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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Showing the World

The photo of President Bush and President-Elect Obama sitting together in the oval office is historic and special.

It shows the world that special American role model of peaceful transition between opposing political camps. Others should strive to copy it in places like Zimbabwe, China and Russia.

In the meantime now the auto makers want a bailout - GM with 7 layers of excessive management and refusal to build high mileage cars, and Ford, whose highly paid executives have cut R&D to zero, insuring failure. If they get money it should be required they cut the bureaucracy and invest in hybrid, high mileage cars to compete.

Otherwise it will be a failure and more wasted money. Detroit's management has become fossilized and narrow. They try to build 30 different cars that look the same - the Japanese use a fraction of platforms and are more efficient. Detroit's global competitors are making profits by using their brains and building high mileage cars right here in the U.S. I've seen the giant Japanese factory in Mississippi.

Detroit has to change to survive and, eventually, thrive. Our financial institutions also need to be reformed.

Now we see reports that the Fed is refusing to release the names of the recipients of $2 trillion of taxpayer money. Where is American transparency here? A major overhaul across the board appears necessary.

These are amazing times.

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