GOES: Government Owned Equity Stake. What could GOES wrong?

Here’s the biggest question I have about all these 79.9% stakes the government is taking in various companies: what happens to these stakes?

1. What will the government do in terms of exercising control? How heavy handed will the government be in forcing the businesses out of risky business lines?

2. How will these G.O.E.S.’s be disposed of? Who determines the price? When do the people sell? How do they get their money back? Is there a targeted return? Does the government even have to sell?

3. How will the conflicts of managing private businesses be managed? For example, if the government starts playing favorites when it comes to making discretionary regulatory decisions, potentially in the name of protecting it’s investment, then it’s a huge potential problem for the players in the same space that are healthy.

4. Speaking of which, what duty does the government have to protect it’s investment?

5. How do we avoid people getting rich off of the taxpayers’ money? What kind of compensation controls will the government seek to impose?

6. If these companies exist can they still employ lobbyists (Fannie and Freddie don’t, but I saw nothing about AIG being banned from lobbying)? Why should they be allowed to continue lobbying? (Why these companies shouldn’t be allowed to continue lobbying is left as a simple exercise for the reader.)

Seems like Hank Paulson has just gone out and taken over a bunch of companies. Didn’t anyone ask what his plan was? Well, except of course buying the rest of them too…

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2 Comments on “GOES: Government Owned Equity Stake. What could GOES wrong?”

  1. Mixer Says:

    John Thain is a thug and a thief. He participated in the conspiracy to pawn off auction rate securities on his own retail clients as a way to get them off the firm’s books. He would throw his own mother under the bus to save his ass. He’s destroyed shareholder value, decimated the holdings of his own clients and trashed the trust of all. If Ken Lewis does give him a job, it should be scrubbing toilets in Charlotte.


  2. […] Dear John Thain Once upon a time I wrote John Thain a letter. I never heard back. Maybe my thoughts need a broader audience. « GOES: Government Owned Equity Stake. What could GOES wrong? […]


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