Microblog 2008-12-24

Desiderata from the web, mostly off-topic:

  • How the mighty have fallen:  A German solar power company offered to buy out GM’s Opel subsidiary, which survived the worst of the Great Depression, two World Wars, Nazi expropriation, allied bombing, and Soviet takeover, for a billion Euros, but GM  had to front the Euros on credit.  Fortunately the American government intervened, offering billions of Euros with no preconditions.  The linked article, translated from French, is recommended to those who find “Engrish” funny, as well as those who want to know what Europeans think of stupid Americans, safe in the knowledge that their articles won’t be translated into Engrish;
  • That was pretty long for a microblog, wasn’t it?  This is shorter: The Mos Eisley Spaceport of the Blogosphere;
  • A very funny web comic (a la xkcd) explaining the mortgage crisis – strong language (Via Nancy Friedman);
  • Out of the mouths of babes, a Christmas parable, complete with dinosaurs;
  • Disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer observes that “sunlight is the best disinfectant” (Via Above the Law);
  • Money for nothing. Focus groups where participants get cash for attendance may come with a catch;
  • Buy a lemon of a used car, go directly to jail, and get a tax lien from the IRS – an automotive horror story from TaxProf Blog;
  • What Barack Obama isn’t telling about contacts with Rod Blagojevich.

We’ll have something of substance up later today.


  • I didn’t read the Opel link but it is worth pointing out that when Cerberus acquired Chrysler from Daimler, the deal ended up getting partly financed by a loan from Daimler and a commitment to cover ongoing operations for a period of time. Therefore, it’s not unusual in one of these deals to have the acquirer using capital from the parent company of the acquiree as a means of financing the transaction.

  • Cerberus is worth billions. A German solar power company?

  • SolarWorld is worth billions as well, they are a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of approximately USD$2.3 billion… slightly more the GM.

    At any rate, it doesn’t matter in the end because GM can’t afford to finance a deal for Opel and the debt markets certainly won’t step up either.

  • That “subprime primer” is ancient, but every single time someone sends it to me I read the entire thing.