Saturday, December 6, 2008

Detroit Bailout - Kill five birds with a small stone

Bird 1: (Baghdad)
Lets setup an IED prize in Baghdad. If a local Baghdadi helps the US prevent one IED explosion, he wins a brand new GM Suburban. If he submits 50 automatic rifles, he wins a Chevy Impala. For 25 grenades, a Buick.

Bird 2: (Afghanistan)
Same concept but the possibilities are wider, deeper and much more interesting. Even prisoners can be exchanged for good vehicles. How about a Hummer for ........ Yup.

Bird 3: (Dealers and Local Economies)
Uncle Sam to buy these vehicles from individual dealers at MSRP. This will direct inject cash into local economies. I see no harm in Uncle Sam applying for credit at the local credit unions and paying monthly installments on these cars. This will get credit going. And my favorite uncle will even improve his credit score by taking on so much credit.

Bird 4: (Big Three)
When the sales come in, their balance sheets will be more balanced. They will have cash, credit, and good numbers for the next 18 months. By then there will be so many GM cars in Iraq that spare part business will boom. And if they don't come up with energy efficient cars after this.......well, what can I say.

Bird 5: (Human lives)
Imagine if someone puts this idea into motion. How many lives will this save? How many injuries will it prevent? The cost of prevention alone may pay for the cost of the cars. There is no doubt that this will work.

Small Stone:
The same bailout money, if applied differently, can provide a 5X leverage to our economy. Its easy to understand, easy to plan, easy to execute and easy to measure.

Any takers?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Times change. Even for Google.

Less than six months ago, Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google said this, when asked about the recession and general slowdown:

"What recession?"

Today, when the stock price is down more than half, and growth is shrinking, Google is "ratcheting back spending" and cutting new projects. Eric Schmidt said this in an interview:

"We have to behave as though we don't know what's going to happen."

I think he never did know what was happening or what was going to happen. I am glad he's caught up. He should use Google to look up more information on the economy.

Reminds me of the famous Orson Welles quote, "I started at the top, and worked my way down."