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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

General Electric and the Obama Administration: The Unholy Alliance

There's no doubt that the NBC universe of networks were and still are the most pro Obama networks. There were the bits of anedotal evidence. For instance, there was the infamous incident in which MSNBC announcer proclaimed that listening to the candidate Obama brought a "thrill up his leg". NBC reporter Lee Cowan admitted that "it's hard to stay objective" during Obama speech. This was an admission that anchor Brian Williams called "courageous". Then, there was the scientific evidence like this Media Research Center's, a conservative Media Watch Dog Group, study, during the campaign, that showed that the most bias network was in fact MSNBC. The same MRC ran another study four months after the election and found that the same MSNBC was again the most bias during his presidency. Of course, the White House is well aware of the benefit that MSNBC provides them as this clip shows.

The question is what if anything has NBC, or better yet their parent network, has received in return. Of course, there is no evidence of an overt quid pro quo. What there is evidence of is that General Electric, the parent company of NBC and MSNBC, is the beneficiary of nearly every policy that the Obama administration is trying promote.

1) Cap and Trade:

This now famous O'Reilly Talking Points Memo relayed a story first reported by the Washington Examiner. According to the story, GE has set up a joint venture, Greenhouse Gas Services, that would be a major beneficiary of carbon credits. Carbon credits are the financial scheme by which companies would deal with the caps on carbon emissions that cap and trade would set up. If cap and trade passes, anyone that carves out a major portion of the carbon credit market, like Greenhouse Gas Services, would stand to make billions.

2) The Bailout:

When the bank bailout (TARP/ TALF) was first created, it was meant to buy "toxic assets" from BANKS. Of course, right away the program was changed and simply gave money to the banks. Months later, the program was altered to include GE Capital. GE Capital is NOT a bank but a financial services company. TARP/TALF was supposed to go to banks to loosen up the credit market. GE Capital is primarily NOT in the lending business, certainly not consumer lending. The only reason that GE Capital qualified for a $20 billion bailout is because they happen to own two farily small banks in Utah. These banks do NOT amount to much of the overall assets of GE Capital.

3) Private Public Investment Partnership

This program started out as a $1 trillion program that would buy "toxic assets" from banks. In order to entice buyers, the government created rules that made it lucrative to be a buyer. For instance, buyers would only need to come up with one twelfth of the money. The rest would be lent by the government. The money would only need to be paid back if the investment turned profitable. The Treasury Department said it was looking for strong companies, that can raise private funds, and companies that have shown a history of managing money well. The very same GE Capital that only months earlier received a government bailout is now one of nine companies chosen to be a buyer in PPIP. According to Treasury, the Treasury Department received over one hundred applications. Yet, one of nine is a company that received a bailout.

4) Healthcare:

Here, GE has started a division called Healthymagination. Tom Daschle, President Obama's first pick as Health Secretary, is now on the board of this division. Here's how the company is described.

Healthymagination will be in charge of the national patient database, which is established in the stimulus plan. The reports show that GE with Intel Corp is investing $6 billion to improve and make healthcare affordable through Healthymagination.

Here's how another media outlet described it.

Like other health IT vendors, GE is planning a strong thrust into this field that will help it capture an optimal share of government spending on EHRs. Next year, GE plans to release a new EHR that will include clinical decision support features that it developed in partnership with the Mayo Clinic and Intermountain Healthcare. According to Immelt, broad adoption of this EHR would allow patients to receive the best care 90 percent of the time and could reduce healthcare costs up to 30 percent.

EHR stands for Electronic Health Records...

So, it may all be a coincidence but wherever there is an Obama program, GE is there to make a lot of money.


Mike said...

I feel it even goes further with GE and this administration. Remember when GE was called out in the media for doing business with Iran. Also, how Obama avoided any confrontation are substantial statements in support of the protesters in Iran. It's all ties into huge contracts, and money to be made for GE. Obama and the Democrats need GE's financial support for fueling his march towards Socialism. This is complete corruption in my eyes.

That's why Democrats keeping utilizing the Politics of Distraction with media outlets like MSNBC, and other useless news resources. They keep spewing this garbage about the Bush administration, so they can do their dirty work behind the scenes. They are making decisions based on being able to stay in power, and win future elections. It's not about doing what's best for our nation. This is why Democrats hate Palin. She has the right policies for fixing many of the problems we face in our country. The more people are reminded of what the real solutions are instead of Cap and Trade, hatred from the left will continue.

If America fails and goes bankrupt it will be all attributed to the current policies being pushed through congress. If Republicans can expose this deception, our country may still have a chance to rebound.

** I just want to thank blog's like yours for staying on top of the truth. Great Article.

Jason Gillman said...

Green Peacocks.

Immelt is a wonderful guy..

Excuse me while I wash my mouth out as if I really said it. The link above is my commentary on a speech he gave in Michigan a couple weeks ago. Enjoy it or rip it apart.. doesn't matter, I have been pointing at the green peacock as having an agenda to use government longer than O'reilly has been losing hair.

Good post. It needs to be daily reading.

daniellee777 said...

First, let me make a couple of disclaimers here: 1) I work for GE, but not at a high level, but maybe I'm biased. 2) I'm a conservative and hate the way MSNBC leans to the left so far.

But even given the above... I disagree with most of this article. First, GE Capital did NOT take any bailout money. That is just a flat out mistake by the author. Second, GE is not the only company who will benefit from some of the new policies. Most of the bailout money, Cap and Trade benefits, etc. will go to many other companies besides GE. And third, last I knew, in a capitalist system the goal of any company is to work the system to get the highest profit. If you're accusing GE of that, then I guess they are guilty. But what is your solution to this perceived problem? Should we get rid of GE because they are a big bad evil company??? I think you're off track on this one...

mike volpe said...

I don't necessarily have a problem with any company working the "system". I have problems with a system that can be worked. Second, I do have a problem if the company is "working the system" by essentially exchanging political favors. There is of course no evidence of this, but it is awfully suspicious that the president received great coverage on GE's networks and GE seems to benefit from all his policies.

Furthermore, if GE Capital didn't receive a bailout, then there are a lot of news stories that are wrong.

Third, I have a huge problem with GE Capital being chosen for PPIP which they didn't deserve on any level.

daniellee777 said...

Maybe I don't understand what you mean by "taking TARP money". I think they got some loan guarantees from the TARP fund, but they didn't get any money actually deposited into the company's bottom line. It will only be used if needed to help if there are too many loan defaults right? In contrast I think that some of the other financial institutions actually got money, and spent it!! I may be wrong... as I'm not an expert on this stuff. Maybe you can enlighten me?

And oh yeah... I do agree that I don't like a SYSTEM that can be "worked". But politicians who the people vote into office (not Jeff I. or GE) make the laws and regulations. Perhaps they're swayed by big business, but heck, that's their fault! You can't blame a company for trying. If I had my own company and could buddy up to someone in the government and get money, I'd probably do it too (as long as it was not illegal).

I just can't see blaming a company for playing with the cards they're dealt. As a stockholder, I'd hold Jeff I. responsible if he DIDN'T take every advantage that he were given.

I think you and I actually agree on most of this stuff, but I guess the tone of the article seemed to blame it all on GE, and I don't think that's the case, so I got a little irritated. If the article said "Many companies are taking advantage.. blah, blah", I could live with it.

Yossarian829 said...

Mike, First I want to state that GE never participated in TARP. GE did participate in TLGP (Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program). By simply binging "ge capital bailout" and within two clicks, I was able to find this information. If you want to find credibility in the blogosphere, please check your facts.

Second, Yes, GE should gear up to trade carbon credits. It already has to trade them in other countries and is probably seasoned for it. Immelt launched ecomagination years ago because his vision saw this coming in our country. Why villianize him now because of having vision?

Third, Bill O'Reilly has been harping on GE for "doing business with Iran" but I have never heard anyone say which business segment of GE is selling goods to Iran. Until I hear someone specifically say which business segment it is and what products, I refuse to believe this drivel.

Fourth, PPIP is, from what I have gathered, government flipping the toxic assets back to private ownership. Isn't this a good thing so the taxpayers aren't holding the deeds to hyper-deflating foreclosed property? I can't think of another company that's qualified for this role and has the cash on hand to front the $500mil buy in.

Additionally, no one seems to mention or remember that the "MS" in MSNBC stands for Microsoft. Why not include them in the slant argument? Wasn't it a Republican led legislature that went after Microsoft for anti-trust?

It may appear that I'm pro-GE however, I'm a firm believer in devil's advocacy and showing both sides of an argument.

mike volpe said...

First of all, I never mentioned Iran. So, take up your beef with O'Reilly on that. Here is an article that said they qualified for a bailout.

maybe, I didn't get the program right and I will change it.

As for PPIP, whether or not it is a good program is beside the point. It is now a program of about $50 billion so it is useless. GE Capital can't on the one hand get a bailout and then qualify to bid on toxic assets. The companies that are supposed to be bidding on these assets are supposed to be financially healthy. So, how is GE Capital financially healthy enough to qualify to bid?

As for GE, they're the only company who's media arm was the most pro Obama networks in the network universe. That's why I pointed out GE. On the one hand, MSNBC, NBC and CNBC are totally pro Obama, and then suddenly GE benefits from most Obama programs.

If GE doesn't need money, why was a loophole created for them to qualify. If they qualify for a bailout program, be it money or a loan, how do they also qualify to be a bidder in a program only for healthy companies.

Yeah, I have a serious problem with GE. It appears that they provided very biased and pro Obama coverage and now seem to also benefit from every Obama program on the other hand. Yes, there is no overt quid pro quo but it certainly smells.

daniellee777 said...

So... did you answer my question about whether they really "took" TARP money, or whether they just got a loan guarantee. I think Yossarian829 touched on it, but I got lost in all the other points...

mike volpe said...

I changed it. They got money under TALF, Temporary Associated Loan Funds program.