If you are the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a company that has received $50 billion in federal bailout coin, there are certain things that you realistically shouldn’t say or do.
Both from a substantive policy and an optics perspective, you should walk a pretty straight line until We the People are made whole.
Behold General Motors (GM) CEO Dan Akerson – a man who obviously doesn’t adhere to this philosophy.
As we said back in March, Akerson is a foundational part of the Washington, D.C.-Wall Street crony capitalism nexus.
Akerson is not – and never has been – a car guy. He himself said so. What is he? He is a DC-connected, Wall Street hedge fund big coin guy.
Akerson’s immediately preceding gig was Managing Director and head of Global Buyout for the incredibly inside-the-Beltway-connected Carlyle Group.
This hip-joined relationship with the federal Leviathan means Akerson’s a cardboard cutout for the real CEO of Government Motors – U.S. Treasury Secretary (and yet another fellow DC-Wall Streeter) Tim Geithner.
And from all we have since seen, Akerson is one giant toe on the Huge Government, Obama Administration line.
We have for the last several weeks witnessed the federal government engage in a debt ceiling debate. The warped focus throughout has been “How will this affect Wall Street?”
Almost never has it been “How will this affect taxpayers?”
In the end, We the People are being force fed a deal that pleases Wall Street – and leaves the taxpayers on the hook for another $10 trillion.
Government Motors – under Akerson – is similarly situated. The absolute last thing about which they seem to care is We the People. We stand to lose between $11 and $13 billion on our generous – conscripted – GM bailout.
And we get the distinct impression that Akerson couldn’t care less.
”We are in the midst of transforming an iconic American company so 20 and 30 years from now (taxpayers) will look at this company and they’ll say, ‘Absolutely it was the right thing to do,’ ” Akerson said. ”And it shouldn’t be measured on did it sell for $43 or $53 (a share) or did they lose a couple billion dollars?”
Can’t you just feel the compassion for us Little Guys? How about now?
“You know what I’d rather have them do – this will make my Republican friends puke – …we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas.”
Bask in the warmth.
Akerson in part wants this huge gas tax hike to herd us sheep into his expensive, unprofitable hybrid Chevy Volts – in which we have thus far shown very little interest.
“I think you need to cut the hell out of the budget and you’ve got to increase taxes…on everybody.”
That’s all of us – the people who bailed out his failing company to allow him to now make such fabulous pronouncements.
In all of this does Akerson sound just like any other lackey for the Obama Administration. Which of course he is.
“I can’t go on (television). I’m toxic. I’m like a lightning rod. I couldn’t have an intelligent discussion without someone saying, ‘He’s a welfare guy from the bailout.’“
I wonder why we’d think that?
Perhaps Akerson’s utter detachment from We the People arises because – Akerson is utterly detached from We the People.
Outside D.C. in the exclusive, exclusive suburb of McLean, Virginia is (or was) according to public records one of Akerson’s homes.
Just like yours, right?
This “single family” home is 10,704 square feet, four bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms. Estimated worth? $3.9 million. Monthly mortgage payment? $12,746.
Just like yours, right?
In 2002, Akerson and his neighborhood received the full-on MTV Cribs treatment from the Washington Post.
“…the defense, technology and influence empires…kept spinning off new millionaires who needed homes commensurate with their success. ‘We want to create a feeling immediately upon entering our [model] home that ‘we have arrived.’ Almost all of Yerks’s clients have arrived, some rather recently, others like… Dan Akerson, chief executive officer of XO Communications…(arrived) many mansions ago.”
I’m sure all of you have a second home, yes?
Akerson does. Four bedrooms, five bathrooms – on private Jupiter Island in Florida. Purchased for $3.4 million in 2008 by Akerson’s company, Calibogue, LLC – just two months after Akerson incorporated Calibogue, LLC.
And he purchased it from? The Carlyle Group. Yes that Carlyle Group, which owns the building – and for whom Akerson worked.
And his second abode looks a little something like this:
Nice view. Just like yours, right?
Annual property taxes on the unit are more than $52,000. Then there’s the $32,740 per annum in owner assessments for the community budget.
Some of the choice amenities include: Six boat slips, 14 cabanas, a heated pool, hot tub, state of the art health club, spa, sauna, 24 hour security, in-house concierge service, and doorman.
Aaaannnnd: A new $252,000 emergency generator system “designed to bring on eight air conditioners every half hour” and with a 2000 gallon fuel tank to “supply enough power for two weeks.”
Perfect for the environmentally-conscious manufacturer of the Chevy Volt.
(I could make a D.C.-parochial Pepco joke here, but I shan’t.)
All of which reminds you of home, doesn’t it? Your second home, I mean.
So in Akerson we have the modern, multi-millionaire, parasitic version of the Bubble Boy. A man so wealthy – from so very little productive work – for so long he is completely insulated from the outside world – the Real World.
Not exactly the guy you want running a car company allegedly designing vehicles for the Common Man.