Make no mistake – this isn’t about creating a new global automotive powerhouse well-equipped to do battle deep into this century, one that will keep Toyota from taking over the world. And this certainly isn’t about doing what’s best for General Motors and the people who have so much invested in the fortunes of the company. And this in no way, shape or form has anything to do with solidifying America’s manufacturing base or shoring up the economy.
No, this is about flat-out greed, pure and simple.
This possibility is not a case of what would be best for General Motors; it’s driven by egotism and greed. Setting the stage for it were the peculiarities of the financial markets; GM, the world’s largest car company, recently had a market capitalization barely above $10 billion, while its closest competitor’s market cap was $169 billion. Analysts now forecast that Toyota, the world’s second largest car company, should be worth $236 billion within the year, but faltering GM will be worth no more than $15 billion.
It is that situation that allowed a notorious corporate raider, Kirk Kerkorian, to buy 9.9% of GM’s outstanding shares for little or nothing. And with that purchase he gained the leverage to push his personal consultant — whose pay is based not on GM’s improved financial performance but on Kerkorian’s take from his investment in the motor company — onto GM’s board of directors.