The Myth of the CEO

Hamilton Nolan · 04/03/14 03:10PM

Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, spent yesterday being grilled by Congress for her company's years-long failure to fix a known safety defect in its cars. Barra's lack of answers is being blamed on the size of the organization she leads. Which is a great argument against the salaries that CEOs earn.

Ford's Great Parody of Cadillac's Latest Rich-Asshole TV Ad

Adam Weinstein · 03/31/14 10:34AM

Cadillac unveiled its first electric car last month. Apparently afraid that power-lunchers might think they'd gone soft, they rolled out the World's Douchiest Ad to tout the vehicle. Now, Ford has released a video response to Cadillac. That response, basically, is: "Don't be a douche."

Here Is a 300 MPG See-Through Car

Henry Baker · 09/02/10 03:45PM

Attack of the Show last night profiled two new "green" concept cars; the GM En-V, which looks like a bubbly deathtrap with unimpressive specs (only 24 miles on a charge?), and a group of students' Bridgestone F1-style 300 MPG roadster.

You Could Be Eating This 'Frankenfish' in 18 Months

Max Read · 08/26/10 01:47AM

Hey, America: Time to get excited! Why? Because a year and a half from now you could be eating the very first genetically-modified animal approved for public consumption: The AquAdvantage® salmon! Assuming it passes the approval process, which began Wednesday.

Those of Us Who Aren't Killed and Eaten Have a Bright Economic Future

Hamilton Nolan · 11/16/09 04:06PM

The Way We Live Now: Rearranging the fundamental tenets of reality until everything is just fine. GM's losing billions, which is a huge success. Our wallets have totally disappeared, which is a mark of progress. We're cannibalizing each other. Delicious!

Your Name Here

cityfile · 11/02/09 11:45AM

The GM Building may not be the GM Building for much longer. Naming rights are up for grabs now that the automaker has gone bankrupt. And it's quite an opportunity: "This is the first time since 1968, when General Motors completed construction of the 50-story tower at 767 Fifth Avenue, that the rights to dub perhaps the single most coveted skyscraper in the country—on Fifth Avenue, above the Apple cube, across from the Plaza and Central Park, in the center of what is arguably the country's, if not the world's, most glamorous shopping district—are available." Let's all hope that existing tenant Apple swoops in and lands the deal. Otherwise, the building named after a bankrupt automaker could go back to looking like this, which wouldn't be an improvement at all, now would it? [NYO]

Now Theft-Worthy: Salt

Hamilton Nolan · 07/10/09 11:47AM

The Way We Live Now: Broke as a joke from coast to coast. They're selling heroin in Maine. They've sent everyone on furlough in California. And in the Midwest, you can't even leave salt outside without enterprising Americans swiping it.

The Apple Building?

cityfile · 06/22/09 03:30PM

Darcy Stacom, the commercial real estate broker who convinced Mort Zuckerman's Boston Properties to pay $3.5 billion to buy the GM building in 2008, has suggested that Apple cough up a few bucks and pay Zuckerman for the right to rename the tower, so it doesn't sport the name of a bankrupt automaker. Let's hope Steve Jobs sets aside his health issues and moves quickly on this opportunity to plant a glowing white apple at the top of the skyscraper. Considering Zuckerman has already turned the "Citigroup Center" into "601 Lexington Avenue," the GM building may turn into the much blander-sounding "767 Fifth Avenue" if he doesn't. [Reuters]

Labor Relations Expert Mickey Kaus on GM

Pareene · 06/02/09 12:25PM

On Friday, noted blogger Mickey Kaus decried the Obama administration's attempts to prolong the inevitable death of shitty car company GM. No one even wants their depressing cars, he noted! On Sunday, it's the fault of "unskilled workers making $28 an hour who have bankrupted their employers."

Wall Street: Tuesday Morning

cityfile · 06/02/09 05:56AM

• JPMorgan Chase, American Express and Morgan Stanley all announced plans to raise fresh capital today, so they're prepared to repay the taxpayer money they've received as soon as Washington gives them the go-ahead. [WSJ, BN]
• Related: The Federal Reserve says next week it will announce an initial set of banks that have been approved to exit the bailout program. [NYT]
• Citigroup has stopped paying out massive severance payouts to a handful of execs who recently left the company. Is it legal? Not really, but they're betting that it would be too embarrassing for them "to file lawsuits against the struggling, taxpayer-backed company seeking the money." [WSJ]
• Ex-Bear Stearns chief Alan Schwartz is joining Guggenheim Partners. [WSJ]
• After a good day on Monday, stocks are taking a breather today. [NYT]
• GM says it has a deal to sell Hummer, but won't disclose the buyer. If you were buying Hummer, would you want your name publicized? [WSJ]

Why Didn't We Listen to Michael Moore?

Pareene · 06/01/09 12:51PM

"Twenty years ago when I made Roger & Me, I tried to warn people about what was ahead for General Motors. Had the power structure and the punditocracy listened, maybe much of this could have been avoided." Hah, really?

Who Killed GM?

Pareene · 06/01/09 10:29AM

General Motors is bankrupt. Whoops. It was probably going to happen no matter what, but lots of people hoped that bankruptcy would remain a threat that would encourage everyone to band together to save the company. Who is to blame for the death of the American auto industry?

Wall Street: Friday Morning

cityfile · 05/29/09 05:43AM

• It looks like General Motors will file for bankruptcy on Monday. [WSJ]
• Bill Ackman, the activist investor who's been taking aim at Target for months now, lost his battle to remake the company's board yesterday. [Fortune]
• A group of banks and money managers are now trying to "fend off" some of the new trading rules proposed by the Obama administration. [WSJ]
• The U.S. economy shrank at a 5.7 percent annual pace in the first quarter, which makes it the worst six-month performance in five decades. [BN]

Our Great Brands Are Too Big to Fail

Hamilton Nolan · 05/26/09 12:08PM

The Way We Live Now: With the shame of the defeated. We're too dumb to even figure out how to make our biggest companies go bankrupt properly. But we will obstinately stand on the power of our "luxury" brands until they sink in the financial muck and drown us, triumphantly!

Pour Faster!

Hamilton Nolan · 05/07/09 11:56AM

The Way We Live Now: At the bottom of a bucket metaphor. GM is burning up the money we all gave it as fast as humanly possible. Bread lines are lengthening. But something's still selling:

American Autos are King Again!

Hamilton Nolan · 04/28/09 11:32AM

The Way We Live Now: Rollin on Dubs. You can't keep the US auto industry down! Unless "you" are a superior foreign competitor. But if "you" are bankruptcy, forget it. USA car companies are back!