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The Sorrows of General Motors

1:21 PM, May 21, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The bailout of GM – at a final cost to the Treasury of $10 billion and change – was a landmark event in evolution state capitalism, American-style.  The company was saved, certain creditors were stiffed, the unions were protected, and the corporate culture, it seems, was not altered in any fundamental way.  Which is to say, they still make ‘em the way they used to at GM, when the company was fast going broke.As Ben Klayman of Reuters reports, the company recalled:

...  2.6 million vehicles globally, raising the number of vehicles it has recalled so far this year to almost 15.4 million.

And that was not the end of it.  This morning, Reuters reports, the company:

… is recalling more than 218,000 older-generation Chevrolet small cars in the United States and its territories due to a potential fire hazard, adding to a record recall total for the year by the largest U.S. automaker.
GM took a $1.3 billion charge in the first quarter for recall-repair costs and said Tuesday that it expects to take another $400 million charge in the second quarter for the same reason. Since the recall began in February, GM has been hit with more than 70 lawsuits from customers who say their cars lost value because of the ignition defect, according to court documents.

So, it looks, increasingly, like what the taxpayers got for their $10 billion is a lemon.

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