Friday, April 11, 2008

GE Then and Now

From July, 2004 headlines...

GE's Immelt 'feeling good'...

The glass is half-full for Jeffrey Immelt. And then some. The General Electric (nyse: GE - news - people ) chairman and chief executive crowed, "This is the best economy we've seen in years."

We feel like this is a great point in time for the company, and again, we're feeling good about the economy, but more importantly we're feeling good about the strategy and the positioning of the company.

Stock price then: $32.17

From today's headlines...

GE's finance units weigh on industrial giant

GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt stressed that the company still has a AAA rating on Friday, but some experts questioned that top rating.

GE is "failing the duck test," Egan-Jones, a ratings agency that's paid by investors rather than issuers, wrote in a note to clients. "The company does not look, sound or act like a AAA credit and therefore, probably is not a real AAA."

Stock price now: $32.05

Lookin' good!

For what it is worth, I sold my GE stock in July of 2004 (a week after Immelt told us how good things were). That's when I first turned stagflationary (bearish). Since then, the stock has truly stagnated. Bulls did not make money. Bears did not make money. That has been my worst case scenario all along. The average investment stagnates while inflation robs the purchasing power. I expect more of the same.

I don't think it is a coincidence that the stock market was flat during the entire 1970s. I think it was being managed (using inflation) by the powers that be to offer a little hope that things would get better.


Anonymous said...

Ah come on Mark, he's still dancing.

Stagflationary Mark said...


He's still dancing because GE "still has a AAA rating."


I always enjoy seeing the word "still" used as a disclaimer. It always inspires confidence.

Here's another look at the word still from January.

U.S. economy still ticking, just barely

Still ticking? Sounds like a bomb.

New York - The US economy is losing its momentum but is stubbornly refusing to drift into a recession.

It was found, using hindsight, that the US economy had a serious case of denial.

"I would say the economy is hanging by a thread, but I think the thread will hold," says Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh.

The thread was imported from China and is therefore somewhat thinner and more cost efficient. Let's hope she holds under the massive strain!

Even though the GDP report shows a weaker economy, on Wednesday, economists were surprised to see an early indication that the jobs market may have [dead cat] bounced back in January.

The "dead cat" was inserted by yours truly in an effort to read between the lines (once again, using hindsight to make sense of it).