolve details in the German financial package brought GM and its Board of Directors to recommend Magna/Sberbank,” said Fritz Henderson, GM President and CEO. “We thank all parties involved in the intensive process of the last few months — especially the German government — for their continued support that enables this new venture. I’d also like to thank the Opel and Vauxhall customers for their continued loyalty. GM will continue to closely collaborate with Opel and Vauxhall to develop and produce more great cars, such as the new Insignia and the new Astra,” Henderson added.

The agreement will keep Opel/Vauxhall a fully integrated part of GM’s global product development organization, allowing all parties to benefit from the exchange of technology and engineering resources. The new ownership structure constitutes a new lean, efficient and independent organization for the Opel and Vauxhall brands. The current portfolio of Opel/Vauxhall cars and the models in the pipeline are a strong basis for future success.

Participating in GM’s global technology development and purchasing organizations secures important economies of scale for Opel/Vauxhall and other GM brands. For example, vehicles that represent new propulsion technologies, such as the Ampera extended-range electric vehicle, can only be brought to market in a joint effort.

“GM operates many joint ventures around the world and has proven in the past that this business model delivers the right balance of independence, innovation and synergies,” said John Smith, GM Group Vice President Business Development. “All parties will work hard to close the deal as soon as possible,” he added.

This deal baffles me, unless the agreement contains very strong assurances that GM will retain access to all of the engineers and systems that are so integral to GM’s worldwide product development system.  Several North American products have roots at Opel, including the highly acclaimed Chevy Malibu and Buick LaCrosse and the upcoming Chevy Cruze.  In other words, Opel is responsible for some of GM’s best new products, so they better not let that talent and expertise get away or worse, compete against them.


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NEW YORK – General Motors achieved another milestone in its reinvention last night when Judge Robert Gerber of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved the sale of substantially all of General Motors Corporation’s assets to NGMCO, Inc. (“New General Motors Company”). In connection with the closing of the sale transaction, NGMCO, Inc. will change its name to General Motors Company and continue to operate under GM’s historic corporate and sub brands. The approval marks another step toward the launch of an independent new GM.

The new company will acquire GM’s strongest operations and will have a competitive operating cost structure, partly as a result of recent agreements with the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Canadian Auto Workers (CAW).

The new GM will have lower leverage and a stronger balance sheet, which when combined with a lower break-even point, will allow it to reduce its risk, operate profitably at much lower volume levels, and to reinvest in the business in the key areas of advanced technology and product development. GM’s subsidiaries outside the United States will be acquired by the new company and are expected to continue to operate without interruption.

The new GM will be headquartered in Detroit and will be led by Fritz Henderson as President/CEO and Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. as chairman of the board of directors.

“A healthy domestic auto industry remains vital to the global economy and we deeply appreciate the support the U.S., Canadian and Ontario governments and taxpayers have given GM, and the sacrifices that have been made by so many. This has been an especially challenging period, and we’ve had to make very difficult decisions to address some of the issues that have plagued our business for decades. Now it’s our responsibility to fix this business and place the company on a clear path to success without delay,” said Henderson.

The new GM’s common stock will be owned by:
· U.S. Department of the Treasury: 60.8 percent
· UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust: 17.5 percent
· Canada and Ontario governments: 11.7 percent
· The old GM: 10 percent

Additionally, the old GM and the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust will hold warrants that are exercisable for 15 percent and 2.5 percent of the interests in the new GM, respectively.

The UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust and the Canadian government each may nominate one member to serve on the board of the new GM. The retiree benefits trust has selected seasoned auto industry analyst Stephen Girsky, who was previously employed by GM as a special advisor to then-chairman Rick Wagoner. Also selected to serve on the board of directors of the new GM are six current members of the General Motors Corporation board, including Erroll Davis, Neville Isdell, Kent Kresa, Philip Laskawy, Kathryn Marinello and Fritz Henderson. The Canadian government representative and four additional board members to be identified by the U.S. Treasury will be announced at a later date. Given that the current board must bear a large portion of the blame for the company’s current situation, this decision to keep some of them seems ill-advised.

Judge Gerber’s order includes a four-day stay before closing of the sale can occur. However, GM expects the sale to close in the near future. The new GM’s business is expected to be immediately operational and fully competitive, with an exciting line of new products, a smaller, more focused brand portfolio and the rationalization of its dealer network well underway. Current GM employees will be offered positions by the new company.

In connection with the closing, the current General Motors Corporation will change its name to Motors Liquidation Company. Retained assets will be wound down or sold. A new board of directors will oversee that process and the liquidation of the company under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court.


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GM Declares Bankruptcy

1st June 2009

In a move unexpected only by some members of the Taliban, GM formally declared bankruptcy this morning in NY. Under its plan, GM will sell substantially all of its global assets to “New” GM. Because GM’s sale of assets to the New GM already has the support of the U.S. Treasury, the UAW and a substantial portion of GM’s unsecured bondholders, GM expects the sale to be approved and consummated quickly.

CEO Fritz Henderson made the following statement:

Today marks a defining moment in the reinvention of GM as a leaner, more customer-focused, and more cost-competitive company that, above all, can quickly generate winning bottom line results. The economic crisis has caused enormous disruption in the auto industry, but with it has come the opportunity for us to reinvent our business. We are going to do it once and do it right. The court-supervised process we are pursuing provides us with powerful tools to accelerate and complete our reinvention, as well as strong safeguards for our customers and our business. We are focused on the job at hand, for the benefit of our customers, employees, dealers, suppliers, retirees, taxpayers, investors and other stakeholders.

We recognize the sacrifices that so many have been asked to make as we have worked to reinvent GM and the automobile. GM deeply appreciates the support and the demonstration of confidence in our future by President Obama, the Presidential Task Force on Autos, the Canadian and Ontario governments, American and Canadian taxpayers, the unsecured bondholders who are supporting the proposed sale transaction, the UAW and CAW and their leadership, and the men and women of GM, including our retirees. You have enabled us to carry out this vital transformation for the good of GM, our customers and the economy, and we are working to validate your trust each day.

From day one, the New GM will be well-positioned to capitalize on the award-winning vehicles we have developed and launched during the past few years, and on our investments in exciting new technologies like the Chevy Volt, so that we can build and return value to our customers and to the millions who will have a stake in our success. The New GM will play a critical role in the future of the automobile, and assure that the U.S. has a strong stake in this rapidly changing global manufacturing industry.

The US taxpayers will now own 60% of GM and the UAW will own 17.5%. This creates many potential conflicts of interest, and it will be difficult or impossible for the government to do what it has said it will do: keep a hands-off approach to the running of General Motors.

  1. How will the government balance its desire for higher fuel efficiency with GM’s (and therefore, its biggest shareholder’s) need to turn a profit? President Obama has said he intends to be out of the auto business as soon as possible. That will require GM to make a profit so the Treasury can sell its shares to pay off the $50 billion it has invested in GM. It’s a fact of the auto industry – at least in the US – that the larger, less efficient vehicles make more profit. See the problem? For the US to break even on its “investment”, GM will need to have a market capitalization of at least $80 billion, but the recent high point was $56 billion in 2000.
  2. Will the government be able to resist giving GM (and Chrysler as well) preferential treatment in regulations, tax breaks, government contracts, etc? After all, won’t they have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers to ensure the investment in GM is paid off as quickly as possible?
  3. How will the UAW balance the needs of its members (high pay and benefits, job security) with its need for GM to make a profit so the UAW can sell its shares to pay for the long-term needs of its members (retiree health care, etc.)?
  4. All of this applies to Chrysler as well, but to a lesser extent. That leaves one other big question: where does all this leave Ford? Ford, which is not exactly healthy, has been able to keep the Feds out of its boardroom. Will not Ford be in an unfavorable position with respect to the points above? If so, what does that say about our society, that we will put a company at a competitive disadvantage which has fought hard to keep itself solvent?

These are difficult questions to an unprecedented situation. I’m not smart enough to know the answers, but I sure hope the gods of the Potomac are.


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The proposed alliance between Chrysler and Fiat is full of controversy.  First, there was the outrage that Fiat would get 35% of Chrysler for no cash or other assets.  Then the gods of the Potomac decided that they couldn’t let a foreign automaker take control of Chrysler after Chrysler took the loans from the US taxpayers.  Fiat would get “control” by exercising its right under the agreement to claim an additional 20% of Chrysler (total would then be 55% for you math whizzes).  Never mind that that’s exactly what needs to happen for Chrysler to be “viable” – the main requirement of the loans.  Why let actual facts get in the way of good political theater?  As automotive mergers go, this one is a great match, as I have already written.

Ford Ka

Ford Ka

Today’s lesson is on the global auto industry and its many intertwined relationships.  Virtually all automakers are related to many others, sometimes in ways that you might not have guessed.  What if I told you that a potential beneficiary of the Chrysler-Fiat deal is none other than Chrysler’s Dearborn friend – Ford Motor Company?  Ford has made public its plan to begin producing some of its European small cars here in North America.  Production of the Expedition and Navigator SUVs has moved to Kentucky to make room for small car production at its Wayne, Michigan facility.  Fiesta for North American customers will be produced at Ford’s Cuautitlán Assembly Plant beginning in early 2010.  But there is one European car that Ford might like to sell here, but the volume would never support it – the Ka, Ford’s mini-compact entry in Europe.  Ka is very popular in Europe, but has always been considered too small for US tastes.  At the introduction of the new Ka in Paris last October (while gas prices were still high), Ford CEO Alan Mulally said, “I think the Ka could work in the US – the question is the volume.”  The new Ka, by the way, is based on the Fiat 500 and is built alongside the 500 in Fiat’s plant in Poland.

Now along comes the Chrysler-Fiat alliance.  From the beginning, what Fiat expected to get out of the deal is access to Chrysler’s excess assembly capacity and dealer network.  The 500 is expected to be one of the

Fiat 500

Fiat 500

products that they would sell here.  If the alliance goes through, and Fiat does produce the 500 for North American sales, it would be relatively simple to add production of the Ka as well.  Fiat would have a better business case for the 500 and Ford would be able to add the Ka to its North American lineup with minimal investment.  Ford would also not need to push more than the customers want to buy (read: add rebates).  They could (“gasp”) produce the amount actually demanded by customers!

Chrysler certainly had no intention of helping Ford with their proposed alliance with Fiat, but that’s the nature of the modern global auto industry.

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Chrysler-Fiat Alliance

21st January 2009

In what is surely the best possible outcome outcome (short of winning Mega Billions), Chrysler and Fiat announced an alliance where Fiat gets 35% of Chrysler from Cerberus, the majority owner of Chrysler.  As opposed to the GM-Chrysler talks last year, this one actually makes sense, and lots of it.  Fiat and Chrysler have almost no product overlap – Fiat sells small and medium cars under the Fiat name, luxury cars under the Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Maserati names and sports cars under the Ferrari name.  All of these brands have, at one time or another, sold their wares in the US.  Now only Ferrari and Maserati do. Chrysler sells cars, minivans and trucks under the Chrysler and Dodge names and Jeeps under the, ahem, Jeep name.  They have no small cars and their medium cars are not very successful, to say the least.

So what does each partner get?  Chrysler gets access to Fiat’s small and medium platforms and their powertrains, which are highly regarded.  Fiat gets the larger platforms, especially the large, rear-wheel drive and minivan platforms.  The big thing for Fiat, though, is access to assembly plant capacity and Chrysler’s dealer network.  Alfa has been rumored to be planning a re-entry into the US market for years, and this deal allows them to build and sell Alfa Romeo in the US with minimal investment in plants and dealers.

In addition to the complementary products, there is also complementary geography.  Chrysler’s sales are very North American-centric with very few sold outside of North America.  Fiat is one of the largest European automakers, but does not sell very many outside of Europe.  Giving each other instant access to the markets where they do not compete will only help both automakers.

The only tricky part is, of course, from the government.  There will have to be government approvals for anti-trust reasons, but also from the Treasury Department, which loaned Chrysler $5.5 billion recently.  Under terms of the loans, the feds get to approve any deal worth over $100 million.  Giving loans to Chrysler which will now have foreign ownership of over 50% (35% for Fiat and 19.9% for Daimler) might make some in DC nervous, though.  They should approve it, because this deal does exactly what the feds gave them the money for: to help ensure their long-term viability and safeguard American jobs.

A little Fiat trivia – did you know that Fiat is an acronym?  True story.  The original name of the company was “Società Anonima Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino“; the FIAT part means “Italian Automobile Factory in Turin.”

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WWSD?

18th December 2008

What Would Slandy Do?  I’ve been asked many times recently – what is the answer?  Surely, the government shouldn’t just throw money at the D3.  They need to reform, etc, etc.  At the risk of being presumptuous, here’s what I would do, if I were emperor for a day (just for the auto situation – I have a whole separate list for other topics :^) ).

First, I would allow ALL of the protections of chapter 11 bankruptcy without the actual filing.  The “B” word would be death to the car makers.  Nobody is going to buy a car from a bankrupt automaker.  This would allow them the breathing room to make the changes they need, including rewriting the UAW contract.  I’ve written that the UAW has already given, which is true, but other areas need to be addressed.  The top of that list is work rules.  It is true that the cost of a UAW worker is about the same as a “transplant” worker, but the onerous UAW work rules force the D3 to have too many workers and pay all of the workers the same, regardless of their actual job.  This results in the guy who cuts the grass to be paid the same as the workers in the plant who actually make the cars.

This would also include a provision that supersedes the state franchise laws.  One of the biggest problems is the number of dealers.  The D3 (or any other maker) is severely restricted from rationalizing the number of dealers by state franchise laws.  The D3 have way too many dealers, primarily in urban areas, but would have to pay billions to reduce the number.  Meanwhile, the dealers can’t make any money because there aren’t enough sales to go around.  The D3 need to have the power, with some restrictions/oversight to reduce their dealer count without using all of their cash.

Next, I have suggestions for each of the D3.  First, Chrysler.  Chrysler is in a unique situation, having ownership that is a private equity firm (Cerberus) that obviously doesn’t want to be in the car business.  Cerberus obviously bought their 80.1% stake in Chrysler cheap (or so they thought) and hoped to make a quick buck.  Oops.  Some think the government should just let Chrysler die, because Cerberus doesn’t deserve the help.  Maybe, but what about the workers and management that had nothing to do with all of the ownership changes?  Why should they suffer?  To address this, Emperor Slandy will give the loan to Chrysler in exchange for 100% ownership of Chrysler, including the 19.9% Daimler stake.  Next, I GIVE (or sell for a nominal amount) Chrysler to Nissan-Renault or Volkswagen or another OEM whose product lineup would be complemented by Chrysler’s.  In return for this gift, they would have to agree to keep a certain number of employees and plants open and working.  They would get the benefit of the Chapter 11-like protections to restructure Chrysler’s business.  Cerberus should be happy with that, as they can just walk away without any further losses.  Same for Daimler.  Chrysler employees should be happy too, especially considering the alternatives.  And we, the taxpayers should be happy as well.  We’ve saved jobs with potentially no cost, assuming that the loan is paid back.

General Motors needs the loan, and the fake bankruptcy will give them the room to restructure into a leaner, meaner, more competitive enterprise.  One cost savings that GM should have put in place years ago is their company car program, otherwise known as PEP (Product Evaluation Program).  In its present form, PEP car drivers get a new (usually fully-loaded) vehicle to drive every 4 months.  For this, they are charged a nominal fee ($150/month), which includes EVERYTHING (gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs, unlimited miles).  GM justifies this program by saying it puts the products in the hands of the employees so they can be more familiar with the products and can therefore make suggestions for improvement.  Possibly, but this program, with the structural costs that go with it, is a huge expense that GM cannot afford, even in good times.  The dealers would certainly appreciate the increase in business that would follow (see comment above).  GM could adopt Ford’s company-car program.  See below.

Ford is in the best shape, and doesn’t need any loans…for now.  Ford’s company-car program could use some changes as well.  Management-level employees at Ford get to lease 1 or 2 (depending upon the level) vehicles per year which include everything the GM program does except gas.  The difference is that Ford employees pay much more and the amount depends on how expensive the car is, so Ford makes money on its program.  The suggested change is to eliminate the company-car garages and infrastructure that support the program in and around Dearborn.  Give the dealers the business; they will appreciate the increased business as much as GM’s will, and Ford saves millions.

I also think that all remaining employees, from the top down, should take a pay cut of 5%.  The sacrifices should be spread out among everybody.

The government needs to do its part as well.  We need health care reform (as the countries of the foreign competitors do), trade reform (previously discussed), a coherent energy policy that would include a significantly increased carbon/gas tax and better monetary policy that would address currency manipulation practiced by our friends in other countries.  With all of these in place, the playing field will be more level, allowing our home teams to really show that they can be competitive when the deck is not stacked against them.

If this makes sense to you, you need to do 2 things.  First, write your congressional representatives.  Second, vote Slandy for Emperor!  If you don’t agree, post a comment below with a better idea.  I am always willing to listen to the people.

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