Friday, October 7, 2011

Too Funny: "GE Capital CEO "sympathetic" to Wall Street protests"

Oh my God, this is beyond ironic.
It's as if the last three years didn't happen. These guy are the banksters and GE is the biggest bawling bailout baby of all.
[umm, AIG? -ed]
Three years ago this month, in the Fall of 2008 no one on earth would touch GE Credit's commercial paper and the entire company was within days of becoming insolvent.

The company had been padding reported earnings by borrowing short and lending long, at one point having over $100 Billion in CP outstanding.
The borrow short/lend long scam is a great way to increase your bonus but in finance it's nothing short of playing Russian roulette.
The Federal Reserve had to rescue them via the Commercial Paper Funding Facility to the tune of $16 Billion which bought the company enough time to get into another program, the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program run by the FDIC, where they ended up again being the largest recipient of the govvy's largess, to the tune of $74 Billion.
As ProPublica put it:

...GE did not initially qualify for the program. But after lobbying by the company and assistance from Hank Paulson, then the secretary of the Treasury, the FDIC changed the eligibility rules and GE was accepted. Soon thereafter, GE stopped selling commercial paper via the Fed's facility.

In November 2008, as GE was using both the Federal Reserve and the FDIC programs, the company acknowledged their benefit on its website: "Both of these government programs provide additional levels of security for our investors, strengthen our ability to support the planned dividend in 2009, and do not place any restrictions on our dividend policy."...
I suppose the next thing we'll hear is some hedge fund manager praising the demonstrators.*
From the Chicago Tribune:
The head of General Electric Co's finance arm is "sympathetic" to the protesters who have taken to the streets of U.S. cities to decry the nation's financial system, but is not sure what corporate America could do to assuage them.

"People are really angry, and I get it. If I were unemployed now, I'd be really angry too," said Michael Neal, a vice chairman of the largest U.S. conglomerate, who runs its GE Capital unit.

"I am sympathetic to it," he said on Thursday. "Look, I've got a 21- and 19-year-old son, they might march with them. There are a lot of unhappy people right now, and there's not a lot going on that gives you much reason to be inspired."

Unemployment in the United States has hovered at or near 9 percent for more than two years, and many U.S. companies that slashed large numbers of jobs during the recession have been unwilling to hire in large numbers because of weak demand for their products and services.

"I don't know what you could do differently," Neal said. "You've got to run your business, right? I don't know that you go just start hiring people that you wouldn't do in the ordinary course. I'm not paid to do that."

The protests, which started with the "Occupy Wall Street" movement in New York, have spawned groups in Boston, Philadelphia, Houston and Washington D.C. Much of their ire is directed at banks, which received significant federal support during the recession.

"I'm glad I'm not in lower Manhattan," Neal said....MORE
*International Business Times:
Occupy Wall Street: George Soros Understands Protesters’ Pain
Mr. Soros probably qualifies for a spot in the Top 1%.