Thursday, June 19, 2008

General Observations (Plus Vacation Notice)

The share price of General Motors is plumbing lows not seen since 1982 - a sad commentary on America's once mighty automobile industry.

Is it indicative of more widespread economic trouble? With auto and parts dealers making up 22% of all retail sales - the largest sector by far - you be the judge. Remember that retail sales, even excluding restaurants and bars, account for 30% of GDP.

Data: Commerce Dept.

...and the vacation notice.

Ahoy, mates: for the next 10-12 days I shall be weighing anchor and sailing the wide blue - no computer, no Internet, no land lines, no posting. Bliss, if it weren't for the darn cell phone. Maybe it will accidentally become an offering to Poseidon after the first day..


  1. Enjoy your vacation, watch out for those pirates :)
    About the auto industry, its a miracle that they've survived for that long considering the kind of quality (or lack thereof) automobiles they produce. I owned 2 Fords and one GM, so I know first hand.
    Take the Ford Focus for example. Pretty poor gas mileage considering the type of car. Honda, Toyota or BMW (Mini) would squeeze an additional 10 mpg out of a vehicle like that.
    To poor quality, to far behind on technology and the wrong marketing concept in the days of $4 gasoline. Of course nobody (in Detroit) could see that coming.

  2. Happy sailing, Hell. Hoping for calm seas and a steady wind.

    Jason B

  3. Enjoy your time away. I'm heading to South Dakota and internet free camping for the better part of a week too. :)

  4. It's been 15 years since I've had a totally unplugged vacation. I seem to recall that after the first day or two of severe withdrawal it was rather nice. Enjoy.

    GM deserves exactly what they are getting. See "Who Killed the Electric Car" for a righteous take down. They had the chance to totally dominate and flushed it. To Hell with them and their mid-century thinking.

  5. Didn't you just go on vacation?

  6. Enjoy. Can't have too many vacations. And thanks for your blog, you've had some of the best graphs.

  7. Didn't I just go on vacation?

    No, that was just a weekend at the beach - from which Debitus, Calculus, et. al. sprang forth.

    This time it's the real deal. I shudder to think what will come from it ;).

  8. I too will be sailing, delivering a 100' Jongert, Palm Beach to Rhode Island. Same deal, no phone, internet, etc. etc., jst a couple of really good books.

    Good luck,


  9. Hell, Which part of the finance industry do you work at?

  10. Hell broke loose? Hope he's having a great time and that Poseidon liked his new phone.

  11. Lucky devil. That is a beautiful boat.

  12. Enjoy a terrific vacations time and do not forget about us, your readers, waiting paciently for your return.

  13. Allright, lets all (secretly) gossip about Hell behind his back while he is gone. Since he is away he'll never know.

    -- remember italics means whispering so Hell can't hear you

  14. I just started reading a book by Richard Clarke called Breakpoint (yeah, that Richard Clarke). Some mysterious enemy takes out all US internet capability. That would really, really suck

  15. Update: GM stock is at a 53-year low now. Hello 1955.

  16. An article from Grant's Interest Rate observer (via NakedCapitalism) said that the FHLB was closing in on $1T in loans to banks. Another article I saw said Citi was the biggest borrower at $96B. It seems that the Fed isn't the only source of liquidity to consider when measuring money supply growth.

    Did you see the Jun16 post at Financial Armageddon about Cheney running Haliburton out of a secret office in the CIA? Incompetent or Evil?

  17. Hey Yoyomo. No, I've been really busy lately, but I'll take a look.


  18. You go on vacation and all Hell breaks loose. How apt. : )

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