UPDATE: The Today’s Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me Award WAS going to go to the Federal Commission that thinks raising the gas tax on Americans by 10 cents per gallon is a really good idea, but it has been pre-empted by GMAC!!! (IMAGINE THAT!!!!)
GMAC FInancial Services and Team focus partner to coach children on money management (BWAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
DETROIT (June 16, 2008) – GMAC Financial Services today announced that it will partner with Team Focus to give boys and girls the smart edge when it comes to money management. Team Focus, a community outreach program that provides inspirational, community, social and academic guidance to children without father figures, will have a GMAC SmartEdge financial literacy education session at its 2008 Camp Focus.
Team Focus has been affiliated with the GMAC Bowl and “is excited to bring our association with GMAC to a higher level through the addition of the GMAC SmartEdge financial education session at Camp Focus,” said Mike Gottfried, CEO and founder of Team Focus. “SmartEdge will provide us with another way to positively influence the lives of the children that come to camp.”
GMAC is committed to providing financial literacy opportunities through its GMAC SmartEdge program. “It is important to mentor youth and help children prepare for their future,” said Sharon Sayles Belton, director of community relations at GMAC. “Now more than ever, young adults need to understand money management so they are ready to make smart financial decisions when they enter adulthood.” (This coming from the morons that drove their company into the ground and now has to have us bailing them out?)
“It’s never too early to start learning appropriate money management skills,” adds Don Ferguson, director of GMAC SmartEdge. “The SmartEdge education sessions are designed to engage young people to make better financial decisions, plan their spending habits and save for their future.” (And in the words of Dennis Hopper, “Nothing Like A Smoke When You Miss Your Mom and You Are Never Too Young Too Start”.)
Camp Focus will have its first leadership camp of the year in Mobile, Ala., with 10 other camps throughout Alabama, California, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington, D.C., with approximately 75-80 children at each camp. This year Team Focus is expanding its program by having its first girls’ camp.
GMAC SmartEdge hosts financial literacy seminars around the country and provides money management tutorials and tips on its Web site, www.smartedgebygmac.com, which is designed to educate consumers in the areas of credit, budget, vehicle and home financing, banking, and insurance.
I am currently hard at work on the third article in the Economic Collapse series but I just could not let this perfect example of government screwing private companies over go by because it makes me growl, and with my expanded education about the US Treasury, The Federal Reserve and Hank Paulson, events are getting curiouser and curiouser…
When the Bush Treasury decided to bail out Detroit, GM and Chrysler quickly said yes to the taxpayer cash, but Ford Motor Co. said it didn’t need the money and declined. Ford’s reward for this show of self-reliance? Treasury is now helping GM again by giving it a credit pricing advantage against Ford in the marketplace.
That’s one little-noted result of Treasury’s action earlier this week to rescue GMAC, the GM credit arm that, as it happens, is 51% owned by the Cerberus private-equity shop that also owns Chrysler. With $5 billion in taxpayer cash in its pocket, GMAC quickly decided to offer 0% financing on several of its models. “I think it would be fair to say that without this change . . . we would not be able to do this today,” explained GM Vice President Mark LaNeve in a conference call with reporters this week.
The messy little policy issue is that these GM products compete with those sold by Ford, Toyota, Honda and numerous other car makers that won’t benefit from GMAC’s cash infusion. And with the cost of financing often crucial to buyer decisions, the feds have now put the muscle of the state behind one company’s products.
Ford in particular must wonder what it did to deserve this slap. CEO Alan Mulally joined the GM and Chrysler chiefs in testifying for the bailout even while insisting his company didn’t want the funds. And once the bailout was announced, Mr. Mulally said that “All of us at Ford appreciate the prudent step the Administration has taken to address the near-term liquidity issues of GM and Chrysler.” So much for gratitude.
This is always what happens when politicians decide to muck around in private industry. Even when made with the best intentions, their policy decisions have unintended consequences that help some companies at the expense of others. Meanwhile, your neighbor who buys a GM SUV this weekend with 0% financing should thank you when he pulls into the driveway. He did it with your money.