Category Archives: Economics

Could The Oz Car Scandal Mean The End For Kevin Rudd?

Could an attempt to help a mate mean the end for Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd?

Certainly if he is found to have used his position to help his car dealer friend, John Grant, get finance through the Governments Oz Car scheme it bring the end of his days as Australia’s Prime Mininster.

It has been claimed by the Opposition that Mr Rudd’s office had contacted Godwin Grech, the head of the Government’s $2 billion OZ Car scheme to help for Mr Grant.

Of course Mr Rudd denies this communication ever happened and has claimed that an email allegedly sent by his senior economic adviser Andrew Charlton to Mr Grech is an elaborate fraud. After an investigation by Mr Rudd’s office they have been unable to find any record of this email originating from his office.

Kevin Rudd has now called for an Auditor Generals enquiry into the affair.

If it is found that any influence did come from Mr Rudd’s office then he surely would have no other choice but to resign.
Mr Rudd has set a high standard of conduct for his Government colleagues and to fail to live up to this standard would surely be unforgivable.

If it is found that the email is a fraud then who knows who’s head will roll? If this is found to be a fraud then not only could there be the political fallout from such a scandal but also the possibility of criminal action as the Australian Federal Police have also started investigations into the affair.

Stay posted for updates on this. It could get very interesting.

Good Enough for Government Work.

After sucking up tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money but still declaring bankruptcy, the U.S. governmnet has put someone in charge of sorting the company out who has no automotive experience whatsoever! Hey, it’s only General Motors… who needs automotive experience, right?

The New York Times reports:

It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.

But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry.

Nor, for that matter, had he given much thought to what ailed an industry that had been in decline ever since he was born.

I’m sure Mr. Deese is a smart guy, hardworking, and all of that but why is he in charge (aside from the fact that he was put in charge)? I’m all for “out-of-the-box” thinking but something as important as the way the U.S. governmnet will handle the future of General Motors and Chrysler should probably left to somebody who has at least some automobile industry experience, right?

According to the same New York Times article:

Mr. Deese’s role is unusual for someone who is neither a formally trained economist nor a business school graduate, and who never spent much time flipping through the endless studies about the future of the American and Japanese auto industries.

What is so ironic is that when Bob Lutz was hired to turn around GM he was hailed by everybody as the solution because he was a “car guy.” Lutz brought a lot to the table and helped GM to improve its product line-up by championing cars like the Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky (which were sold out for almost a year), reviving Cadillac with such cars as the award winning CTS, and pumping new life into the morbid Buick line-up with vehicles like the LaCrosse. Still, there was only so much Lutz could do but he certainly did more than almost any other product planner there for the previous 40 years.

And now a “non-car guy” is going to figure it out? How is it, in the government, you can get such a powerful job without having any past experience in the field where you will be exerting an enormous amount of power and influence?

Back in high school when I was a teenager and worked as a life guard I went to dump some chemicals into the filter system and could only find latex gloves for one hand. My boss, a former U.S. Army guy didn’t sweat it, he used a right glove for his left hand and, even though it didn’t fit right, said he had done it all the time when he worked for the government because they always ordered the wrong stuff.

I guess “saving” GM is kind of the same thing, eh?

From Just Politics..?