Rick Newman


March 2009


A Boost For GM, a Ding For Chrysler

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At General Motors headquarters in Detroit, there's finally a bit of vindication.

For several years, GM has been insisting that its cars and trucks are much better than the slapdash cookie-cutters that helped trash the automaker's reputation in the '80s and '90s. Executives frequently complain about ...

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TAGS:
General Motors
Chrysler

7 Surprises Buried Beneath the AIG Bonuses

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The recent Congressional hearings on AIG generated intense heat. But was there any light?

Actually, quite a lot. The scandal over bonuses paid to AIG’s rogue trading unit has obviously dominated news coverage and public attention. But while explaining the bonuses, AIG CEO Ed Liddy and other experts ...

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The AIG Bonuses: A Welcome Scandal

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Finally. A scandal we can relate to.

For the last year, something has been really wrong with the U.S. economy. But what, exactly? The collapse of Bear Stearns in March 2008 was the first indicator. The government stepped in with a $29 billion bailout, marking the first time many Americans may have ...

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What’s Good, What’s Bad About the AIG Bailout

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"There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.”

The latest surreal twists in the AIG bailout bring to mind Mark Twain, who could spot folly as if he were hunting for it with a spyglass. Had Twain had AIG to work with as raw material, we’d probably have ...

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TAGS:
AIG, Inc.

The Real Harm Caused By the AIG Bonuses

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It used to be such a nice, benign word. “Bonus.” In Latin, it literally means “good.” Way back in school, a bonus question on a test earned you extra credit if you got it right, with no penalty if you got it wrong. When tacked onto your salary, a bonus was a reward for doing your job especially ...

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TAGS:
AIG, Inc.
Merrill Lynch

Why Bad Times Breed Better Habits

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Everybody’s getting poorer.

This year’s Forbes billionaire list includes just 793 worthies, down from 1,125 last year. And the overall list is a major sob story – 83 percent of the world’s billionaires lost money last year.

Down here in the middle-class, it’s just as depressing. The average American ...

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5 Wall Street Fallacies

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An oversized dose of humility sure hasn’t cured the narcissism rampant on Wall Street.

It’s all about them, you see. The nation’s in a painful economic swoon, jobs are disappearing, families are struggling to pay their mortgages, and lots of people are just plain failing. But read the papers or turn ...

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More Companies At Risk of Failing

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Everybody hopes the economy bottoms out and starts to improve tomorrow. Or sooner. But there are few signs of an imminent recovery. One obvious indicator is the health of big companies – you know, the ones that have been announcing all those four- and five-digits layoffs recently. And the outlook ...

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How To Measure Your Well-Being Against the Dow

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Are you better off than you were in 1997? The Dow Jones Industrial Average certainly isn’t. As we keep hearing, the Dow, which has fallen about 55 percent from its October 2007 peak, is slumming around at its lowest point since April 1997.

If your personal well-being were tied directly to the Dow,

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5 Things That Could Revive the Markets

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Can stock prices fall forever?

It feels that way. Each time we’ve hit an unthinkable low over the last few months, investors have whispered to each other that it can’t possibly get any worse. Then it gets worse. Overall, stocks are down about 25 percent just this year, and about 55 percent since ...

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