In the Wisconsin State Supreme Court race, David Prosser wins; union thugs lose. Badger State voters will hopefully have long memories if loser JoAnne Kloppenburg demands a recount at state expense. Nice quip from the victorious Prosser: “A funny thing happened to me on the way to my concession speech. The people of Wisconsin told me to tear it up and go back to work. Thank you Wisconsin.”
So how was the White House informed three days in advance that S&P would downgrade the outlook for U.S. sovereign debt? The Reuters dispatch reporting this (“S&P took most everyone by surprise, although the White House knew on Friday”) gives the impression that it wasn’t given that knowledge through normal channels. Does S&P normally tell debtors in advance of adverse actions before they become public?
Update: At WaPo — “The Obama administration privately urged Standard & Poor’s in recent weeks not to lower its outlook on the United States — a suggestion the ratings agency ignored Monday, two people familiar with the matter said.” It’s nice to see that lobbying for special favors doesn’t always work. You can take it to the bank that if S&P had capitulated, the administration would have trumpeted a “stable” rating as “proof” that everything is okey-dokey.
A must-read, especially for the free trade uber alles crowd: “A Cautionary Tale Of Outsourcing To China: There Is No Recourse, You Could Lose Everything” —
Fellowes Inc., one of the world’s largest makers of office and personal paper shredders, is witnessing the destruction of its business, as its large Chinese manufacturing plant has been shut down by its joint venture manufacturing partner.
The company’s Chinese joint venture firm has barred 1,600 employees from entering the plant, stolen all of its proprietary manufacturing production equipment and forced the venture into bankruptcy. The contracts Fellowes signed with its Chinese production company meant nothing. For Fellowes, there is no such thing as rule of law in China.
Nor is there for anyone else. The Peoples Army is the law.
At the Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Hurries to Sell GM Stake” —
The U.S. government plans to sell a significant share of its remaining stake in General Motors Co. this summer despite the disappointing performance of the auto maker’s stock, people familiar with the matter said.
A sale within the next several months would almost certainly mean U.S. taxpayers will take a loss on their $50 billion rescue of the Detroit auto maker in 2009.
To break even, the U.S. Treasury would need to sell its remaining stake—about 500 million shares—at $53 apiece.
The last sentence really isn’t true. As Kyle-Anne Shiver indicated several weeks ago, because the bailout benchmark, including tax breaks and the like, is more like $84 billion.
We should also not forget that GM has pumped up its financials with over $1 billion in sent-ahead profit by overstuffing dealer lots with its vehicles. In March, its dealers had 574,000 vehicles on hand (HT Zero Hedge), up from 427,000 a year earlier.
At the Heritage Foundation, Bill Beach’s “Open Letter to Paul Krugman” can be summarized in three words: “You lie, Paul.”
At Hot Air, Obama demonstrates that he’s fallen for more leftist folklore — “Obama uses false bridge-collapse argument to argue for more taxes.” Captain Ed’s response:
… the implication that the St. Anthony Falls bridge collapse in August 2007 had to do with infrastructure spending isn’t just ignorant of basic civics, it’s downright false and offensive.
… It’s dishonest in the extreme to use this tragedy as an argument that we neglected our infrastructure, and ghoulish to use the dead for a false political point. Obama should be ashamed of himself.
It would appear that he’s not capable of it.