Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thursday Quick Hits

A little late to the computer tonight and also very little in the way of motivation after braving NEGATIVE WIND CHILLS today. Posting will be brief as I need a warm shower to shake off the cold.

Elect a President Begins
Whoopie! Its Caucus Night or something. Being from Massachusetts I can say that Mitt Romney is a good business man, and probably would make the best president of the current candidate crop from either side. That said, the entire field is very weak. Is this really the best America can put together? Yes and No. Political candidate best is a yes. The best women and men in America is a big NO WAY. But if you were talented, smart, business savvy, and honest you would never wind up in the government anyway! Sad commentary really.

Ford Falls Behind Toyota in Car Sales
In another case of how the mighty have fallen, Ford motor company lost the number 2 spot to Toyota motors in 2007 by sales numbers. From Yahoo Finance:
Toyota Overtakes Ford As US 2nd Biggest
Thursday January 3, 4:27 pm ET
By Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer
Toyota Passes Ford As 2nd-Biggest Auto Seller in US in 2007, Breaking Ford's 75-Year Lock
DETROIT (AP) -- Toyota Motor Corp. overtook Ford Motor Co. to become the No. 2 automaker by U.S. sales in 2007, using new products and relentless strategy to break Ford's 75-year lock on the position.
Toyota sold 2.62 million cars and trucks in 2007, which amounted to 48,226 more than Ford, according to sales figures released Thursday. Toyota's sales were up 3 percent for the year, buoyed by new products like the Toyota Tundra pickup, which saw sales jump 57 percent. Ford's sales fell 12 percent to 2.572 million vehicles.
General Motors Corp. remained the U.S. sales leader, selling 3.82 million vehicles in 2007. But that was down 6 percent from the previous year as customers turned away from some large sedans and sport utility vehicles and GM cut low-profit sales to employees and rental car agencies. GM's car sales fell 8 percent for the year while truck sales were down 4 percent.

To be honest I cannot believe that both Toyota and Honda are not much farther ahead in sales than both GM and Ford. Truck and fleet sales have a lot to do with that fact. Simply put, the Japanese cars are better built, better styled, more reliable, and cost less than the US models. We can argue about unions and wage competition all day. The fact remains the product is just better from the non-US car makers. Until GM and Ford can somehow restructure their work forces, get out of any business not related to car making, and make better cars, expect this trend to continue. Again, a sad commentary on the former might of the US car industry. If even 1/1oth of the cash lent out during the housing bubble was spent in revamping the US auto industry, what would things look like?

We Need More Stimulus?
If interest rates still were not at all time lows, if the central banks all over the world were not pushing liquidity out the windows, if oil and gold were not running wild, and if credit was actually hard to get then yes perhaps some more help would be needed. Another stimulus package proposal? Things must truly be much, much worse behind the scenes if this story has any truth:
Bush Exploring Economic Stimulus Package
Thursday January 3, 4:03 pm ET
By Deb Riechmann, Associated Press Writer
Bush Exploring Stimulus Package to Boost Pressured U.S. Economy
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amid new worries about a possible recession, the housing slump and rising oil prices, President Bush is exploring an economic stimulus package to reinforce the U.S. economy.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said Thursday that Bush is closely monitoring economic trends and is seeking input from his economic advisers on the pros and cons of such a package.

The president has indicated that he will not make up his mind as to whether or not to lay out a package until the State of the Union," Perino said about the president's speech on Jan. 28. "Our economic policy is like our military policy. It is based on conditions on the ground and the president listens to advice from his economic advisers."
So we are in a fix because people took on so much debt that it can never be paid back. Home prices are falling. Energy cots are raging due to inflation. What kind of stimulus is going to help all this? Another $300 check from Uncle Sam? Not to worry, the President with his great team will tackle the economic issue the same way they tackled the War in Iraq. I guess that puts the odds of a recession at about 150% for 2009!

Have a good night.


Anonymous said...

"The best women and men in America is a big NO WAY. But if you were talented, smart, business savvy, and honest you would never wind up in the government anyway!"

Sorry, but I don't consider 'business savvy' to be a plus. Angelo Mozilo, Hank Paulsen, and Chuck Prince are business savvy like a fox, but that doesn't make him them presidential material.

I prefer leaders to those who know how to make a buck in the unbalanced and manipulated US marketplace, but maybe that's just me...

watchtower said...

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I hope Kevin won`t mind me adding to his earlier post what I was taught when I was younger:

As goes General Motors, so goes the US. (I guess you can throw Ford and Chrysler in there too)

newscalculus said...

shouldnt there be psychological testing for all candidates...really?