The Obama administration is set to put another $3.5 billion of taxpayer dollars into GMAC Financial Services, the Wall Street Journal reports. So if you are a shareholder or employee of Ford, Toyota, Fisker or Tesla, the government is going to take your tax dollars and turn them over to GMAC so it can loan people money to buy cars from your competitors. Not that any of these automakers are exactly pure when it comes to avoiding taxpayer subsidies. James Stewart's column in today's Journal says that Ford's "gamble to reject government aid and maintain its independence gave it an opportunity to transform its brand." Mr. Stewart doesn't mention Ford's $5.9 billion federal loan. Only amid the current craziness can the Wall Street Journal describe a company that accepted a $5.9 billion loan from the federal government as having rejected government aid. The print edition of the Journal usually includes a disclosure stating that Mr. Stewart sometimes owns stock in the companies he writes about, but the disclosure is missing in the online Journal. The article suggests that Mr. Stewart is a Ford shareholder, but it doesn't state that outright. If Mr. Stewart is a Ford shareholder, you can understand his motivation to portray the company as having rejected government aid. It's better from the standpoint of marketing the cars to potential buyers. But the Journal is supposed to look at matters from the point of view of being accurate with its readers, not from the point of view of what's best for Ford's stock price.
Government Motors and Ford Foolishness