January 27, 2006

Everything Is Just Great, I Tell Ya!

Following Ford's massive layoff's last week, General Motors USA today reports a $6.4b loss:
It was the fifth straight quarterly loss for the world's largest automaker - amid high labour and raw materials costs, shrinking market share and sluggish sales of sport utility vehicles - and brought its losses for all of 2005 to $US8.6 billion ($A11.4 billion).

It was GM's first annual loss since 1992.
And here's the story behind the story:
The earnings report came a day after news that billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian had raised his stake in GM to 9.9 per cent.

Kerkorian, the largest individual investor at GM, has called for sweeping changes at the auto giant, and a key adviser has suggested he might be prepared to organise a fight for control of the GM board.

Earlier this month, a Kerkorian aide called on GM to halve its $US1.1 billion annual dividend expense, cut executive pay and sell Saab, GM's European luxury brand.
And on the other side of the South Pacific:
In just 15 years the average yearly income of some of Australia's most powerful chief executives has risen 564 per cent to $3.4 million, new research shows.

Between 1990 and 2005 the average annual regular cash earnings of company chief executives, who were also members of the Business Council of Australia (BCA), went from $514,000 to $3.4 million.

Their incomes now outweigh the average full-time wage earner by a ratio of 63 to 1.
Those are Australian stats, but I cannot imagine that US stats would be very different.

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