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Don't Feel Sorry For Kerkorian

It's been a long time since I looked at the price of Ford Motor Company stock (FORD). When I looked this morning, there still was a price. But it was down to $2.39. Actually, it's been lower: within the past year it was as low as $1.51. So today's price is not a response, as one might have thought, to the multi-multi-billionaire Kirk Kerkorian's announcement (reported in today's FT and New York Times)  that he had sold 7.3 million shares yesterday and planned on his investment company, Tracinda, dispatching with most of the other 133.5 million he owned. Kerkorian spent roughly $1 billion acquiring his stake which is now worth about $289 million. Nope, it's down to $287 million.

Ford is not among car makers alone in the dump. Ditto: GM. Ditto: Chrysler. They're all in trouble together for trying to resist the long-run rational instinct among consumers for smaller and higher fuel efficiency cars. Yes, the big SUV's had their long moment. But American car-makers thought it would last forever. Now reeling from the calamitous calculations of the big three are all of the dependent subsidiary businesses and the millions of employees who earned their livings (and not yet fully faced) endangered health care and pensions in what is broadly termed the auto industry. The automakers pursued their own stubborn views with an insolence that makes one think that they deserve little help. Gas emissions is an issue that the political system was allied with the Big Three in overlooking and lying about, Democrats and Republicans, all. This will cost American society billions and billions... and billions.

No pity on Kerkorian. He will now focus, as the 91 year old brazenly told the press on his "gaming investments" which, by the way, are not doing that well either. Lower middle class people and middle class folk are the victims of this industry, too. MGM Mirage, which KK dominates, is big in this victimization, too. But he is no victim. He also has the consolation that you can't take it with you.