- Overview, I enjoyed the review of metrics used to track economic growth and contraction in general. According to Charles, we should see solid turn-around numbers middle to late this year.
- Obama's stimulus bill is larger than all other major U.S. spending projects in history - COMBINED. Using inflation adjusted dollars, the $8.7 trillion available in TARP funds is bigger than the Louisiana Purchase, the New Deal, the Marshal Plan, WW II, Vietnam War, the space program, and Iraq-Afgan War - combined.
- Because of #2, the federal deficit may reach 100% of GDP by 2014. Again, the U.S. is reaching an unprecedented area. Either taxes will have to increased dramatically, more money will have to printed (inflation?) or our federal government will go bankrupt.
- On the automotive side, expected car sales in countries such as India and China (assuming they continue their current growth) will likely be larger than the U.S. within 30 years. For the companies that can establish a footprint in this two countries, they will likely see excellent growth.
- Chrysler will likely have a prolonged death. According to Charles, there are no new technologies in the pipeline for Chrysler. So even with the massive bailout today, in 5 years, Chrysler cars will not be even remotely competitive. Even with its merger with Fiat, its doubtful that anyone in the U.S. will want to buy a Fiat.
- Many auto suppliers will go out of business. For the past 20 years, the big 3 have been squeezing the margins of the suppliers. Their profit margins are so low, that many will likely have to file for bankruptcy before the recession is over.
- Many of the Asian car manufacturers will weather the recession quite well. Honda and Toyota have lean dealership networks, less overhead, and higher profit margins. While their sales have fallen, it has not been as severe as the big 3. They will likely bounce back quickly after the recession.
- Although Charles never explicitly admits to being a Keynesian economist, he supports Obama's economic policies and calls Obama's policies Keynesian. Unfortunately, Keynesian has a history of being wrong.
- No discussion of inflation potential. With the massive spending of unprecedented scale, their is a real fear of high inflation over the next few years. Charles does not discuss that impact on the recovery.
- Charles does not understand the causes of economic growth. As one questioner explicitly challenged the presenter with, Charles assumes the economy must be stimulated. He believes that the government can throw money around and that will fix all the problems. He states that the government needs to create "desire". But these measures must take money away from other sources. Besides being highly inefficient, its profoundly immoral.
- And not too surprisingly considering the above, Charles argued for a higher gas tax to force consumers to buy small cars, thereby allowing automotive companies to better predict the future. Nothing like good old fashioned