Weekly Highlights April 10, 2014 Weekly Highlights April 10, 2014 Weekly Highlights April 10, 2014
Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 10:30am


General Motors was created with the merger of various companies and badges (Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and others) in the early 20th Century and was an example of the efficient large industrial enterprise with the scale and scope to innovate and manufacturing wondrous machines. (We remember with Olds 88, the Pontiac Trans Am, the Corvettes of our youth with great fondness.)

Alas, GM also become scoleric and bureaucratic and in the eyes of both customers and “car guys,” lost their way.  The end of the “old” GM era was June 1, 2009, as the firm filed for bankruptcy protection (Chapter 11, reorganization).   It became “General Motors,” with the infusion of U.S. Treasury funds (US$49 billion in taxpayer monies) to keep the enterprise chugging along.  New management was installed.  Uncle Sam became a shareholder. “We” lost $10 billion – Treasury unloaded the “New GM” shares at $39 billion in December 2013.  So “what” we might ask does the New GM owe the Federal government and the American taxpayers for the helping hand extended? Truth and candor, today’s critics are saying.

The government aid was a lifesaver -- the company produced $20 billion in net income since 2010 (after emerging from bankruptcy).  “We will always be grateful for the second chance extended to us and we are doing our best to make the most of it,” GM’s CEO (Dan Akerson) told The New York Times.

This past week members of the U.S. Senate posed tough questions on what is being termed a cover up on the defects by critics when the new CEO (Mary Barra) appeared at hearings in Washington.  The serious defects in GM cars caused crashes and killed people. She “repeatedly ducked lawmakers’ sometimes testy queries…” said The New York Times.   Does a government helping hand put special status when questions are put to the head of the rescued operation?  How do you think the new CEO is handling the situation?  What do you think the government’s future of view of the “new GM” might be?  Details in our Top Story this week.

Top Story of the Week

GM’s Barra: ‘I cannot tell you why it took years for a safety defect to be announced’
(Wednesday - April 02, 2014)
Source: Washington Post - General Motors chief executive Mary T. Barra faced a barrage of questions on Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon on why the automaker had ignored complaints about faulty ignition switches for a decade without reporting the problem...

Sustainability in Focus

Nike outlines global strategy for more sustainable business
(Saturday - April 05, 2014) Associated Profiles : Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy
Source: MENAFN - Energy and Climate Change Strategy In 2009, Nike instigated the formation of new coalition of consumer companies called Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), which is advocating for strong US....

This is just a sample of some of the articles from this weeks SustainabilityHQ Highlights.  You can view the full Highlights by using the following links. Sustainability | ESG, Highlights for the Week of April 10, 2014