Friday, May 29, 2009

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) another problem for Duncan!!

Readers will remember my post of April 14/09, asking the folks over at the Windsor Star to do their job and properly report on this new provincial tax.

In the interest of Fair Play, I will say, some effort was made. Read Windsor Star editorial. However, many of the important questions I asked, are still not answered.

The Windsor Star can and should do much more. Windsor Star Chief Honcho Jim Venney has a large stable of reporters, that either he, or assistant chief honcho Marty Beneteau can assign to do a real, full and complete expose on this new tax. Someone like "super snooper" Grace Macaluso, for instance, could really demonstrate why she is over at the Business Section of the Windsor Star.

Dwight Duncan is the Ontario finance minister. He is doing what finance ministers do; taxing and spending. I am not saying all of it is bad. However, our main source of local news, the Windsor Star, who have a monopoly like grip over the Windsor Essex region, should devote more time and space to the pros and cons of this new tax.

The Toronto Star has reminded us, just how challenging this new tax is for Duncan as an elected official, and for regular folks here in Ontario. Read Toronto Star article.

All of this right in the middle of the "Great Recession"!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Part 2 - Ontario Cabinet Minister, Bryant, Resigns!! - What Does this Mean for Duncan??

No Ontario cabinet minister has been more visible, in his or her quest, to replace Premier McGuinty, as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party than Michael Bryant. However this does not mean there are not others. In fact there are, and Windsor's Dwight Duncan is right up there.

Bryant was elected as the Member of Provincial Parliament for St. Paul's in 1999, 2003 and 2007. He was awarded Now Magazine's Best Toronto MPP for 2008. Bryant has served in several cabinet portfolios, with his most recent appointment being Minister for Economic Development. Bryant has been selected to become the new CEO of Invest Toronto. So as you can see he is no slouch. Important as well, he is only 43 years old, time is on his side.

Where does this leave Duncan?? Well if I am wrong and McGuinty goes for a third term, Duncan will have to look to Ottawa to advance his political ambitions. As I have said many times there is nothing wrong with political or other ambitions. However if I am right and McGuinty does exit at the top of his game, Bryant leaving does create some challenges for Duncan.

Let's put the goods on the table:
  • Duncan will deliver record deficits over the next 2 or 3 years (the deficits will be very big and scary)
  • Unemployment will continue to go up in Ontario
  • No sign yet as to what will replace highly paid manufacturing jobs
  • The auto workers pension issue is still not yet resolved
  • Health care is still not fixed as wait times for 90% of cancer patients to start treatment was 73 days in 2008 according to Cancer System Quality Index.
  • The new harmonized, Ontario Sales Tax and Federal GST, now known as HST, is going to be very unpopular, once regular folks understand it's huge reach
  • we have not seen the bottom of the "Great Recession"
The era of "Bland Politics" or "Bland Works" is over!

To be sure, McGuinty will take a lot of flack for all the above. However, much of it will also fall on the shoulders of Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. This may not be Fair Play, but hey, "that's life in the big leagues".

To add insult to injury, critics will have a field day comparing the "Duncan Deficits" to those of the former Bob Rae government. I am afraid for Duncan, Bob Rae may come out looking pretty good.

While Duncan wrestles with all of the above (not a pretty picture), Mr. Bryant will be very busy, very busy indeed. He will be meeting with industry leaders in the Greater Toronto Area, all parts of Ontario as well as Canada, and those from many other countries as well. Bryant will be able to expand his already sizable political organization. His list of potential donors and supporters will only grow, and he can do this without the limits imposed on sitting cabinet ministers. But most of all, Bryant, will not have to wear the responsibility of the "Duncan Deficits" the "Great Recession", and the list goes on and on.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Part 1 - Ontario Cabinet Minister, Bryant, Resigns! - What Does this Mean for Duncan?

Finally things are starting to get interesting again at Queens Park, from a political perspective that is. Many of you will remember William G. Davis, Premier of Ontario from 1971 to 1985. Premier Davis operated under the assumption that "bland works". For the longest time, I kept saying to myself, he is anything but bland.

My readers and others will know that I served in the Ontario Legislature, representing the riding of Essex South, from 1975 until 1993, at which time I retired from partisan politics.

So what was this "bland" if Premier Davis himself was not bland? "Bland politics", in Ontario, is low balling your political problems, making them less than newsworthy and focusing on the problems of others, especially the federal government. And at this, and many other things, Premier Davis was a master. He was also very warm, very smart and very capable.

Current Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, has adopted this "bland works", aided by a very weak opposition, so far the strategy has been successful. In the interest of Fair Play, I disclose that I supported McGuinty, in his quest to become Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, unlike Windsor area Ontario Cabinet Ministers, Dwight Duncan and Sandra Pupatello. As a matter of fact, I was standing right in front of McGuinty as the final results of his come from behind victory was announced. It was a good moment!! At the same time, Duncan and Pupatello were standing next to losing candidate Gerrard Kenedy. Not such a good a moment, at least until McGuinty forgave them!! saving their political careers.

No one knows if Premier McGuinty will run for a third term as Premier. I am betting he will not. Therefore the un-official race is on to replace Premier McGuinty as Ontario Liberal Leader.

Tune in for Part 2 tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Halberstadt Flip Flop!!! at Windsor City Council

Listen quietly, very quietly. If you pay attention, you can still hear the echoes of the "Halberstadt Flip Flop" over the Mayor's proposed "San Antonio style" canal plan. As I sit here in very pleasant Amherstburg, a small community 25km south of Windsor along the Detroit River, I can hear the echoes myself.

Early in May, the Mayor's bold plan to revitalize, (this plan will help but is not the total answer), Windsor's struggling downtown was rejected, biggggg time. All kinds of comments were made. Yes, we all know, Mayor Francis could have managed the process much better and no doubt should have. But my goodness, the reaction, and we are still more than one year from the next election!!! Even some thoughtful councillors got carried away with their opposition. However the biggest splash was made by council member??, you guessed it, Alan Halberstadt. The photo's of Halberstadt losing it splashed on pages of the Windsor Star are just priceless.

But hey, after having made this big splash, duly noted by Halberstadt friend's over at the Windsor Star. I say this because I have been told Halberstadt tries to ingratiate himself to Windsor Star reporters by feeding them little tidbits of information. You know the kind of information that might have one part truth and 10 parts, well, lets just say misplaced exaggeration. If this is in fact true I would be very disappointed.

But anyway back to the biggggg flip and flop!

So, just a few days ago the matter comes back before council, and guess what?? Not only does council approve it, but even Halberstadt votes for it. But as reported in the Windsor Star, Halberstadt does make on last comment “it’s going to be a lot more than $48 million”, he says.

There you have it. Classic Halberstadt, he opposes then votes for the plan, but gives himself an out, just in case, not all goes perfect! Gosh, why should Halberstadt accept any responsibility??

Well done councillor!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ken Lewenza Deserves some Respect!!

Say what you will about Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) President, Ken Lewenza, but he has shown a level of astute competence that needs to be acknowledged. This does not mean we have to agree with any or all things promoted by Ken or the CAW. But in the interest of Fair Play, we should give credit where credit is due.

Ken brokered the Chrysler re-negotiations, which gave birth to a new milestone labour agreement. Many believed he was not capable of doing this. I have always believed that Ken is very capable and for some reason undervalued by some industry observers. Read my post of April 27/09.

I have always wondered, why our local newspaper the Windsor Star, does not help Ken when it is in the interest of the Windsor Essex region to do so. It's to bad the Star has such a monopoly on local Windsor Essex news.

The re-negotiated Chrysler agreement will give Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne a chance to implement his audacious plan. Marchionne wants to piece together several failing auto companies. He then plans to reduce overhead, share technology, build at lieast six million units per year and have a company with global reach. Oh yes, in order for Marchionne to do this, he needs tens of billions of dollars from the grateful taxpayers in the United States, Canada and Germany at least.

This past weekend Lewenza did again as he re-negotiated the General Motors - CAW agreement.
This will allow G.M. a chance for survival with or without bankruptcy.

Ken has been very astute. He has done what he has had to do. And more importantly he has made sure the CAW is not in the line of political fire and lives to fight another day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Marchionne the Magician!!!

Boy, you have to hand it to Fiat "Supremo" Sergio Marchionne, he really is the "Magic Man". You know when I was a little boy, I actually believed in magic. Today it seems all the adults around me believe in magic.

United States President Barack Obama believes in magic. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper believes in magic. Oh, and so does Ontario finance minister Dwight Duncan. This is the only way to explain the bill of goods or bull we are being sold regarding the restructuring of Chrysler and General Motors.

Look, now let's get one thing straight. I, like millions of others, want the North American based auto sector to survive and prosper. But, I and millions of others want the straight goods. We want to know the details. Not just a few sound bites or a few shallow print stories like we have been getting from the likes of Windsor Star "super snooper" Grace Macaluso.
In the interest of Fair Play, we, the Canadian Tax Payers, have paid for the right to know the "ins and outs" of this deal. We in Windsor Essex especially need to know the details of any and all commitments. The future of our region is on the line.

This is what we know so far about the Magic Show.

Fiat will get 20% of Chrysler for free, or, as the experts say, for a "transfer of technology". Boy, you have to hand it to those Italians; they are master magicians when it comes to negotiations. Then Fiat can earn anotherrrrrr 15% of Chrysler and now --presto!!-- they have 35%. Maybe Windsor Star Chief Honcho Jim Venney can have "super snooper" Grace Macaluso explain how Fiat will earn this extra 15%. I am sure Windsor Essex residents would love to know.That would be an excellent start to her next assignment.

Fiat is in talks to secure General Motors' operations in Europe, especially Opel, and needs the help of the German Government to do so.

Fiat is doing deals in India, China and Russia at least. The bigggg question, "will Fiat be selling our Chrysler products there"? Can anyone tell us?

Fiat's Marchionne says no Fiat plant closures in Italy or Germany. Read my post of May 19/09.

What else do we know! You have got to read this story from the BBC, just click on the quote below. I have lifted an important sentence just to get you interested.

"Germany's Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has confirmed that Fiat is seeking up to 7bn euros of loan guarantees from various European governments, both to cover the purchase price and GM Europe's debt and pension obligations."

Another sentence from the same BBC story.

"The Fiat plan to form an alliance with Opel appears to be predicated, like its deal with Chrysler, on there being no capital risk to the Italian company, and on no additional debts being accrued," says Mr Urquhart.

OK now:
  • Fiat gets a big part of Chrysler for free
  • To make everything work, Fiat needs to take over Opel and for this Fiat needs a bigggg cheque from the German government
  • No capital risk for Fiat
  • Plants and pensions protected in Italy and Germany.
What do we get here in Windsor Essex? for the Billionssss promised via the grateful taxpayers by the Ontario and Canadian governments!

So far, just a few magic tricks, I guess.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Canadian Banks Seen as Solid!

Canada is considered by many to have a solid, sophisticated and a very well managed banking system.

Canadian banks have a huge financial network consisting of over 8,000 bank branches and over 18,000 ABMs (automated banking machines) and employ approximately 200,000 of our family, friends and neighbours.

The five major Canadian banks are Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto Dominion Bank (which operates as TD Canada Trust in Canada), Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of Montreal. Information in the public domain indicates these five banks and the Bank of Canada, account for 90% of the assets of the Canadian banking business. You wonder with all this power, money and influence how the Banks could have lost their epic battle with the Canadian government just a short decade ago over bank mergers.

Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien will rightly be remembered for fighting separatism in Quebec, and for putting Canada's balance sheet in order. He will also be remembered for not caving in to the power of big banks. It was a battle the Prime Minister should have lost. All those top government relations specialists, who, combined, took millions in fees from the wealthy bankers, could not deliver. Chretien beat them back; it was a masterful performance.

Just imagine the "Great Recession" if Bank of America or others had taken over one or two or three of our banks. Goodbye Canada, hello Banana Republic!

The major Canadian banks have a big presence outside of Canada, especially in United States, Latin America, the Caribbean region, and Asia. Our banks are highly regarded in the United States. Recently it has been speculated that Toronto Dominion Bank was asked to join a short list of suitors for BankUnited Financial Corp., [BKUNA-Q] Florida's largest regional bank. BankUnited is a bigggg problem that big shots in Washington need to fix. Given the magnitude of the U.S. banking debacle, I am thinking other distressed U.S. Banks will soon be bought up by Canadian banks as well.

For Canada and for Canadians, we need two important and stable pillars if we are to fight our way out of the "Great Recession":
  • a sound banking and financial system and
  • a sound balance sheet for government at the Provincial and Federal levels
Will we get both?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How Much Longer before we Pay for Online News??

I am, and have been for many years, a big fan of online news. In the not too distant future we will look back over these past 15 years or so with great fondness, when it comes to free online news, that is.

Boy, it's been an orgy so far!!! Newspapers, magazines, blogs, videos and more!! And all for free!! It's too good to be true, and the question is, how much longer will it last. The media/news industry is bleeding red--lots of it.

The cause of this red ink. DEBT and more DEBT!! Consolidation and control (by the very few) has been the mantra. These media giants did not prepare well for the "Great Recession". There are some really biggggg names in trouble as listed in this online Time Magazine article.

The Wall Street Journal has its own list.

In Canada, many news organizations, including CanWest Global, the owners of the Windsor Star, are bleeding profusely. It's obvious that CanWest will not survive in its current form.

On May 15 2009 CanWest was trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange at around 0.35 cents.

A very lengthy but worthwhile article on the whole mess over at CanWest. If you have the time the read is worth it.

Anyway, the bottom line regarding all of the above, in my opinion anyway, free access to online news publications won't last long. This is bad news for regular folks. News is already too tightly controlled through "corporate and family oligarchs". Charging for online news will only increase their undeserved and poorly regulated power.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Italian Industry Minister Plays Hardball with Fiat!

In a recent post I compared the no nonsense hardball tactics of the Italian government and responsible Ministers to our soft ball tactics we here in North America especially Windsor Essex seem to play.

We are ready to beat up our unions, spend BBBillions of taxpayer dollars, give 35% of Chrysler away and get what in return? Maybe Windsor Star Chief Honcho Jim Venney and assistant chief honcho Marty Beneteau can assign "super snooper" Grace Macaluso the job of itemizing what we get for all of the above. And then maybe layout a comparative analysis of who gets what. I know that would be real informative journalism, but one can always hope.

As Fiat's strategy, to take over both Chrysler and G.M. Europe, moves forward assurances are given that there will be no plant closures in Italy. This is all very nice and I congratulate the Italians. But, what I really want to do, is congratulate the Ontario and Canadian governments, that is as soon as we can understand how many auto and parts plants and jobs we have saved.

Oh, and by the way, do you think maybe the Germans are playing hardball? Read this article, and you will get the picture.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Victoria Day Weekend

A great weekend to be with family, work around the house, plant flowers, read a book and take a moment to enjoy life!

Friday, May 15, 2009

CAW Issues Warning and More to Duncan!

The hot button political issue of many thousands of CAW retirees losing some of their promised pensions and benefits is for real, it has legs, and is big trouble for Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. Read my posts of April 13th and April 24th.

Slowly but surely the CAW retirees are turning up the political heat on Duncan. The Minister is moving very carefully and trying to stay out of the line of fire, but it is not working. In recent statements made by the Ontario Government we have heard from the Premier and other cabinet ministers. Duncan has preferred to stay in the background, its a good strategy, but as I said, no longer working.

The sit in at Duncan's Windsor constituency office is a sign of biggggg trouble!

No one can guess what political moves Duncan will make. He is careful, very crafty and likes others to do his messy work. However having others deal with this major issuse is not possible, and Duncan knows this. What makes this issue so very interesting from a political perspective is Duncan's long held ambitions to be Premier (at least) is now on the line. As I have said before, nothing wrong with Duncan's big political ambitions, he is very capable.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Multi-Modal Transportation Conference held in Windsor Essex

A number of months ago, after strong encouragement and leadership from John Skorobohacz, CAO for the City of Windsor, the then Board of Directors of the Windsor Essex Development Commission (WEDC) agreed to take the necessary steps to hold an international "Multi-Modal Transportation Conference" in the Windsor Essex Region. Several transportation stakeholders in the community joined and contributed in this important effort.
The idea behind the conference was to educate local business, community, and civic leaders about our many world class transportation assets, and, just as importantly, to learn from transportation experts and users what further assets and investments would be needed to help position the Windsor Essex region as a premier North American Transportation Hub.

My interview with Business Executive about the conference. Business Executive is filled with feature stories, and covers Toronto, Mississauga, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara Region, Canada's Technology Triangle, Guelph, London, Sarnia and Windsor. To date, Business Executive is Southern Ontario's only business-to-business newspaper published on a monthly basis.

Information as a result of the conference would then be prepared in summary document form. This important task of writing the summary document was, and still is to my knowledge, to be undertaken by noted transportation expert Bill Anderson of the University of Windsor, with the help of WEDC staff. The idea was to use this information to promote the region to private business, and bolster the region's request for additional senior government funding in all areas of transportation. The then WEDC Board felt this would be a major step forward in diversifying the hard hit local economy.

As observers from the Windsor Essex region will know, the entire Board of Directors resigned due to the requested change in the WEDC governance model, not to mention the extreme political interference and abuse. Read our notice of resignation and resignation statement. I will write more about the resignation of the WEDC Board in a future post.

However, as hoped for, staff at the WEDC with the help of professional event planners and community transportation stakeholders moved forward with this event.

In the Windsor Star (May 6th), a very nice piece of journalism by reporter Ellen van Wageningen talked about the opening night of the conference. Yes, there are some good reporters at the Star.

However, the next day, the conference took a political turn. Federal transportation minister John Baird captured the daily headlines in the Windsor Star with his key note address. The story written by Windsor Star "super snooper" Dave Battagello served up very tired and very old rhetoric regarding the Ambassador Bridge and the Windsor/Detroit border crossing area.

Gosh Dave, how many times can you attack Matty Moroun and the Ambassador Bridge before you wear yourself out!!!!!

While serving on the committee organizing the conference (prior to the resignation of the then WEDC Board), we discussed in great detail the need to keep politics out of this conference. It was my hope and the hope of others that this event would be a "policy development conference". At that time the focus was on securing participation from world class transportation and economic experts, and users of the system. Inviting a cabinet minister to pour gasoline on a heated public issue does not make for thoughtful policy development. I and others would have strongly advised against this.

As well, the folks over at the Ambassador Bridge were to have been invited, and should have been invited to participate on a panel at this event. I am told they were not invited. If this is the case, a very good and important conference for the Windsor Essex region was diminished in value.

The issue is not whether you like or dislike or are in favour or opposed to the Ambassador Bridge Company activities. They are big players in the region and very big players in the North American transportation and logistics industry. By excluding Ambassador Bridge we lost out on their knowledge and made ourselves in Windsor Essex look very small and very political.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Politics 101 - Frame the Question

Elections are won or lost by:
  • Framing the ballot question
  • And, then by repetition and good execution, the question is asked over and over again so that independent voters understand what they are voting for or against
British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell did just that and was rewarded with an astonishing third victory.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Economic Pain on the Way??

Statistics from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) tell all of us more pain is on the way.

This article in yesterday's Globe and Mail is quite disturbing and indicates we in Canada have not seen the bottom of the "Great Recession".

Some months ago, in my capacity as Interim Executive Officer and Chair of the Windsor Essex Development Commission, I warned of the deteriorating economic circumstances. I recall publicly saying, as well as sending an email, to some members of the Essex County Council that we in Windsor Essex were facing "the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression". It is interesting to note that some of those folks who criticized both me and the Development Commission now use many of the same words.

I don't want to accuse Gary McNamara, Mayor and Co-Chief Honcho of the Town of Tecumseh, of plagiarism, but will say he is a good listener.

In yesterday's Windsor Star while attacking the Mayor of Windsor over roadway and border infrastructure projects and funds, he displayed his listening skills very well. Geesh!! does this Co-Chief Honcho McNamara do anything but attack people.

Many of you know that for 11 years I was a senior executive at the Ambassador Bridge. I am very proud that we as a company took every opportunity to oppose using E.C. Row Expressway as a truck route.!!!

If you want to finish off Windsor as a livable community and damage the whole region, then go ahead, turn E.C. Row into an "18 wheeler" route. I kinda of get the feeling that is what Co- Chief Honcho McNamara is suggesting. You know McNamara is fast and loud with the lip, even when he doesn't know or seemingly care about the consequences of his words.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Italian Government calls in Fiat

Recently Italian Industry Minister Caludio Scajola sent a letter to Fiat Chief Honcho Sergio Marchionne. The Italians aren't fooling around. They are working behind the scenes and in public to make sure Fiat CEO Marchionne does not close factories in Italy.

Will we in Windsor Essex get the same guarantees???

Maybe Windsor Star "super snooper" Grace Macaluso can ask our Ontario and Federal Cabinet Ministers about preserving jobs in Windsor and Canada. After all we are giving Chrysler to Fiat, and BBBBillions of DDDollars as well!!

I don't know and I sure don't want to be rude, but maybe we should ask for some production and job guarantees??

Friday, May 8, 2009

Have a Great Weekend

Here's a video of the great Ray Charles, a particular favourite of mine.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Support the Canal Project!!

Ok, I know some Windsor City Council members are teed offffff!!!

City council member Alan Halberstadt of course is playing political games to advantage himself. That is to be expected.

But the majority of council members are solid hard working folks who do care about the city. They need to regroup. City council members know, as we all know, downtown Windsor needs a lot of help.The new Windsor Family Credit Union Centre Arena went to the east side. I like many others thought it should have been built downtown. Just like they did in London. However that decision has been made, we need to move on.

For those on city council, general public and media balking at the canal project thank you for your input. You have a right to speak out and you have been heard.

However the canal project will be transformational for Windsor and the entire region. It will be a big draw on a region wide basis. For those who have not visited Oklahoma City or San Antonio please do so. You will be pleasantly surprised.

The federal government is willing to support the project.

Take the money and get the project done.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pleaseee!! ! We Need a Rest from Halberstadt!!!

Windsor city council member Alan Halberstadt has been all over the Windsor Star lately. Whats all this about??

Gosh, I know, it's politics and positioning for the next municipal election. How could it have taken me so long to figure this out!! For a guy like Halberstadt, who gets nearly all his income from being a city council member, the next election is pretty important. Four more years with a steady paycheck!!

Let's see what Alan "in the news" Halberstadt has been talking about lately.
  1. I am told he writes about the Windsor Spitfires hockey team in his blog. I don't know but it seems kind of cheeky to ride the coattails of really young hockey players.
  2. Oh and he attacked City of Windsor employess who are on strike. This tells me he has tested the political winds and knows what side to be on. I wonder, how are these vicious public attacks on hard working city employees going to get both parties to end this dispute?? But the real juice in this is that after the strike is long over, my bet is that Halberstadt will find a way to say he supported the strikers!!
  3. And, my oh my, his phony outrage over the Mayor's canal proposal. Did you see the photos in Saturdays' May 2nd Windsor Star! And Halberstdat accusing the Mayor of Windsor of being "arrogant". Boy that is rich, very rich indeed.
What Halberstadt lacks in real talent and abilities he has always been able to make up in politcal cunning. Oh, and on a regular basis aided to a great extent by the friendly Windsor Star.

There is some real solid talent on Windsor city council. Not every council member is a blowhard or opportunist. Maybe some of the more fair-minded Windsor Star reporters could find space for them.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fiat has Really Big Plans!! How does this Help Chrysler??

Not able to get real information about Fiat and their plans from reading the Windsor Star I turned to other sources including the Financial Times.

In the Monday May 4th edition of the Financial Times, a well written story outlined Fiat's goals, ambitions and strategies to become a major auto giant in Europe and globally. These and other steps are in my opinion being taken to save Fiat, nothing wrong with that. But I am more interested in Chrysler and Windsor Essex.

Fiat CEO Mr. Marchionne has been busy in other parts of the world:
Lets see now, 35% of Chrysler for free, that takes care of North America. All of General Motors operations in Europe, deals in China, India and Russia. Boy all this wheeling and dealing is making me tired.

How does a company with limited financial resources do all these deals?? And how are these deals to be sustained??

But really, my biggggggggg question is: how is Fiat going to sell Chrysler products in China, India, Europe and Russia if they have deals to sell other products in those markets?? Maybe I am missing something here. But I thought the reason governments in the U.S. and Canada are pouring BBBBillions of dollars into this Chrysler - Fiat merger was to give Chrysler products a bigger platform at home and abroad??

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another Puff Piece on Fiat

Boy the Windsor Star is doing a "Buona Job"!

Imagine the biggest manufacturing employer in the Windsor Essex region is in bankruptcy and in order to avoid liquidation is talking merger with Italian car company Fiat. So what do we get from our huge stable of Windsor Star reporters?

One would think a real in depth analysis of Fiat's balance sheet might be a good idea. Or how about an understanding of the Fiat debt obligations and the Italian government involvement in such. Or how about the huge layoffs recently announced at Fiat facilities in Spain. Or maybe one of the Windsor Star "super snoopers" could do an analysis of the why the Daimler Benz take over of Chrysler failed but this Fiat merger will succeed. Now that would be an interesting piece of real journalism.

Instead we get an embarrassing story in today's Windsor Star about how "Italian Canadians" in Windsor Essex can't wait to buy a new Fiat. Windsor Star Chief Honcho Jim Venney and assistant chief honcho Mary Beneteau really out did themselves on this one!!

Boy we can all sleep well tonight.

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Life for Chrysler??

Read about the mechanics of Chapter 11 as reported in the Globe and Mail.

This is a very interesting perspective from Bloomberg News you should take a look at.

While I don't like Fiat getting a big chunk of Chrysler for no money down!! I do want Chrysler to come out of Chapter 11 and be a successful car company.

Someday the Windsor Star our local community paper will do a real in depth story on the financial capabilities of Fiat. See my recent post.