CALVIN & TARP
Calvin & Hobbes, like "Peanuts" or "The Simpsons" or "I Love Lucy", has a certain timelessness. Here's a link to Calvin's take on the economy. The irony? It was published 1994, one year before creator Bill Watterson retired the six-year-old boy and his stuffed tiger. Fifteen years later, this particular C&H classic is making the rounds on the internet. Maybe it should be renamed Calvin & TARP, or Calvin & Detroit, or Calvin & Banks...
CARS, HOUSING, AND BATHING IN THE SINK--YOUR EMAILS
I wrote about a Kelley Blue Book survey suggesting new car buyers are considering American made carsfrom GM , Ford , and Chrysler.
That elicited quite a few emails.
Steve J. runs some interesting numbers:
"The biggest problem for American buyers buying American cars is the residual value and perception. I have an F150 King Ranch 2006 with 52,000 miles. Sticker was $41k. Trade-in value right now is $13k-$15k. That's a 65-70 percent loss after three years. I know leasing is not right for some, but it would have been better buying extra miles up front and letting the bank bite the bullet on the residual."
From Dan O.:
"Nice to see some journalists actually saying something nice about the US Auto Industry. Now if you guys would just stop showing US cars in the lot and start showing pictures of Sequoias and Tundras that aren't selling (Toyota down more than Ford and GM in December) then we might actually get a level playing field..."
From "Boy Genius" in Cleveland:
"Sure, the patriots want to buy an American car, but the numbers are not going to change, and here is why: First of all, the down payment. They (buyers) don't have it, which is one of the reasons that they leased a car in the past, and will continue to do so. As long as the residual value of the Japanese cars remains higher than the American cars, the lease payment will remain less....MUCH LESS.
Second of all, we are Americans, we love cars, we see them as an expression of ourselves, and therefore we want them to be unique...This could be solved by trying something radical, like making 200-300 different paint schemes available, instead of 6 or 8, but they are too budget conscious to try out something like this, they lack the creativity, and they wont make the investment in the technology...
Finally, the biggest problem they are going to have is that we have all realized that we do not NEED a new car every 3 years, so those who can come up with the down payment for a new car may actually buy one, but we won't be back for our next one for about 8-10 years..."
From Scott F.:
"My Chevy Cobalt's odometer just turned over 95,000 miles and I haven't even had to put new brake pads on it. I think the quality is even better than the foreign cars...Go Detroit."
From Cary M.
"Tried the Buy American route and was AMAZED at how un-American our domestic cars are. Many are built in Canada and Mexico, NOT the US because of union wages. Then look at the component content - Let's all say CHINA!!! As the American car companies can do nothing to control direct labor costs, they have done everything they can to NOT buy from US component suppliers. Then look at a Toyota Camry-one of those 'foreign cars'... built in the US with 80% US component content!!! Not sure what to consider 'American'."
Regarding my post on PennyMac buying bad mortgages from the FDIC, Bill M. writes:
"After reading your post...it's making me more and more uncomfortable the degree to which the government is getting involved in business. We founded this country, in part, on the principle of separation of church and state -- do we need a new principle now to deal with the separation of business and state? It definitely feels like we are moving in the wrong direction here."
Since PennyMac's CEO used to be President of Countrywide , Joe A. wrote:
"The guy is making money on the way up and on the way down. Great gig, if you can get it!"
After I put upa poll on whether Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, or Dianne Feinstein would make a good Governor of California, Jim F. wrote:
"I declined to vote because the possible answers did not include 'none of the above."
And a heated (and delayed) reply from Karin on my posts on the fired KFC girls who took a bath in the sink:
"As a past infection control and OR nurse, I find your suggestion very 'unappealing' and completely irresponsible. Would you approve of doctors and nurses frolicking in the OR scrub sinks 'after hours', knowing they had already been cleaned for the next day? People are trained at great expense to learn and follow these procedures. We expect them to maintain recognized standards. I have to assume you would be very unhappy and critical if one of your family members caught a staph aureus or e. coli infection that could be traced back to such shenanigans. You may have raised your children that they can withstand these unclean standards, but we are trying to keep the rest of the people healthy."
- Fake Bernie Speaks to Real Jane
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