Cramer: Gov’t Should Sell GM Shares on eBay
Retail investors deserve more than 30% of General Motors’ coming initial public offering, Cramer said during Monday’s Stop Trading!. And the government should be more creative about how it chooses to distribute shares when they hit the market this fall.
“This is one where you really want to be novel about it,” Cramer said.
His suggestion? Give shares to discount brokers, and maybe even Amazon.com . Or hold an auction on eBay . That way the taxpayers that funded the original bailout have a chance to participate. If the IPO stays solely in the hands of the present underwriters, which include J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup, then the government is all but endorsing business as usual on Wall Street.
Cramer said that giving retail investors are involved with the IPO, those new GM shareholders would most likely go out and buy the company’s cars, creating a virtuous cycle that propels those shares higher.
If the deal does stay as it is arranged thus far, Cramer urged the participating banks to waive any fees other than costs. He feared that to do otherwise would put the underwriters in a position to be attacked by the government should the IPO be mishandled. They should be “worried about … the accusation,” he said, especially in the current anti-Wall Street environment in Washington right now. It would be better then to focus on the “huge” amount of business coming from GM in the future rather than on collecting banking fees now.
“Don’t take the political risk of blowing this deal up,” Cramer said. “It ain’t worth it.”
When this story published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.
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