Last Man Standing Dvd Complete Series latest 2023

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The Bleeding Edge of the Car Biz

Goldman Sachs thinks you can make 40% off Ford. I think that number should be much closer to 400%.

China has finally, truly and wholeheartedly embraced “21st century American-style capitalism”.

May God help them.

Here’s the headline that popped up on one of my newsfeeds about a day ago: “Chinese automakers record sales.”

That’s right, in the midst of a year-long global recession, China is selling more cars than ever. Looking through the article, we note that sales of minivans increased by approximately 40% between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.

The Chinese “recession”

How can this be true? Isn’t China also suffering from depressed American and European consumers refusing to buy their cheap T-shirts and lead-painted trinkets?

In fact, the Chinese version of the recession is a little different from ours. Indeed, he missed his target of a dazzling 8% annualized growth rate for the first quarter of 2009, settling instead for a “mere” 6.1%, a figure for which most finance ministers Westerners would sell their children.

But even the threat of China’s growth approaching the still sluggish global norm sent Beijing into a printing dizzy spell as early as last November. Today, 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of billions of dollars that Washington invents every week. But again, Beijing is just trying to keep rolling, while Washington tries to revive a bogged down economy.

But it’s not just the fact that China drives from the top down that’s so fascinating. He is, after all, quite experienced in this whole idea of ​​centralized economics that we are getting closer to. It’s the way it’s done that makes me laugh in my morning coffee.

A gift from uncle

Last month, Beijing began shelling out some 5 billion yuan ($731 million) in the hinterland to encourage people to buy new vans. Now, to my wife, the phrase “minivan” conjures up a 4,500 lb monster with a big six-cylinder engine that has a quality sound system, power doors, seats, windows and mirrors. Oh, and maybe a DVD player (we didn’t have one last time, and they’ve been pestering me about it ever since).

However, when a Chinese family drives to their local dealership with their check from Uncles Wen and Hu, they find a remarkably different vehicle available to them. It usually has an engine half the size of an American van, which is good since it carries about half the curb weight.

If you’re really lucky, the windows roll up by hand. Leather seats or airbags? As his cousin Frank from Newark says, “Fergeddaboudem!” Want melodies? Learn to whistle. The good news is that these cheap little grocery carriers are really cheap. They only manage about 33,000 yuan ($4,400), which is about 80 percent of the average annual salary of a Chinese citizen.

But is this surge in sales of cheap vans really good news? Or are Chinese automakers going down the same path that brought GM and Chrysler to their knees?

Death from a thousand cuts

In an attempt to increase the fleet’s gas mileage and stretch its yuan a bit more, Beijing is strongly suggesting that the checks be spent on smaller vehicles. It also halved taxes on vehicles with engines smaller than 1.7 litres.

Unfortunately, as Mr. Xu Liuping, CEO of China’s fourth-largest automaker, Changan Automobile Group, recently warned at the Shanghai Auto Show, “Small cars mean small margins. There may be growth in vehicle sales for the industry this year, but revenues and profits may fall.”

Liu Weidong of DongFeng Motor Corp. added that “the automotive industry no longer has extraordinary profit margins. Companies have adjusted prices due to the government’s industry stimulus policies and to boost sales.”

“We want a piece of that action too!”

Yes, it’s true: the Chinese don’t make more money selling small cars than the Americans. Want another weird twist in the story? GM, which was completely unprepared when the gas spiked here in the United States, wants to enter the Chinese market in the worst possible way.

In fact, at the same Shanghai podium where Mr. Xu complained of profit woes, GM’s Kevin Wale boasted that China was a “very important market” and announced that GM (already a shareholder of the largest major Chinese minivan maker) intended to double its sales over the next five years.

Keep in mind that even this mighty global micro-car expert Toyota (TM:NYSE) can’t make any money in China these days because most of its lineup is considered “too much”. large” to benefit from the subsidies that feed this market. In fact, Toyota’s partner in the country, Guangzhou Automobile Group, actually saw lower sales and profits on Toyota’s offerings.

The toxic pacifier

Kind of a denial of the idea that most manufacturers can do well while sucking on the government’s pacifier, huh? Which brings us back here to the US, where Ford (F:NYSE) – the only US automaker to refuse Washington’s largesse – posted another stellar week on its “Way Forward.”

Since hitting $1.01 last November, Detroit’s “Last Man Standing” has risen to $4.41. As you can imagine, a rise like that actually gets quite a bit of attention on Wall Street.

And so, after F shares had already gained about 194%, those bold folks at Goldman Sachs actually changed their stance from “neutral” to “buy.” Goldman’s Patrick Archembault even went so far as to predict that F could hit $6 in the next six months. Of course, he also peppered his statement with warnings that “an investment in Ford is not for risk-averse investors.”

Where angels fear to tread?

Wow, that’s really putting it out there, Pat!

Come on, folks: It’s become awfully obvious that most US Blue Chip investments have a good chance of being knee-cut these days. We don’t need GS quibbles when simple experience tells us so!

But it’s ridiculous to wince like that when there’s so much money to be made by being even a little daring. Let me show you what I mean…

How to trade auto trade

In March, when Goldman was still sitting on its thumbs, I asked readers of WaveStrength Options Weekly to try their luck on some Ford call options. They cost a measly $80 per contract. As for downside risk, well, if you can’t afford to lose $40, you’re pretty much done.

As of this writing, those calls are now worth $242 per contract. That’s a 203% gain in about four weeks. And when Ford hits GS’s $6 goal (which I’m telling you right now will be well before six months), those calls will likely hit $400, rounding up the gains to 400%.

I’m not bragging here (okay, maybe a little). Heck, I’m just a poor scribe operating out of a loft in downtown Baltimore. But don’t you think that’s the kind of advice we should expect from Archembault and his New York friends?

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