Rick Newman


December 2008


9 Reasons This Recession Will Be Good

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Recessions are lousy - as Americans have learned about 10 times over the last 50 years. But they’re also necessary. Prosperity tends to produce a lot of economic sediment, like unneeded purchases and excessive debt, that coagulates like gunk in a pipe. A good recession flushes it out. It also ...

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TAGS:
recession

The Chevy Vega: the Worst Detroit Car Ever?

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It didn't start as a contest. But as readers have weighed in on the numerous lousy cars that have driven the Detroit automakers to the brink of bankruptcy, it's become an irresistible question: What's the worst car ever built by General Motors, Ford, or Chrysler?

Odds are it wasn't built in the past ...

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TAGS:
car manufacturers

5 Risky Assumptions for 2009

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For many Americans, 2008 was a year of hard lessons. We learned that things we've taken for granted for years, like easy credit and solvent banks, can evaporate with little warning. Unthinkable developments—like the collapse of once mighty corporations—actually happen. We've even begun to question ...

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TAGS:
economy
recession

The 10 Worst Assumptions of 2008

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An old military saying has become popular on Wall Street: "Amateurs study the plan. Professionals study the assumptions."

It's too bad that nostrum wasn't in fashion a few years ago, when it seemed as if nothing could go wrong in the go-go economy. An epic housing boom fueled by low interest rates ...

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Why AIG Gets Billions, GM Gets Scorn

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Let me see if I’m getting this right: AIG, the huge insurance company, has so far gotten $173 billion worth of federal aid, because traders at one small division made bets on exotic securities that were so calamitous they threatened to bring down the whole company. So far, the amount of money the ...

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TAGS:
General Motors
AIG, Inc.

Bailout Tally So Far: Twice the Entire U.S. Budget

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Don’t say your government isn’t generous.

It may have gotten hard to follow bankers-aid programs like the term auction facility (TAF) and the primary dealer credit facility (PDCF), but rest assured, your represenatives in Washington are spending a a tidy sum – a gargantuan fortune, actually – to ...

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In Defense of Rick Wagoner

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It’s been a bad year for CEOs, and Rick Wagoner, the head of General Motors, seems poised to join an ignominious crowd: Corporate leaders who have resigned after their firms sought federal help. Key members of Congress have said that Wagoner should step down before GM gets a big chunk of a $15 ...

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How To Grill a CEO

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Imagine if General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner called up Mary Peters (Secretary of Transportation, for those unfamiliar with the invisible half of the Bush Cabinet) on a Friday evening and said, “Psssttt. We’re in trouble. We need money. Can you help?” And then, a couple of days later, there was a ...

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