- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

GMAC puts institutional investors ahead of private investors

Oh boy, this is too much. According to the Bloomberg piece below, GMAC intends to leave their "mom and pop investors" out in the cold also.

GMAC puts institutions ahead of private investors
Individual investors who bought SmartNotes from GMAC Financial Services are being left out of a plan by the General Motors financing unit to exchange cash, preferred shares or new debt for existing debt held by institutional investors. In the event of a bankruptcy, retail investors could end up with nothing, analysts said. Bloomberg (01 Dec.)

Putting this another way, not only does GMAC want taxpayers to foot the bill and rescue them when they have finally got themselves stuck in a hole with bad auto-loans after years of massive profits from shafting high priced loans on unsuspecting car buyers with doubtful credit, NOW they want to shaft individual investors who bought the company's debt in favour of their institutional lenders. So if you are a US taxpayer and one of these individual investors in GMAC debt you would get doubly shafted if the bailout were be passed - and if you happened to also be a borrower of one of their auto-loans, you're triple shafted. That's a hattrick. If there was a prize for shocking ethics, surely they would win it.

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