Ref: 0811-016 of 2008/11/23
Wall Street and Private Equity vultures are at it again. They are aided and abetted by Republican senators and its sponsoring media with well orchestrated campaign to cause the death of the United States’ biggest employer – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
The vultures are interested in causing deliberate bankruptcies so that all the equity and options owned by United Auto Workers in their respective companies be turned worthless, the pension fund liabilities avoided partly or altogether, the health and insurance benefits to retirees reduced to zero, termination benefits also reduced substantially for want of funds, and the companies so stripped off its statutory liabilities be bought over in Bankruptcy Court for a song.
The officials from FED, Treasury, Office of the President, and hosts of senators mainly from Republican Party want to rehearse the events of United Airlines, WorldCom, Bethlehem Steel and lately Lehman Brothers, all of whom were allowed to go bankrupt to the detriment of all its workers and employees
Destroy the United Auto Workers…
REASON, all these companies were partly or majority owned by the Employees or Workers, which acted as “eyesore” to the brokers on the Wall Street and predators- Private
The Courts of United States also favor the predators. They also award the companies to those vultures by refusing to let the company liquidated compulsorily, but handing over to bond or debenture holders by allowing writing off the entire equity of the company, so that the employees are not left with any power without money.
The whole system sucks – from monetary (FED & Treasury) to Political (Senators and Representatives), to Executive (President) to Judiciary arm (Courts) – all are corrupted by the wily suckers on the Wall Street who use its orchestrated media – in print or television. Day in and out, you tune in to CNBC, NBC, Fox News, CNN or CBS or read Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Business Week, Forbes who all praise such actions in the name of saving the company and enforcing cost savings.
Even today, the questions are asked – why Lehman Brothers were allowed to fail. Why not Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, or even Goldman Sachs?
What is so common in rest of four and unique in Lehman Brothers? The answer is LHB was majority owned by employees. The employees or workers are treated like disposable diapers in United States, whatever is the outer façade to describe them.
It happened to United Airlines only in recent past…
Why United Airlines was allowed to fail and thrown into bankruptcy court – because it was majority owned by employees. All of their shareholdings were reduced to ZERO by the bankruptcy court and awarded the company to the debt holders who deliberately bought debts to exercise the control. The life time savings of all employees were lost in a flash like homes destroyed in Californian wild fires.
The debt holders were given the new equity at most favorable terms and reducing all past equities (majority owned by workers or employees) to Zero value. If the company was still worth, the question arises why UA was not placed by the court on auction block with open and transparent public tender or why was it not sold part by part to realize the best value? The stocks owned by employees were reduced to zero and the new stocks awarded to debt holders in exchange of debt soared to as high as $ 49 from just under few cents.
All have been accomplished in the name of free enterprise, freedom, capitalism, efficiency of the capital market, and similar nouns and adjectives. They invent new names, phrases or synonyms from Roget’s Thesaurus.
Wall Street Brokers Cheers and Jeers at the Loss of Other People’s Jobs
Whenever a company merges or taken over by a predator, announcements are made to dismiss the thousands of employees in the name of cost cutting exercise and boosting the profits. Wall Street Brokers from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, UBS and all down the line, applaud such moves and start recommending the respective stocks by shooting them up by 10% to 50% in a few days.
While the thousands of laid off employees live sleepless nights, sobbing until dawn how to meet the mortgages or tuition fees of their kids, the irresponsible brokers and investment bankers on the Wall Street go on celebrating in high profile parties hitting wine or champagne glasses with the shouts of “cheers”. They are interviewed on popular channels like CNBC or Bloomberg by Anchors with glee on their faces.
There could not have been better shameless spectacle. Read every take over in the past or mega merger, you will find the same gimmicks all the time.
Consign the Wall Street Brokers and Investment Bankers to Guantanamo Bay…
It is therefore highly a celebration event that finally the Wall Street brokers saw what they deserved most. Thousands of Wall Street brokers are now being laid off in worst ever crisis which was their own making. They now realize how it feels like losing a job – celebrating with wine glass or with full glass of tears of their loved ones.
There should be no sympathy for all these bankers, Investment bankers and brokers – they should be condemned and consigned to Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. Osama Bin Laden may have caused pain only once – on 911. But these Wall Street brokers, banks and investment banks are the biggest financial terrorists who cause pains every day to every family in United States.
$ 218 Billions charity by Paulson to AIG to help them pay Goldman Sachs, his former company?
And look at the perfidy of Hank Paulson, Treasury Secretary and Ben Bernanke (FED Chief) who have been pouring the billions, even trillions of dollars, into bankrupt banks and brokers for the losses of their offshore arms who never contributed any taxes or employment to the local American Tax Payers.
They never asked or justified why the off shore obligations of banks have suddenly become the liability of domestic Americans who have nothing to do with independent off shore operations of those defunct companies.
And why does Paulson pays $ 89 billions +$ 129 billions to AIG? Is it because AIG could repay its dues to Goldman Sachs (wild guess is $ 20 billions to $70 billions), a firm of whom he was the President before joining Bush Administration? Yet, the President Bush is so blind and complacent that he can not see the naked truth.
Devils’ Donation to Tax Dodgers and Denial to Domestic Tax Paying Corporations.
They are giving hundreds of billions of dollars to “Asset Void Banks with no possibility of Repayment” for the obligations of their off shore operations, the tax dodgers. Same gang is refusing to pay $25 billions to 3 Auto makers – General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler who have been paying billions of dollars of taxes for over 60 years, who have created over 2 million jobs, who have solid assets, who developed thousands of townships, who became the backbone of the American Industrial expansion.
United Auto Workers may come out in full force to demand full justice and ensure that all the excesses of the past defeating the cause of labor are put to rest. It is now or never for them.
NO, this stubborn Paulson and Bernanke say. And the Republican Senators join them – Do not give them $ 25 billions – they are inefficient. As if AIG, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America who are recipient of over $300 billions were efficient.
If these 3 auto makers fail, and 3 million affected Americans are laid off, it will cost $12 Billions per month towards “unemployment allowances” that is over $144 Billions annually, if we consider the recent extension granted by the President Bush. Simple arithmetic – lose $ 25 billions now with full guarantee of repayment or lose $144 billion in a year without any possibility of repayment towards the unemployment allowance alone, loss of tax income if they were gainfully employed is not even counted.
What would you do, if you were the President of United States?
The country is on steep decline. There could be unrest, strong protests, riots, loots, murders, real blood bath on the main streets of United States, if no actions were taken to blunt the attack of the Wall Streeters on the Main Street participants. Can you imagine what happens when 52000 employees of Citi Group and over 2 million direct or indirect employees of 3 Auto makers are suddenly thrown out on the street in just under 7 days? Blue collar workers are normally less tolerant of job losses than white collar employees.
It just defies my common sense – how come these VIPs in the White House are pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into bankrupt off shore operations in the form of 100% unsecured advance while denying relatively small but fully secured $25 billions to America’s biggest industry at home – Auto Makers?
The present administration has gone absolutely mad, just mad.
Kalidas, Hong Kong
Ref: 0811-016 Vultures preying on US Auto Makers
It is well known that India’s best breed of industrialists Tata (of TISCO and Tata Motors) and Birla (Hindalco) for over 5 decades are in serious trouble while taking up expansion overseas. Yes, they made serious errors and in normal course, they may not have deserved the help for their follies.
However, the circumstances are entirely different now. We are in middle of severest form of credit crisis. Although Tata and Birla are well known in India, they are not as much known overseas. Since almost all western banks are in trouble, they are unable to raise necessary finance their overseas acquisition – Corus (for Tata Steel), Jaguar (for Tata Motors) and Novelis (for Hindalco). They are now at the mercy of the foreign vultures.
Should India and Indians abandon these worthy Industrialists who created millions of jobs, made India independent in basic industries without foreign help, donated thousands of crores in charities in building temples (Birla Temple in Shahad, Kalyan (Maharashtra) is one of them), educational institutions like BIT (Birla Institute of Technology), Tata Institute of Social Science (TISC at Chembur, Mumbai) Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), hospitals, schools, nurseries, Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) and what not for the benefit of Indian society regardless of cast, creed or color, and also paid thousands of crores of Income Tax, Excise duty, Sales Taxes, Professional taxes to the national and state exchequer for over 60 years?
It is causing sleepless nights to both Ratan Tata (in his early seventy) and Kumar Mangalam Birla (who is relatively younger). They deserve better retirement days. We have to make their lives better towards the fag end of their life in recognition of their contribution to the massive development of India and Indians as whole. These two industrialists never bothered about India’s deep divide religious fabrics while creating industries for themselves and millions of Indian back home. Without them, India would not have been 60% of what it is today.
Ratan Tata is going pillar to post for lousy $12 billions whereas Mr. Birla for paltry $5 to 6 billions to finance their overseas acquisitions. When the world is denying them these paltry sum, for its own reasons of bankruptcy, why not India with over $300 billions of Forex reserve which is earning lousy 1 or 2% interest and invested in bankrupt country like USA, help our own businessmen whose acumen is beyond doubt.
Charity begins at home. India as nation must help these two outstanding businessmen. They may not long for Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan or similar khitabs. They need material help at the time of their acute distress. If Indian Forex Reserve does not come to the help of India’s best industrialists, what is the use? Should we allow our Forex reserve for the use of Americans who has been simply wasting all resources and using them to create toxic waste.
Indian FOREX Reserve belongs to the Indians and must be used for Indians first and others later.
And I do not suggest that you give them free money. Give them the amount required as under after due scrutiny.
- Assess their requirements and be wetted by top financial institution.
- Work out how much amount they need
- Give them @ 5% in foreign currency non subordinated Convertible Bonds secured by the floating pari pasu charge on their respective enterprise.
- Such bonds may carry conversion rights at last 6 months average prices of their respective shares, exercisable only after 5 years.
- It may have buy back clause at 8% premium per year for the life of 15 years. This will help these guys to buy back the bonds when they are comfortable without diluting their equity stakes when the things improve.
- If the Government wishes, it may sell these bonds in the market with huge profit (because current stock prices are very low), after giving respective companies to buy back the bonds.
- When the things improve, they can raise the capital from the market to buy back these bonds.
- Give them loans repayable in 15 years due to depression prevailing all over the world.
- Ask them to pay special tax @ 3% after initial 5 years so as to relieve the interest burden during early phase of management. National exchequer may also be benefited for help rendered.
- Ask them to give India at least 5 hospitals and 5 Technical Institutes with full management rights vested with the respective group companies on purely voluntary basis. (we can trust them)
- Ask them to adopt at least 5 villages to make them into model town in next 15 years on voluntary basis. (again, we can trust them)
- Indian tax payers are not affected with this help. Their advance is fully secured and given to the industrialists they trust most.
This is the only way of really honouring our beloved industrialists. It is not going to set the precedents, if you are worrying about them. Even if it is setting precedent, it is a good one. It is one of the principles enshrined in the Constitution of India under Directive Principles of State Policy from Article 36 to 51. One of the article is quoted below:
Directive Principles of State Policy as enshrined in Constitution of India
State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people.—’[(l)j The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life.
The State shall, in particular, strive to minimize the inequalities in income, and endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.]
Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State.—The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing—
(a) That the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;
(b) That the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good:
By following above policy, the state will be preserving the jobs of the millions of workers in India
Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. Finance Minister, the time is critical. Do not even flinch while extending help. If you do not, their enterprises could slip into foreign hands, could cause huge job losses back home that may have devastating social consequences. The material resources of this country are in danger of losing to foreign hands, if our own people are not helped.
This is the appeal not only from this Kalidas (Anil Selarka) but also millions of investors in India. Read the following sample poll from learned investors from India and let them help you in forming your final decision. God Bless India.
Kalidas, Hong Kong
Ref: 0811-015- Helping Indian Industrialists