"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Sunday, November 28, 2010


So right now, everybody is singing the praises of the General Motors IPO. The underwriters have exercised in full their over-allotment options to the tune of 71.7 million additional shares, bringing the total proceeds of the IPO to $23.1 billion.

Sounds good, right? $23.1 billion dollars. A record-setting IPO! We beat the Chinese! (They held the previous record at $22.1 billion, for Agricultural Bank of China.) USA! USA! USA!

USA! USA! USA! US... oh, wait.

Yeah, that's right. If they throw all of that money at what they owe us, the collective American taxpayer, for the largess the government extended to them on our behalf, they will only owe us somewhere between $26.4 billion and $26.9 billion.

Let me say that again. If they put everything on principal, they still owe us between $26,400,000,000 and $26,900,000,000. Depending on which bailout figure you use.

Fail. Your pick on whose part.

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