OK, the stock got a bump on Friday thanks to a sweet earnings report … and, perhaps, thanks to Obama naming CEO Immelt to head up his recovery board of advisers.
I’m conflicted, for a couple of reasons.
First, GE stock has steadily lost value during Immelt’s tenure … which started in 2001.
Yeah, there was 9/11 and the financial crisis, but the rest of the world – measured by the S&P 500 has pretty much gotten back its losses.
GE is still down 50% from when Immelt took over.
But, it makes you wonder: why didn’t Obama pick a CEO with a record of success?
Say, like Immelt’s predecessor –- Jack Welch – who knows how to cut costs and drive innovation.
I guess Obama wanted somebody he could count on to support his healthcare and cap & trade initiatives.
FoxNews has taken to calling GE “Government Electric” because it yapped the TARP program, it takes a heavy dose of government contracts, and its media outlets (NBC and MSNBC) cheerlead for Obama..
There are a few companies on the Obama corporate A List – Democratic patrons Google and Goldman Sachs both turn up again and again at White House functions and for special recognition – but no company seems to get the VIP treatment that General Electric receives.
While most corporate leaders have taken a wait and see approach to Obama’s occasional overtures to the private sector, G.E., along with Google, Goldman and few others, have backed him to the hilt.
Whether it is pushing the president’s plan for global warming fees in order to create demand for his “Ecomagination” line of windmills, solar panels, etc., boosting the president’s national health-care law as part of an effort to sell more medical equipment, or enthusing over the Obama strategy of making loans available for industrial exporters, Immelt has been an Obama stalwart all along.
Immelt has also consistently argued to shareholders that there is big money to be made in advancing the Democratic agenda, in huge government contracts, subsidies and incentives.
FoxNews.com, Obama Teams Up With GE, January 21, 2011
That raises some major angst for me – my political philosophy is on one side, and my wallet is on the other.