Poor GM

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  • General Motors makes cars out of habit. It went into finance out of necessity, perhaps. America is "reindustrializing," say the pundits. No harm in that. We’ll be a society that thinks, rather than sweats.

One thing that GM has to think about is how it is going to make good on all its promises to retirees now that it can’t make money in the car business. Capitalism is supposed to be a system in which the capitalists make money by exploiting the workers. But GM, as near as we can tell, has it backwards. It is selling bonds to investors in order to pay health and retirement benefits for GM workers. It now more resembles the U.S. government than a profit-making business.

  • Dr. Copper shocked the world last week. It had risen to a 15-year high on the 8th of October. Five days later, it fell the most it had ever fallen in 14 years.

"Well, who will it be?"

  • No matter where he goes, the American confronts the same question. Europeans are overwhelmingly against Bush. They know little about John Kerry, except that he is not Bush, which makes him extremely popular. At dinner parties, weddings and funerals — people all want to hear that Bush will soon be gone from the White House.

"The polls say it is a close race," we reply. But that is not good enough.

"How could Americans re-elect such a man… etc., etc.," the conversation continues.

We have no answer. We do not know how Americans could re-elect Bush. On the other hand, we don’t know how they could elect Kerry either.

Bill Bonner [send him mail] is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of The 21st Century.

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