Friday, January 21, 2011

GE's Jeffrey Immelt Appointed by Obama

While President Hu was visiting President What?, and they were celebrating at a State Dinner, it was announced the GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt was being appointed by President What? to the head of his economic advisory board.  (By the way, Bayou Renaissance Man has a nice story about how President What?, holder of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was feting You Know Hu, who has the holder of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in one of his political prisons).  No mention if President Hu brought his adopted niece Cindy Lu Hu.  OK. I made that last one up. 

Why should you care?  Obama's administration has the fewest people with real business experience in over a hundred years, right?  Why is it a bad thing?   It depends on who the person with the experience is.
Let's start with GE.  GE stockholders have not been pleased with Immelt's performance.  They accused him of working against the best interest of the company.  Early on, Immelt decided that the best place to grow his businesses was in DC, in the back rooms and shadow dealings. 

The New York Times (all the news that fits our agenda) offers this tepid biography of Immelt today.  Note in particular this paragraph:
He also serves on the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Catalyst (an organization devoted to advancing women in business) and Robin Hood (an antipoverty organization in New York).
The Robin Hood foundation is a great place to make high level contacts.  It's board includes Michael Bloomberg, Diane Sawyer, Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman-Sachs, Tom Brokaw, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Dirk Ziff.  Of course, it gets funding from George Soros - can I help it if that gets me suspicious?  A nice overview of Robin Hood, and an overview of Jeff Immelt's work as of 2008 comes from Jane Rockefeller at CounterPunch.  Muckety offers this Flash map of Immelts associations

Since the Obama administration started, Immelt has been in the guts of it, serving on Paul Volker's economic recovery board.  It seems he engineered the extreme sweetheart deal that GE got from in the heady early days of TARP.  GE got $139 Billion by having GE Credit ruled as a bank, (these folks say $182 Billion) except that they don't have to follow any bank rules.  As Ms. Rockefeller points out in that CounterPunch article, GE's financial group made a lot of money by pursuing collections against Medicare and other medical patients.  Got your leg fixed?  We'll break it again if you don't pay your bill.  Youse wouldn't want us to have to do that, would youse?  

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