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MOB #64 – GM vs McDonalds During the Financial Crisis

November 17th, 2008 · podcasts

On this episode of Millionaire or Bust, we cover the week after the US election (which also happened to be a one week trip up to the Yosemite area for us). The financial markets were pretty volatile again this week. So, we had to discuss that volatility a little bit. We also touched on the current mortgage rates.

Of course, we had to mention that GM closed under $3 for the first time since 1946 and had their lowest close since WWII. We talked a little about what they were trying to do about it, what the government is thinking about doing to help them and the stance of the UAW on concessions.

Unlike General Motors, not all companies are suffering. Both Walmart and McDonalds reported increases in sales. We discussed why that was and who it was at the expense of.

We also discussed how U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Friday that recapitalizing banks would be the most effective use of a $700 billion financial bailout war chest rather than the purchase of “toxic” assets held by the banks.

Speaking of the financial bailout, the Fed OK’d American Express being reclassified as a bank holding company in order to make them eligible to receive bailout funds.

Then, despite signals from OPEC that it may slash production again, the price of oil continued to decline. That of course has been accompanied by the continued fall of gas prices, which has been welcome to consumers.

Finally, we discussed the Commerce Department’s Friday report that we had the largest ever October plunge for retail sales and a sharp drop in business inventories.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shawno // Nov 20, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Interesting, but also a bit sad that McDonald’s is doing well during this economy. I had also heard that Campbell’s Soup stock went up once the bailouts were announced. Guess the market figured there’d be high demand for cheap meals.

  • 2 David // Nov 20, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    That’s exactly why that happened, I believe. That’s also why Wal-Mart reported better numbers as well. They’re all taking business away from the higher ends of the market.

  • 3 Uncle B // Sep 23, 2009 at 2:23 am

    The next “Down-cycle” of the markets will be the death-knoll for many more American icons! This time, the coffers are empty, the dollar already devalued to the limits, and China and other countries no longer thrilled with U.S. “Fiat” money are already opting for a new International Currency! We are so close to the brink, as oil prices rise, and we no longer build our own cars, Asian factories outstripping American ones in all respects, and American schools preparing students for the 1950’s “Smoke-Stack” age “Foot Ball shoulders” and all, which was exported to Asians and modernized, stream-lined and made effective and efficient there with computer smarts – not brute strength, mind strength! Such a revolution! Intelligent 85 pound “weakling” ping-pong players armed with computers and good sound education, out stripping the mighty, broad-shouldered hyper calorie Yankee worker, on a bowl of rice and veggies a day, and living in factory dorms! Goddamn! Yet, it happened! We worry about Commerce, now that the Steel Belt, the Ruhr Valley of America, the Ohio Vally, has become the Rust Belt, the Detroit City Factories lay in ruins, and our smokestacks all toppling down! Europe is now building the large passenger planes, and China will soon! We worry about the effects of McDonald’s restaurants on the economy! The reminents of a once world status economy, as it flushes itself down the hole of devalued dollars and higher unemployment than ever! The paradigm shift is upon us, and we enter “The Fourth Turning” and the “Age of Aquarius” is on its way, blossoming, not in America, but over Asia, in vegan glory, and kinder gentler times! Perhaps Asian philosophies will take the world to a new cleaner, safer level than America was able to, in all her might and goodness, for the sake of all mankind, we will now follow Asia’s lead, not America’s

  • 4 David van Sunder // Sep 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Uncle B,

    I see where you’re coming from, but I think your declaration might be a little bit hyperbolic. We are definitely in a new age, but that’s neither here nor there. The United States has been transitioning from a manufacturing economy to a more information/design/service based economy for decades now. Our big companies are not so focused on steel. We’re also not so focused on “football shoulders.” The geek revolution has hit the United States and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Look at Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, the Google founders, etc. The United States will remain “a” world power, just not “the” world power. We’ll need to learn to share a bit. Besides Japan has been right there with us for decades now. This is nothing new. It’s just a progression and a healthy progression.

    As the rest of the world rises, so will their standards of living. As that happens they’ll spend more and US companies will sell them more. Rather than worrying about what percentage of the pie we get, we should look at how much the pie grows. Even if we get a slightly smaller percentage of a much larger pie, we’ll still be much better off. And the better off other countries are, the less aid they’ll need and consequently the more money we can keep at home. I could keep going on, but I think you get the point. I’m not worried about the fall of the US.

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