Skip to comments.GM Bankruptcy Fears Rising on Wall Street
Posted on 11/15/2005 11:39:48 AM PST by Flavius
NEW YORK - An increasing number of investors are betting that General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, may be forced to seek bankruptcy protection within the next six to 12 months as it struggles to overcome slumping sales and the high cost of health care benefits for workers and retirees.
Concerns about the automaker's future are showing up in the credit default swaps market, where investors effectively buy insurance protection against defaults. Holders of GM debt who want to arrange a hedge against the risk that they won't be repaid are finding that the cost of buying the protection has risen dramatically in recent days.
"The markets are telling you that more traders are starting to see a greater risk that a default scenario could happen sooner in time than later," said John Tierney, a credit strategist at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York. "You cannot deny there is a pattern here."
GM spokesman Jerry Dubrowski responded by saying the automaker has "no plans to declare bankruptcy," and he noted that GM has about $19 billion in cash on hand. Beyond that, he declined to discuss recent pricing trends for credit default swaps. "Typically we don't comment on stock prices or bond prices," he said. "We don't think it is appropriate to do that."
At issue is the nearly $31 billion in debt related to GM automaking operations that ratings agencies already have downgraded to junk status, or below investment grade. Dubrowski said GM's total debt, including debt sold by its General Motors Acceptance Corp. unit, now stands at $276 billion.
Credit default swaps for GM are now trading at what is known as an "upfront" basis, meaning a bondholder seeking protection against a default has to pay more money up front because the Wall Street firms arranging the hedges have to pay more to protect themselves.
Michiko Whetten, a quantitative credit analyst at Nomura Securities International Inc., said GM debt had previously never traded on an upfront basis. But now that it is, it puts GM in an unenviable category with Delphi Corp. and Delta Air Lines Inc. other companies whose debt traded on an upfront basis ahead of their petitioning for bankruptcy.
Auto parts maker Delphi, once owned by GM declared bankruptcy in October, and Delta, the nation's third largest carrier, went bankrupt in September.
GM lost nearly $4 billion in the first nine months of this year. The Detroit-based company has been hammered by high labor costs and rising prices for raw materials like steel. And while it recently reached agreement with the United Auto Workers union to temper the rise in health costs, GM still has been losing U.S. market share due to competition from healthier foreign rivals and weakened demand for sport utility vehicles, its longtime cash cows.
Wall Street's credit default swaps traders now view GM as a company so risky that a holder now must pay as much as $12 per year for every $100 of the automaker's five-year corporate debt if they want to hedge against a default, up from $8 to $9 just several weeks ago. In addition, credit default swaps traders are now demanding more of that money up front from investors looking to protect their GM holdings.
These losses may not actually occur, but the pricing moves in the swaps market are a good indication of how Wall Street traders and investors are judging the risk of a GM default.
GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said in an October interview with The Associated Press that unlike the airline industry, where some bankruptcy filings haven't had a big effect on business, even speculating about bankruptcy hurts the auto business.
"When you're buying a car it's a very different thing," Wagoner said. "It's a massive financial commitment. You expect to own it for a long time, and (bankruptcy) is something that's going to have an impact in the consumer's mind."
On Monday, GM, whose stock is trading at nearly half of its 52-week high, announced price cuts to shore up its sales. Its shares fell 40 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $23.34 in afternoon trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
GM's outlook in the credit default swaps market took on a bleaker tone after last week's disclosure by GM that it plans to restate its earnings for recent years. GM said its 2001 earnings were overstated by approximately $300 million to $400 million, but the final amount hasn't been determined. GM plans to issue the restated earnings for 2001 and any subsequent years before it issues its 2005 annual report next year.
That triggered what is known as an inversion in the credit swaps curve a measure of risk between short- and long-term GM debt meaning that Wall Street traders are betting the risk of GM declaring bankruptcy is greater in the next six months to a year than over a longer period of time like five years.
In a November 10 report, Banc of America analysts reiterated a sell rating on the company's stock, saying they believe the odds GM management could be held accountable for the accounting woes has risen and this could accelerate a bankruptcy protection decision they judged to be "inevitable."
According to Deutsche Bank's Tierney, the accounting problems caught investors by surprise and "contributed to a sense that GM problems are very deep."
Pontiac GTO? Come on. Way too much drama for getting groceries.
Common sense says there is no possible way GM can stay in business. Recently, the GM bonds dated 2012 are trading around 70. Think about that-- bonds/notes are saying there is basically a 70% chance the company will be in business in 2012.
It took a dumbass to produce such a dumbass post.The hourly workers arent't the ones producing the concepts for the vehicles that no one wants to purchase. That falls squarely on the shoulders of the bean counters who now seek to squeeze every penny out of each vehicle no matter how it effects the performance or appearance of the vehicle.
Thank you General Motors management for ruining such a wonderful company.
I thought there might be hope for GM, until I saw the Aztek.
oh, are you some sucker that bought GM? Or are you one of those overpaid Union guys that think the company is like the government, should take care of you from cradle to grave?
The bottom line is it costs GM over $1000 per vehicle just to pay health insurance on the union scum bags that bankrupted this company........dumbass.....oh, and a big FY to you also.
I did my duty and went out and bought a 2001 Olds Intrigue on 9/29/2001.
Terrific design, very powerful engine, handled well, good mileage.
Leaking sensor in the fuel tank, gas smell
radio died again
knock in the steering, lubed
knock in the steering, replaced something(half shaft?)
Terrible knock in the steering, so bad I was afraid to drive it.
replaced tie-rod end.
developed another knock in the front end.
driver's electric window got intermittent, they couldn't duplicate problem
traded it in on a Honda.
This is on a 4 yr old car w/ 26k miles that spent most of its life in the garage.
My take.. good design, poor components.
BTW.. I didn't pay for any of these repairs, 5 yr. warranty. But I plan on keeping the car a long time and wanted something reliable.
I agree with 1 and 3 but not 2. I've owned a number of GM autos, including the three I have now and dollar for dollar, they're as good as any other auto.
Well, gee, if they would just come up with something better than their precious DexCool system they might sell something now and then!
I agree 200%.
Neither a sucker nor a scum you stupid s.o.b but not someone stupid enough to come up with a knee jerk response like you posted when the topic of a union is even remotely involved.
ROFL dumbass, unions "remotely" involved - how stupid are you? The only knee jerk response is yours fool - remotely involved, so stupid it's incredibly funny, you actually should get post of the day for your idiocy - it also appears most on this board would disagree with your position - anyone with a brain knows the damage the UAW has caused the auto industry...ROFL
Unless removed, a parasite will usually kill its host. The same rule applies to labor unions and GM.
U forgot number 4. Retirees Pensions
You nailed it with UAW.
"Finally, there's a real question whether free trade is workable. Maybe we need some tarriffs, painful as it would be to restore them at this point."
Worst possible solution.
You just explained why. If we focus on protecting companies like GM, in short order the whole country will be poor. how could it be otherwise when we prop up inefficient companies? We end up like France.
I give GM credit for one thing---consistancy: they do everything wrong.
Present some of the damage done by union workers that is even equal to the damage done by the sorry management of General Motors. You can't. You may play the fool and attack without any specifics but you can do nothing more than be a fool.
It's important to remember that G.M. freely entered into its labor agreements with its unions just as it recently did it a modified labor agreement adressing health care costs.
This may surprise you but I don't think you speak for most on Free Republic. Group think is anathema to conservatives. If you must practice it you may wish to head to moveon.org and get in with those who are as unable to think for themselves as you appear to be.
Keep seeking 1984 and you may find it.
No he doesn't but nor do you with your rude post #53. Disagree, but be civil.
This is the last time I'm responding to you on this issue, we'll just have to disagree about the role of unions in the demise of GM - but it has been going on since 1945. You blame GM management, I blame the unions - they have caused GM to build low quality vehicles with their wage and benefit demands. In order to stay competitive price wise, GM has no choice but to cut quality when the UAW has their foot on their neck. GM's only hope is to cut at least 250,000 jobs and eliminate at least half of the models (over 80) that they currently build. Yet, if GM tries to do that, all their plants will close due to strikes by the "brotherhood". Unions are nothing but communist and socialist fronts that have absolutely no place in a capitalistic society. You may wish to read some of the history of your beloved union here, but do not bother responding to me again - as far as I'm concerned you are on ignore.
you need to mind your own business - I didn't start this fight nor was I the first to use "rude" language - stuff it
I realize you weren't the first, that's why I pointed out post #53.
GM's preferred stock is yeilding almost 12% nowadays. I don't have the stones to buy any, as I think they will declare bankruptcy...but if you have money to lose, that's a ballsy play.
My brother works for GM. Unfortunately, the attitude of the UAW is that it's more important for the union to survive than it is for GM to survive. The union can survive without GM, and if that's the way it's got to be....
I agree that union leadership oversteps and demands unreasonable concessions from GM. But I would also offer that the SUITS contribute to the overall problem in much the same way. In my vision for a successful corperation that will last thru the ups and downs economies experience, a delicate balance must be struck in the devision of profits. This being between Labor, management, and stockholder.
Labor sees managmement taking millions upon millions and hundreds of thousands upon hundreds of thousands per "suit" and I can understand why unions would make demands for Labor's wages and benefits to be increased. This is not to say that suits shouldn't make money, but I will offer that some think labor is an underclass and thus not deserving of a fair cut of the profits they directly contribute to.
Dividends paid out on stocks held are good for investment, but again without labor their could be no profits to pay that dividend.
Personally I think all three entities need to see that they all have to work together in balance OR ELSE they all three lose.
Could it be that management needs to take a bit smaller bite of the profits in the over all solution to what GM faces today?
Could sales as they are today ( or lack of them) be partially due to the tactics of GMAC in the 90's? WHat with their 19% interest loans and such? Could it be that their service departments have grown inhospitable to customers? Could it be (as to the entire auto industry) that losing such a large chunk of value the SECOND you title it is part of the problem?
Could it be that a ten year old truck has to be kept artificially inflated in value ( ie a truck with 150 thousand miles still being "worth" 10 grand) to justify a new one being 30 grand or even 40 grand is part of the problem?
Labor management and stockholders need to see that they have to work as a team to gain sales, and thus profits, from the consumer. Working against each other and ignoring the rest will only see GM fall.
oh that is ugly. lemme try that again.
(("1.labor cares about one think...a fast vested check"))
And you don't as a salesman? Cmon now EVERY one that gets a paycheck considers that fact.
(("2.labor will eat her mother for that check"))
So will suits and so will stockholders.
Seems that your points reflect my position of them not working as a team...hardly aimless as you claimed.
(("3.19% interest ? oh please...that is easy to sell a buyer/sarcasm....a buyers pay history is his/her credit"))
Gmac did it alot in 90's take a good look back and you will see that. Maybe I missed all those interest free loaning campaigns then. Oh maybe I missed all those 'employee pricing" discounts then as well eh?
Show me those from the 90's. I bet ya cannot.
(("4.a 10 year truck w/150 k miles in NOT worth 10k
so says a bank,the NADA and Kelly's blue book "))
Go here : http://www.kbb.com/ and do a loaded suburban for 1996 in excellent condition with 150 thousand miles and jsut see that its retail value is over 11 thousand dollars.
Lower miles noted here but it is ten years old:
Here is almost hundred thousand miles on a ten year old truck:http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=189953647&dealer_id=99488&car_year=1996&search_type=both&make=CHEV&distance=0&model=&address=62670&certified=&advanced=&max_price=15000&bkms=1132158565835&min_price=9000&end_year=1996&start_year=1995&isp=y&lang=&cardist=486
Here is another this one has 126 thousand miles:
Here is a 1995 tahoe with 164 thousand miles priced at $9895!
Ill stop now.
The point I was trying to make is this. Used vehicles with so many miles are NOT worth actually what they are stated to be worth. This , over the course of the last decade and a half has deterred people from buying them again. They are over priced when new and the latest round of 'discounts' offers shows that. GM has tried to keep hold of the status quo of raking in the cash and it has come back to bite them now.
Blaming it all on labor is hardly an objective position. Blaming it all on "suits" is hardly objective.
Blaming it all on stockholders is hardly objective.
A reasonable person would agree that all three contribute to the problems GM now faces. Problems that rest mostly in the laps of managment to lead thru. If they continue to take the position to just blame Labor GM will be no more.
This looks better in preview I hope it posts that way.
Not good to hear. I've owned Fords, Toyotas, VWs, BMWs as well as GM products. I now have an '03 Silverado, '79 Z28 (I'm restoring) and an '05 Buick LaCrosse and all serve me very well.
I am an "ass" becuase I backed up what I said using a source you said showed me wrong? So now I am an aimless ass HA HA. whatever.
Healthcare is A problem that is far from the only one. A feeble attempt to draw attention away from your obvious mistake in your attack on me that was shown to be unjustified. Guess what Remove entirely the issue of healthcare from GM and you know what, they are STILL on the verge of going under.
The way you treat people, as you have treated me in just a cuople posts, is one of the GM's problems too. Aloofness and a failure to see that people are not quite as stupid as you count on them to be.
Oh and healthcare as it relates to GM would lie in the lap of SUITS that get paid HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars to MANAGE. So indeed, it was mentioned in my (what you call attack stripe) post. In a more general way rather than a specific way.
How about admitting you was wrong about ten year old vehicles being 'worth' ten grand. BTW this issue applies to far more than just GM.
Maybe I should spout an attack on car salesman too. Like maybe how they LOVE to take a woman that is already upside down as to value on their vehicle relating to what they owe and take that upside down vehicle in trade for half what it will be sold on the used lot for. Adding that difference to the price of the new one, while piping about the discounts given, thus creating a larger margin of "upside down".
This tactic is coming home to roost.
Is that illegal, no. Is it honest? Nope. Is it for profit and eventually your paycheck and bonuses for sales? YUP.
Let me be a further intended ass.... I come to you and buy a new truck for 25 grand cash outright. I sign all the papers and I leave. Done deal. I get home and find that I just got an iheritance from a rich uncle that passed of 100 grand.
I decide I would rather have that loaded corvette so I run right back down to the dealership you work at and I want to trade that truck in on that vette. What are you going to offer me for that truck I just bought from you. Keep in mind it HAS BEEN titled. Be honest.
Sir it isn't me that is the ass, it is the truth about the auto industry, that hurts and precipitates your attacks on me.
"new is not used" Right the difference is "titled". The example a I gave you ( you know the one you refused to address as to how much you would offer me for that 25 thousand dollar truck) You seel MANY "new" vehicles with MORE miles on them (test drives) than the truck example I posed to you.
SO as the BUYER of the truck that you just sold me a few hours ago, how much will depreciation will there be?
How about just answering the question I asked in you?
How many dollars will you depreciate for the drive home? Keep in mind now,less miles than on that other new one that has had several test drives.
How about just admit that you would offer me 18 to 21 grand for that truck I just paid 25 grand for? You know that is how it works so just admit it.
Within GM you have labor managment and stockholders, Which one is it exactly you defend?
In post 79 you snap on labor, you say they will eat their mother or some such stuff.....you DO realize YOU are labor right? Now you say you are defending your career? Which is it?
I done told you that GM was not alone in what I said and now you tell me to name one that isn't? Sheesh.
You tell me the cost per unit. Then compare it to per stock dividend paid out, per pension check, per workmans comp policy, per 'suits' paycheck, per assembly line paycheck.....per windshield....per shock absorber, per gas cap.... that is all number rangling. Same thing you do everyday.
I asked you a legit question centering on the fact that you will sell a vehicle to someone that is already upside down and make them more so. This IS a fact and you KNOW it is which is why you are so pissed off. Hey, you have every right to do so and people are fools for allowing it to happen to them. The point I am making to you is that this has been done for a long time and people are tired of it....
I went on to ask what I did in my example to show you another area of problem. The hit people take when you "drive off the lot" ( actually when you sign the title) has people seeing that it just isn't worth it to buy a new vehicle, especially when financed.
Claiming healthcare is THE problem is silly. MANY problems exist and I was simply trying to show you a couple very real ones.
Too bad you went into defense mode and tried to avoid answering very simple and real questions that would have allowed the conversation to continue.
You are claiming that healthcare is eating up the profits....I am showing you that lossed sales is doing the same thing and a couple DIRECT reasons why they are falling....why they drew 'discounts'. I am showing you that ALOT of things eat up profits and suits paychecks that are FAR beyond labors is one example, Healthcare would be another. Healthcare however is not totally GM's ability to manage, suits crazy paychecks ARE. Customer treatment IS.
What you do here is attempt to defend GM from things they are responsible for. While it shows loyalty, it lack basic reality to the scope of the problems and thus the solutions.
In many ways, GM has made its own bed and now they do not want to lay down and take a nap in it.
aybe you should read your own posts and add that bit of context to your own. You sir cannot point to anything in any of my posts that isn't true.
You claimed I said something untrue when I talked about the over value of used vehicles. I showed you specific examples and even did so using what you claim said refuted me. What I did was back up what I said and showed you to be wrong in your post to me. Indeed what you said to me was untrue and I proved that to you. Accept that as the fact it is.
I never said to you that healthcare wasn't a problem, OBVIOUSLY it is and that spans the entire spectrum of our economy. Thus that one is a given. In addition that is NOT something GM can control within its own corperationm outside factors are at play there. I tried to offer to you things that are well within the control of GM itself when it comes to three main groups. Those being Labor, managment, and stockholders.
Choices that each of these groups make reflect and affect on the company as a whole. They themselves control the actions they take and thus the results of them.
You cannot point to anything I said that isn't true with anything more than namecalling and labeling in a negative fashion or basless claims that what I said is false.
You now claim that you rest your case, it would have been nice if you had actually made one to begin with.
Unions once again showing their value. /sarcasm