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June 1st, 2009
09:19 AM ET

Bondholder furious over GM bankruptcy

GM bondholder Debra June speaks to CNN's John Roberts.

GM bondholder Debra June speaks to CNN's John Roberts.

General Motors turns to bankruptcy today in the hopes of finding a new start. The move comes after a majority of those holding $27 billion in GM bonds agreed to swap that debt for a stake in the new General Motors.

Debra June is a small bondholder who six years ago invested $70,000 in GM bonds. She predicts that investment is now worth less than $200. She spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday.

John Roberts: You invested $70,000 in GM bonds some six years ago. As a result of this deal, that is going to be converted to equity shares. What's that investment worth now?

Debra June: Well, what happened, John, I got this booklet at the original thing. This is a 200-page booklet and they sent this in the mail and the offering was two shares of stock for every $1,000. That's 140 shares of stock. They said originally in the booklet it was going to be 225 shares, but as you kept reading the booklet it said they were going to convert that to 101 reverse-split, which would be two shares of stock. $70,000 for 140 shares of stock.

There was no way I was going to take the deal. Then they came out and they sweetened the deal. And I tried to contact General Motors. I left a message with the people I called up. I talked to the people on the phone. I e-mailed two e-mails, “Please let me know what the deal is.” I'm with GM Bondholders Unite, the 60-plus group and also the Main Street Bondholders. What they're doing to the people is ridiculous. It's horrible. You're wiping out common people that saved money. I'm not a corporation.

Roberts: No, you're a school teacher, we should point out. So $70,000 is a huge amount of money to you.

June: It is. It is. And it's a shame. I mean what they're doing, they're saying 10% and this and that. I don't know what they're doing. People out there have saved their money. We've done the right thing. I pay my bills and here all of a sudden, they want to give me two shares. 140 shares of stock.

Roberts: And that stock, all in total is worth about what, $200?

June: I believe so right now.

Roberts: Maybe less than that.

June: Even less. When they regroup, even if the stock was $10. That's unbelievable. I mean I can't imagine someone doing something like that.

Roberts: So Debra, what was your reaction when you heard General Motors was going to go into bankruptcy? You said you resisted this plan, you didn't agree with this. The major bondholders were the ones who said go ahead and do this debt for equity swap. What did you think when you heard they were going into bankruptcy and that was the deal?

June: Well, I'm in shock. When I bought into GM, I thought it's a safe thing. I bought six years ago. I always thought it was safe even when the government came in. I was so excited, I said "Well they’re going to take over." But Obama’s task force, these people came in, they didn't negotiate. We had no say. The private investor had no say in the matter. They dealt with the big corporations. Obama is for the people, he said. How can you be for the people? How can he do this?

Roberts: So do you blame the task force? Do you blame the company, the unions? Who do you blame for getting in this situation?

June: I blame, originally, GM, for letting it go like this. It's like Bernie Madoff was their bookkeeper. It's ridiculous, but also for the task force to come in and not let anyone from the main sector, just a representative to go in there and try to negotiate. They never let us do that. I would have given...I'm not joking on this, I would have said to GM, "Here don't give me any interest, just take that." That would help them immensely… I mean to send this booklet out, the task force actually did this?

Roberts: So do you have any hope of recouping your investment? If this company gets lean and mean and agile, do you have any hope you can recoup that $70,000 and beyond that if the price of the stock goes up?

June: Nothing. Right now, I'm not even in on the new deal, the sweetened deal, I couldn't even get in on it. And that's - and it's in the paper. They didn't care about the people. It's in the paper.

Roberts: So you really feel robbed, do you?

June: I feel robbed. I know that there's an attorney out there for the GM bondholders Unite. That’s the gentleman Thomas Lauria and he's supposed to represent the small people. I hope and pray the judge, whoever gets this, is going to say “Wait, this isn’t right what's happening to the people, it's not right what's happening to the workers.” The dealerships are going to close. It's going to be a trickle down effect but they're taking income from me and thousands and thousands of other people who are in worse shape than I am and it's not right.

Roberts: We'll keep following this and maybe we can stay in touch with you and keep checking back.

June: Please, please people out there – contact your congressman. Do something. Say it's not right. I remember Michelle Obama said she was not proud of her country until her husband was in office. I'm a school teacher. If I was teaching her children, would she say she was proud that this is happening to a common person like myself? I mean you can't, you can't do it.


Filed under: Business
soundoff (700 Responses)
  1. M

    Welp, some money is better than none if the company had gone under without any gov't assistance.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  2. Carol

    This woman is obviously ignorant about the bond market and probably should not have been investing in it in the first place. GM is a company that has been bankrupt by any meaningful definition of the word for the past year. So she just sits on these bonds and what? Thinks they'll pay up as promised? Does she really think there is a better deal out there now that GM has finally filed for bankruptcy? As of today, GM owes $172 billion and has only $82 Billion in assets. Many of those assets are properties that are going down in value as I write this. Even if the bondholders are first or second in line, they could only get a fraction of their investment back. With this plan, they at least have the chance to recoup something if the stock appreciates over time. It's a lose-lose deal for everyone, but that's what you get with incompetent management.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  3. Paul

    Tough cookies.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  4. Alexander Smith

    INVESTING is a risk. GM mismanaged their company. My sympathy is not with the shareholders- the shareholders SPECULATED that their shares would rise in value. When a company goes under, those shares are devalued. Doesn't she understand that?

    My sympathy is with the thousands (if not millions) who will lose their jobs. But, again, if the company you work for goes out of business, no matter how large that company is, you will probably lose your job.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  5. Constitution

    Seventy thousand in a CD for six years will earn you over $22,000 approximately at 5% which was easily obtainable at that time.

    So, she lost approximately $92,000 when she thought she
    was going to get rich.

    Instead, she got greedy and lost it all.

    Constitution

    June 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  6. Virgil

    There are a lot of angry and uninformed individuals here making unfair and poor judgement about her case. Investing in Bonds is not the same as investing in stocks.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Bonds are risky people. Maybe not as inherently risky as stocks, but risky nonetheless. That is why there are ratings systems in place for bonds. GM's bonds were cut to junk status years ago, 2005. This woman had plenty of time to get out.
    Is her story sad? Yes. Should she have diversified? Yes. Is her story news-worthy? No.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  8. John

    Thank you Robert Johnson for pointing out that most of the people here who have been accusing Debra of being totally inept are themselves totally inept as it seems they do not understand the difference between stocks and bonds. If she had bought them in 2005 or after, I would agree that it was a bad move since in that year the bonds were downgraded to junk status. She bought them in 2003 however when they were still considered investment grade. It does appear that the bond holders are not being given the expected preference in this bankruptcy filing. Having said all that, bonds are still speculative (albeit less than stocks) and it's best not to invest in only one company's bonds.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  9. Stephen

    The problem is that the lady in the interview was not able to get across the main FACTUAL issue that is causing so much consternation amongst bondholders.

    All of you invetment neophytes, please pay attention to this one, since your ridiculous rhetoric of "It's the stock market, what did she expect?" just proves that you have NO clue about the central issue at hand.

    When she bought the bond, the rules were such that IF the company went bankrupt, the bondholders (of which she is one) would be the FIRST people to be paid back. We can get into detailed explanations of why this rule exists, but to dumb it down for the masses (who are quite dumb), she lent GM money. Therefore, if GM went bankrupt, she was supposed to be in the first group that got paid back from the remaining assets of the company, as opposed to those actual STOCK MARKET INVESTORS who bought GM stocks and bet money that the stock prices would go up.

    So, here comes the punchline, mindless masses. Thanks to the actions of Obama's administration, these people are NOT the first ones in line to be repaid, even though that was the rule when she lent GM money in exchange for her bonds. Plain and simple, Obama changed the rules in the middle of the game, and as we all SHOULD know, that is NOT fair.

    We could also easily get into a discussion of why Obama and his people did things the way they did, but I'd also have to suggest that while one group (bondholders) are worse off in this "deal", you might want to notice which group is MUCH BETTER off than before this "deal". That's right, the UAW is coming out much farther ahead than they would have under the original laws and rules in effect governing bankruptcies. Surprising? It shouldn't be.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  10. Dean KM TX

    Folks, simple lets get rid of the UAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Problem solved. However I never inversted with these clowns. That's why now I can sit back and drink che che by the water side. However, we need to get rid of these greedy folks.... Lets start over with a new GM wihtout a union and oh yea, I hate to say it... The money you all put into that stock is goneeeeeeeee. However its not to late to do it right this time.

    STOP THE UAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  11. LT in TX

    As with any investment, their is risk and rewards.

    There are many investors who were banking on the bailout and a recovery to lead them to risches. I took my pension money out of the market and I am earning a meager 3%, but at least what is left of the proniciple is intact.

    This stock has been dropping for years. Watch the news or read an Annual Report sometimes!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  12. Dave

    everyone wants a buyout. why invest money in a bond and expect 100% principal assurance? next time, buy a treasury bond or put it in an insured bank deposit.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  13. Rich

    Are they going to interview everyone who has lost money during this recession? Why should I feel sorry for someone who invested in a car company, then lost their investment. Bonds or stock, it does not matter as you always have the possibility of losing your initial investment. It is called risk. If you can't afford to lose it, don't invest in the first place. Also, how did a school teacher manage to get $70k in cash? And why o why would you invest that in one place? There's a sucker born every minute and Debra June is one of them. Stop blaming the four month old administration and own up to the fact that you invested poorly and lost.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  14. jonscilz

    dude almost everybody who is posting here has no idea what they are talking about. your and the ignorance of the rest of the american public is amazing. take a class on money and banking / investment. stop talking about mutual funds and stocks – these WERE NOT STOCKS. they were coporation asset backed BONDS. this is the next best thing to a guarantee that you will not take a hit like this – the rules governing bankrupcy are supposed to prevent it!!! the real issue here is that the obama task force took bankruptcy law into their own hands and ripped off the common bondholder in another useless attempt to save a dead company and look good on the afternoon news for PEOPLE LIKE YOU TO EAT UP. another great example of his socialistic policies at work.

    Gary said it best:
    "Gotta Love the Obama solution,,, dump crap loads of pretend $ into a dying company, force them to accept your solutions give the majority to your own self (government), rip off the common folks who helped build this company, then give the Union Thugs majority stake…"

    June 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  15. JOE

    READING THE MAJORITY OF COMMENTORS ON HERE IS SCARY. IT IS NO WONDER THE US HAS FALLEN BEHIND. PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  16. terry

    diversification is how you protect yourself from such happenings. All your eggs in one basket is not a good idea, especially if that basket is something as risky as an american automaker. It's not like they just started having problems with quality or sales...

    June 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  17. Gary

    As stated above you made a choice to invest and it didn’t work out we have all been there. But to try to gain sympathy by putting it on Obama as if he was doing this to you as if he is against the people? That is nonsense. The industry is in a difficult situation and I think The administration is doing the best they can in with what they have to work with. And what their job is, is to save the industry and all who work for it and work for connected industries. Your mistake is thinking the "fix" is to save the investors, It is not. Its to save the Auto industry in the US which helps ALL the people in the US who Obama is charged with the protection of. I would just hope as a smart investor you didn’t put all your eggs in the one GM basket if you did I am sorry for your foolishness. I do not know many average people that have that kind of money to drop in one sole investment so I would question your status as average person. Or your since of investment sensibility if you put it all in one place. Maybe you should be looking to your financial advisors for answers. Not the Obama administration.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  18. Tightrope

    Why didn't Roberts ask her what kind of car she drives? I bet she drives a Toyota...

    June 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  19. Brad

    Is this lady for real? Hey I'm just a small time investor and I have lost alot more than that. R I S K!! Cry me a bloody river.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  20. Pity you not

    My heart goes out to these people only in that I couldn't imagine what I would do in this situation.

    HOWEVER, you can not sit there and argue "unfair" over a bad investment. Any portfolio information will tell you that there is no guarantee that you are going to make money. The only place you are guaranteed a return is in a savings account or a CD where the rate is low and locked.

    RISK is the only guarantee when investing in the stock market. It goes up AND it goes down.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  21. Auto Worker

    As these deals see the light if day, it becomes easier to see who put our president into office and who he answers to.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  22. REH

    Way to go Vonnie!!!! Who is hating who here???? And Vonnie the quote was “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country”.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  23. rick

    OH MY GOD! Do you think she teaches market investments 101 or 1001? Before buying did you or your broker think of looking at GM's long term or even short term business plan? This should have been part of their portfilio. Why am I asking that of an investor when the company exectives didn't bother following these plans. Or maybe they didn't have even a 5 year plan. What a bunch of MR. PATATO HEADS.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  24. RW

    Who advised Ms. June to purchase corporate bonds? If a broker suggested this without explaining the risk then the broker is at fault. Corporate bonds are not guaranteed by the government. If she had put the money in government I-bonds she would had a lower return, but a guaranteed investment.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  25. Kirk

    You've got to be kidding me, Debra. The fact that you "thought it was safe" and didn't see that GM's designs were bass-ackwards when compared to virtually every other major automaker in the industry proves that you never should've invested that money in the first place. If you want to complain when you don't see returns on investments, then put your money into a CD or money market account and make your 3%. We all understand what you're going through. You have one option: go out there, work as hard as you can, and make something of the time you have left. If you're not comfortable with risk, then don't invest.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  26. Darryl

    I myself lost $40,000 when it was "safely diversified" in DOW Jones, NASDAQ and International funds. This lady is not special in that she lost a lot of money – we all have! She was just especially foolish to sink it all into GM. Obviously, she believed that old mantra about "GM will always be here."

    June 1, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  27. pillows de radio

    $70,000 in one American car company. I thought teachers were supposed to be educated. That's been a bad investment since the 70s.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  28. Obama Games

    What a terrifying goverment under Obama and his radical comrades. This lady did not speculate in stock. She had purchased bonds which do not appreciate in value in correlation to company stock dollar growth. The trade off to having less earnings potential is bondholders recieve better protection if disaster strikes through (until now) guaranteed priority in liquidation. Your Messiah is undermining the entire written law to empower his UAW thugs and his radical socialist agenda.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  29. Henry

    She did NOT buy stock, she bought bonds. She loaned them money, probably at a fixed rate. She was to get the same return, regardless of how well the company did (or did not). Yes, bonds do have risk, and she should have diversified, but that doesn't mean that she has to take a back seat to the union.

    The problem here is that the rules were changed unilaterally AFTER she bought those bonds.

    In a bankruptcy, bondholders have to get paid first, before any unsecured creditors, like the unions. Even if they followed the rules, she might not get all of her principal back, but she certainly should be paid in full (to the extent the money is there) before the unions get a dime!

    Bondholders just loaned money to the company – they knew how much return they would get, and that was it. No opportunity for a "killing" here.

    The stockholders knew that they could lose big or win big... so now they lose big.

    The unions, on the other hand, have been milking the auto companies over the years for the most they could get, and they did get a LOT! Now the government comes in and bails them out using taxpayer money, and the money of the bondholders. That's what is unfair!

    GM and Chrysler should have forced into bankruptcy a LONG time ago, because they -were- insolvent. Anybody who bought their stock in the past few years should have known it was a gamble. The unions should have seen the problem coming, and should have backed off on their demands, seeing that they were killing the goose that was laying the golden eggs they were enjoying.

    FIRST priority should be the bondholders, not the unions that helped to create the problem in the first place.

    And yes, she has a right to be ashamed of how her government is rewriting the rules of business, after the fact, to acheive a political goal. So much for the rule of law.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  30. tough noodle

    Its funny how none of you talk about how your country got to this point in the first place? What should any president do? Let GM go bankrupt and leave them high and dry? Resulting in yet more job losses? There have been how many losses in this industry in the last year? Four hundred thousand give or take a few? Lets hear your solutions for change instead of all this constant whining. No one ever has solutions or alternatives to the "problems" they complain about. Just wah wah wah poor me.

    You are all so worried about socialsim infiltrating your lives and worried about ME and NOW. Driving around in your trucks and SUV's ignoring the market trends around the world. So self oriented – no one else exists but the USA. Who brought the global economy into recession? Your country and your excessive consumer greed and the last president you all whined about. You hold your government accountable for everything and you take no responsibility for anything as a citizen – ever. Collectively as a country you have been greedy and selfish and narcissistic and now you are paying for it.

    Im so sick and tired of America and honestly Im glad its all crashing down around you. You deserve it.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  31. mike E

    Although it has not been confirmed and more details need to be pending since friday, I heard from the radio that a lot of GM dealerships were being shut down accross the country including many profitable and sucessful ones whose exsistance depends and is decided not by the owners of the dealerships, but by GM's appointed arbitrator from the government. The question that comes up based on the statement from the radio is that a lot of the more sucessfull dealerships that are being forced to close were also large contributers to the Republican party or to Republican canidates, not all of them mind you, but a tendency seems to focus more on Republican contributers as being targeted. Again, this has yet to be positively confirmed, and it may have been as of Friday, but I would not be surprised if it turned out to be more than just a coincedence.

    It should also be noted that the last time a government ran a car company was when EAST GERMANY was making them in the 1960's to prove that the government could do better than private German and European companys. Never mind that you had to wait two years to get one of these cars or that it, burned more oil than a fire in a landfill full of tires, had leaky windows, thin sheet metal contruction ,easily rusted and ussally had more duct tape on it than metal . I forgot their name, but they quickly went out of bussiness once the Berlin wall came down, seeing that they could not compete with the cars that were available in WEST GERMANY. Go figure -Mike

    June 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  32. Mike in SA

    Also, everybody is talking about the risk that Debra took here, which yes...there is an inherent risk. However, I don't think anybody calculated in the audacity of the POTUS throwing away hundreds of years of contractual law to buddy up to his union cronies as part of that risk. THAT'S the problem here.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  33. Smarter Than You

    Note to the BOND GENIUS' on this thread – Bonds ARE more secure than stock, but NOT GM Bonds. They are worthless. There is no money to give the Bondholders, and they are being given common stock, not a buyout. If this June sells her stock for $200 she is as dumb as she was when she made her first investment, so it's not really worth $200 unless she sells. If she sticks it out, and at this point she should, it could be worth thousands IF the bailout works. We the people own that company now as we infused it with our money to keep it out of bankruptcy. I can't like every decision our governement does, but at least they are trying.

    My wish? Let GM fail with no buyout, and let union fail. They both had a hand in this collapse. No GM and Ford, Toyota, Honda... etc, gain market share and start making money. They deserve it as they are better companies (well, maybe not Ford).

    June 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  34. Joe

    She should have just gone to a casino and blew it all ... would have had some fun doing it anyways

    June 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  35. Mike

    This should have been handled through normal bankruptcy courts, along with all of the failed financial institutions.

    This would have saved the american taxpayer billions of dollars and kept the government out of private enterprise. Instead, we now have GM, "Government Motors."

    June 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  36. Gary

    I have a personal challenge to the GREAT ALL Knowing MICK

    You stated this "See that’s why you bigoted right wing illiterate hick morons shouldn’t vote, speak or really even be Americans."

    What makes me bigoted? The fact that your name is MIck?
    Why am I illiterate? Because I didn't need American Idol's phone number to know who to vote for as President? Because I can't write as good as you? At least I write better than the Majority of Obama supporters
    What makes you think I'm Right Wing? The fact that I think stealing from investors is wrong ? The fact that I don't like my dogs, or my children eating Chinese poison thanks to Bill Clinton inviting the Chinese to own us.
    Why am I a Moron ? Because I have to spend time fighting against the ObamaNation who is getting a free ride to post on CNN, while probably on their payroll? Ever notice Obama's position change after a CNN poll obviously contadicts him ?? hehe...

    The only thing logical about your liberal statement is that I am far from being United to you.... Let the Civil War begin,,,

    June 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  37. Mark

    Some of the comments here are completely rediculous.

    BTW – What happened to the BILLIONS of dollars that went into GM, by the bright thinking of the Obama administration, oh yeah, it got vaperized like this ladies.

    On a side note, Gold was at $400 an ounce 5 years ago, Man this lady would be sitting with over $150,000 right now...

    June 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  38. Eric

    Six years ago GM was in trouble if I remember correctly. I bought a couple grand of GM bonds because I thought they might be turning things around. I knew the risk, I saw the high coupon and thought it was worth taking it.

    I am disappointed that they are entering bankruptcy even though the debt holders agreed to a deal. At this point I don't think it really matters much... I was hoping I could get the stock and at least recover some of my investment.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  39. John von buren

    She forgot to
    mention one
    important thing......

    TAX WRITE OFF (for years to come!) OF HER LOSS.....

    June 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  40. Jeff Canuck

    I feel bad for you but you invested in a corporation, you took a gamble. And you lost. It sucks, but welcome to the big bad world of investing. I lost $250,000 on paper last year and I'm having a bad year income wise, this year, but my shares are up about $100K so I'm only down $150K. Scary numbers but I'm not going to go on CNN and whine about it. You got burned in a capitalist system that is rigged against the little investor) and the answer is... REGULATION

    June 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  41. Steve

    So it would be better if Obama just let GM go away? Then you would have nothing and all those workers (GM and parts suppliers and dealerships, etc.) would be out of work.

    Why did you buy those bonds anyway? Because they were yielding a lot, probably close to 10%. You know why the yield was so good? BECAUSE THEY WERE A RISKY INVESTMENT even 7 years ago. But you were greedy and now like everyone else you want the government to bail you out. You could have sold the bonds at much less of a loss anytime during the 7 years as the RISK you took became more and more apparent, but you didn't. Why? See the answer above. There is no free lunch, high yields reflect risk and you bet and lost. Next time try treasury bonds or FDIC guaranteed CDs.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  42. avg-joe

    Well, if you wanted a case study for the value of diversification, here you have it.

    Debra June made a calculated bet that her GM corporate debt would pay a return, and lost. Join the club. There are plenty of people who've bet in Lehman, Enron, and Worldcom that have lost their shirts as well.

    Investing involves risk. Investment without risk is called saving, and that's done with a CD or bank account with a low interest rate and FDIC insurance.

    Before you drop $70K in corporate bonds, for God's sake, talk to someone that knows what they're doing.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  43. Jack

    I believe the big companies applied risk management and found that they were too big to fail so they took risks they new were foolish. Why, because they new our government wouldn't let them fail. The banking industry, the auto industry, and AIG all knew they were too big to fail so the CEOs and Boards took the risk because the tax payers would take the fall – not them. I understand risk, that's why I'm buying a Ford.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  44. Eric

    What a waste of type (I use to be able to say ink but now a days...)! First of stocks are a risk... she took it.., it failed... move on. She said she tried to contact them, sounds like she couldn't now she is trying to blame them. If you didn't know the terms then you don't send the money. What a crock? Blame everyone but yourself... that is the American way though!!!!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  45. guido

    I transferred my 401k to bonds 2 yrs ago, and didn't lose a dime. I also took some out and bought FORD stock because I was paying attention, and have gained instead of many others. Alot of people invest money and just ignore it for years. There are warning signs out there, if you ignore them...you lose.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  46. Ralph

    The bankruptcies at GM and Chrysler are not normal and are not following normal rules. In the case of GM, U.S. taxpayers have kicked in $19.7 billion ($64.59 per person [19.7 billion divided by 305 million]), which we're going to lose (Notice how the White House spokesman is no longer talking about U.S. taxpayers getting their money back or even making a profit.) The plan is to kick in another $30 billion, $98.36 per person. By using this postbankruptcy cash, President Obama has both "the carrot and the stick" to dictate the outcome, and not allow the division of assets according to bankruptcy rules. If a normal bankruptcy were allowed to occur, GM obligations would be paid in order of priority and the underfunded pension, as a secured asset, would make its claim against the underfunded pension. Team Obama and his Congressional allies (Senator Levin, etc.) did not want the U.S. Congress to be exposed as a collection of scoundrels who allowed GM to underfund its pension obligations to its autoworker retirees for years – in spite of being warned by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation for years. Instead, Team Obama decided to rework the division of assets to benefit the U.A.W. at the expense of "evil" bondholders whom Obama described as "speculators," such as this teacher who bought bonds in a Fortune 500, Dow Jones component company six years ago. Granted, the financial situation at GM has changed markedly in those years, especially in the last eight months as oil prices went up to $147 per barrel and GM management had not planned on this possibility and did not have sufficient small cars for sale, and our teacher should have gotten out, but cut her some slack. She does not deserve what she is getting from her government merely because she is an ordinary citizen not connected to the U.A.W. voting block or Michigan politicians trying to save their worthless hides.

    It is bad enough that U.S. taxpayer funds are being used to prop up 19 poorly-run large banks and poorly-run Fannie Mae and Sallie Mae, instead of nationalizIng these companies and then auctioning off their assets to surviving, i.e. by definition, better-run banks. When the White House decides to spend $49.7 billion of the $700 billion of TARP (7%) to cover for its misdeeds, I cry, "Foul!" Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the vice chairman of TARP is also a counsel with the AFL-CIO, as reported by CNN.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  47. parks

    I do not feel sorry for her or anyone else that thinks they should not have filed for bankruptcy years ago. I feel bad for the employees some what. To really spend $70K on a dying compnay and then discuss Michelle Obama? No wonder why this country and economy are in the toilet. We have people who think giving $30 billion as a two month band-aid is going to fix everything. What a joke!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  48. Frank Bahia

    I hold a $100k Lehman Bros. bond.

    Welcome to the club.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  49. basil

    Why is it that the half of you who are defending her are bashing Obama in same breath? I followed the news pretty closely these past few weeks and I believe it was the bondholders who agreed to take the equity swap... Who are these bondholders who approved the swap? I don't know – but it wasn't like the government swooped in and took all her money. Nothing was forced – the bondholder swap was supposed to avoid bankruptcy by relieving GM from a large amount of its debt in return for ownership of the company. (apparently it didn't work)

    She should figure out why she didn't have a say in this decision at least for her stake.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  50. Mark

    Do you think she would be whining on TV if she made 20% return on her "investment?" Would she want to give 14% of that money to charity because it was "too high" a return (based on historical average)?

    Answer: No chance.

    Moral: Toughen up sweetie. Hope you didn't teach personal finance...

    June 1, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  51. john grenier

    First of all, I am sorry she lost her money. It has to hurt.

    I have to agree that I have little or no sympathy for the victim mentality. She bought GM in 2003. There was nothing safe about GM in 2003 – GM was consistently losing market share, GM had years with record losses prior to her investing, and GM was the subject of many books and articles about their inflexible/incompetent management in a changing world.

    I'm inclined to think she probably bought GM because they were offering a higher return than T-Bonds, and she wanted the extra money. The risk associated with that small incremental income is usually disproportionally great (LOTS more risk for each additional 1%).

    June 1, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  52. mike

    Bagholder furious over GM bankruptcy.
    Nobody could have seen that coming. I just loaned $70K to my deadbeat cousin who's out of a job, behind on child support, a compulsive gambler and has a bit of a cocain habit. He assured my he'll pay me back when his next gig goes through. What ya'll think my chances are of getting my money back?
    Holders of long term US treasury debt will be the next generation of bagholders. If you have savings, don't give them to deadbeats, that's good advice.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  53. tiger

    I feel for Debra June. Congress and the Obama Administration have treated GM's financial crisis as if it were a fun summer project for law students. GM is being destroyed under the pretense of rescuing it, leaving its employees, its bondholders, and its customers out in the cold.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  54. Mark

    Acutally Vonnie: Michell Obamma said "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."

    June 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  55. Mike in SA

    Open up the trash can because Obama isn't just ignoring contract law, he's throwing it away.

    I can see now why he likes Sotomayor. Apparently standing legislated law means nothing. Dictated law is all the rage to them, whether it is from the Executive branch or the Judicial. He's looking for an "empathetic" face on the SCOTUS when the bondholders' lawsuits get there. His problem is that it will be a bunch of retirees versus the UAW.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  56. Ron Arthur

    When you make an investment, you take a chance. Sure, its disappointing, but its an investment. If you don't want investment risk, stay with bank accounts or some other guaranteed investment. If you want the higher rate of return then you have to accept the risk that goes with it. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  57. Paul

    The risk for bonds and stock are the same: you can lose all of your money if the company goes bankrupt. For all those people blaming the government for this, your anger is totally misplaced. If the government hadn't been floating money to GM over the last 6 to 9 months it would have gone into bankruptcy long ago and there wouldn't be as much left to the creditors as there is now. GM made their bed, investors put their money at risk (that's what you do when you invest), and it didn't turn out well. That's what happens everyday, the scale is just a little different this time.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  58. jj

    did she say "bernie Matloff" and she's a school teacher?!?! seems pretty ignorant in all of her comments

    June 1, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  59. Rob

    I can't believe how many people commented on this situation and seem to have no idea about the difference between a stock and a bond. They are not the same thing and have totally different risk profiles. I also can't believe how quickly people forget that GM (while a horribly run company) was making record breaking profits when SUVs were hot (right up till last summer). Also, there is the fact if you are of a certain age, GM was THE company. It was the bluest of blue chip companies. Thus it's bonds would be as safe as a Federal Reserve Note. No question that she should not have put all her eggs in one basket, but if you did not want to deal with your investments, GM bonds made good sense (obviously a mutual bond fund would have been better).

    Next, the government is to blame for HER loss. No question about it, if the US (GWB or Obama) did not step in, GM would have filled bancruptcy last year and owed some $160billon with $80billion of assets. This women as a bond holder would have gotten $35,000 back. HOWEVER the impact to the US economy would have been far far worse with hundreds of thousands of people loosing their jobs. So to the woman I say, yes you lost $70,000 but you could have lost a lot more if the US economy collapsed.

    I feel bad for her, it's a big loss, and I know how it feels since my mom lost a lost of money on GM too (unfortunately she was more diversified, she owned Citibank, Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns too). It's bad situation and I think more people should have empathy for those that lost large parts of their savings.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  60. Rusty

    Remember, people – if you own stock in the company, you bought shares and own a part of the company – if the company fails tough luck!. BUT if you are "bondholder" you "loaned" the company money. THEY STILL OWE HER FOR HER LOAN!! GM wants to pay her back with worthless stock. THAT IS NOT RIGHT!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  61. Rowdy

    The U.S. would rather drive Toyota and Nissan's, and are Jealous that middle class auto worker had some benefits that they didn't.
    Support your rice rockets.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  62. Randy

    Well before I spend 70k in the markets you got to do your home word it's a risk just like getting up in the morning some days you might not get up and some days the market will crash look at it this way Deb you now own some of the New GM just like every other tax payer.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  63. Mobius

    O'checklist:

    Insurance: check
    Housing: check
    Wall Street: check
    Banking: check
    Auto Industry: check

    Next up: Healthcare? Is President Mulligan playing Monopoly?

    June 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  64. Dan, TX

    Bonds are usually safer than stocks. But, if a company goes bankrupt, it doesn't really help much. Debt gets wiped. Bonds are debt. Bonds are not money markets.

    Bonds are not very risky with a strong company. But GM was not as strong as you were led to believe. Bad call. 100% loss in GM, hopefully you will recoup losses with gains in other investments. My retirement account has lost over $100,000 twice – tech bubble and housing bubble. But since it is all still in the market, it is riding the tsunamis. In a couple of more years the market will recover to the point where I will have as much as if I had just put my money in a bank account for the past 20 years.

    I won't be retiring until I'm 75 at the earliest.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  65. Chris

    S&P downgraded GM to junk bond status in 2005:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sp-cuts-gm-bond-rating-to-junk?siteid=mktw&dist=

    It's not a huge surprise that the bonds ended up being worthless.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  66. Gary

    Sorry I wasn't as Smart as Mick,,, although you didn't say anything different that I did, just elaborated
    You can call me stupid, but I am happy to be where I am. I have learned alot, certainly have more to learn. I know for a fact this President is dangerous for this country. He has allowed The Union to rob private investors.... If you don't think that's what's happened here, your mistaken. I won't say your stupid, just misguided by your Jim Jones complex.
    But it's all ok, 2010 will make things clear. None of us independants who voted for Mr Hussein Obama expected him to actually damage our private sector investors hopes like this.
    Anything but Dem in 2010

    June 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  67. John L

    It's shocking how little most of these poster know about investments. Yes she was stupid (ill advized) to put all of her eggs in one basket. But she wasn't playing in the STOCK market, she had bought BONDS. By definition bonds have a certain position in the bankruptcy hiearchy which is safer then stocks (aka: Shareholders). President Obama has forcefully rearranged the bankruptcy hierarchy in the cases of both Chyrsler and GM, which has resulted in the the bond holders getting less then they were due, and the US Government and the UAW getting more then they were due. What most posters seem to miss is that President Obama, as the lead fund manager for the US Treasure has chosen to invest the tax dollars that US Citizens have entrusted to the US Government in a company has has barely been able to break even, let alone generate a reasonable rate of return on investment for at least the last 20 years - if not longer. The chances of getting this money out are virtually zero. He would have done better to let GM go under and have given that $50-$100B directly to the unemployment compensation account. We'd have more of it left 5 years from now.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  68. JCP

    This forum has really illustrated why so many people have lost so much money. The level of ignorance is overwhelming. There are actually lots of folks who think bonds are 'safe' or 'protected' or 'very low risk.' and even 'guaranteed' GM bonds have been rated at the junk level for a very long time. That means they pay a higher interest rate but they are more likely to default. GM has no money to pay any interest let alone the pricip[al of these bonds. If evey single GM asset were sold at even decent prices, the first to get paid are secured creditors, i.e., financial insituiton that have liens over specific assets. Bond holders have no collateral. Whatever is left after all secured claims can go to bondholders and whatever is left after that goes to common shareholders.

    Obama did't change any rules. That is silly. If the company can somehow survive and make profits in the future everyone will benefit. If it dies and liquidates, bondholders will get nothing. The Govt is trying to see that GM have a decent chance of making it through the restructuring process.

    AS STATED BY MANY, DON"T INVEST UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  69. Bill

    It's just one more example of the government putting its nose where it does not belong. Name one thing the government does that has ever worked save war. If the government stayed out of it GM would have gone bankrupt months ago and the bondholders would have gotten their fair share in court. Now they are giving the unions 17% when they have been raping the company for 40 years. This is another example of corrupt politicians buying votes this is simply illegal.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  70. Yikes

    Look people,

    Corporate bonds are NOT a risk free investment. Yes, corporate bonds are less risky than stock in the same corporation, but the ultimate risk of a corporate bond depends on the issuer (i.e., the corporation). With corporate bonds, the corporation is effectively saying, "We promise a safe, small return on your investment." GM bonds were never guaranteed by the federal government; they were guaranteed by General Motors. Perhaps its just me, but you don't just invest in a corporate bond based on the yield. One must also consider the longtime viability of the corporation. After all, the corporation is ultimately liable for all promises made to bond holders (and these promises can be broken in bankruptcy court).

    If I had lost $70K in GM bonds, I would be furious at the executives at GM not a bankruptcy judge or the federal goverment. How exactly did GM spend that money over the years? Did GM ever have a real expectation of paying off these bonds given the high yield? I would also want to kick myself for not following the investor's mantra (diversify, diversify, diversify).

    June 1, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  71. Mitch

    You're a teacher and you invest $70K in GM? Do you live under a rock? Cry me a river. I'm broke and still know about diversifying. Let's blame some people! Because everybody but ourselves are at fault. I'm gonna dump my life savings into baseball cards.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  72. Aj

    I know it tough but if you wanted better odds you should have went to vegas. She bet on the stock and lost. if she had won she'd be complaining about getting taxed. All in all it's the nature of the game.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  73. Jon

    If you invest in a company that:

    Makes products that are not as well reguarded as the competition's Paid more to its employees that the competition

    What did you expect?

    June 1, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  74. RIC

    I am amazed at some of the comments I have just read. One person stated that "Bonds are not speculative". WHAT??? Of course they are. In theory they are not generally as speculative as common stock but MANY bond holders lose. If you do not understand a market, DO NOT invest in it. As far as this teachers situation...I feel sorry for any one who has lost their savings, job, etc. I live in Detroit. Do you have any idea how many people here are homeless or are on the verge. A lot of them were making $50K + a year or 2 ago. You were attempting to make a profit off of the privater sector. When things went south you confident that Obama would bail you out. You stated you were excited that the government was stepping in. There are all kinds of lessons here. I hope we all lean some thing.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  75. G.T.

    I may have missed it but did anybody point out that these were UNSECURED bonds? Some bonds are secured by assets, some, like the GM bonds in question, are only secured by faith in the Company (GM in this case). Accordingly, these bonds never would have gotten preferential treatment in bankruptcy. Nothing was taken away or lost by the way this bankruptcy is being handled and, if anything, she will get more via this process than would have been received without the government intervention.

    Lesson: Understand what you're buying.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  76. DebtFreeBuddy

    Democrats, Republicans and Independents... or lets just say "Americans" will only go just so far... down the hole with the current administration of economic ignorance, before they wake up and decide that we have made mistakes all along the way! GM made mistakes, Republicans Made Mistakes, Pelosi and the liberals in congress made mistakes, the current administration are making huge mistakes in the name of their agenda...and the People of the United States of America have made the mistake of not getting involved in the Democratic process of voting, that is such a "Huge Responsibility" and "Gift of Freedom", that the men and women of the armed forces have paid for with the sacrifices to themselves and their families! It's time to consider why this is happening to the Greatest Nation in the world and how we will rise to the occasion and reflect the values that have made America Great! When GM and other auto makers trace back where they went wrong, they will probably find that they should have separated themselves from poor business practices of offering credit to those that had poor credit ( if any ), in the name of the dollar, or worse, in the name of "not excluding" folks that had not yet earned the responsibility or gained the knowledge needed to maintain monthly payments. Say what you will...but we are All responsible...and we All need to get involved in voting our pubic officials into office based on their character and convictions!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  77. Pete

    I don't feel sorry for her or any other bondholders, you invest, you take the risk, don't cry about it and say it's not fair....

    June 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  78. Tom

    Well I'm not gonna say I'm happy to hear about someone's misfortune, I'm not that type of person - however like others stated before me....its risk. This is common sense (or at least one would think) - when you invest there are no guarantees. If everything was guaranteed - we'd all be millionaires and no one would bother going to work after they earned enough to invest and build upon.

    i can't think of any one in my pool of friends, family or work associates who hasn't lost property value, assets or straight money during these trying times.....join the club....we *ALL* would like to get our losses back, why is this woman special?

    June 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  79. Paul

    She's upset the governement didn't save her investment? I guess thats typical of most democrats.

    What about those of us who had the smarts NOT to invest in GM – We're the one's losing out – I'm being FORCED to invest in that piece of junk against my will.

    GM should have been bankrupt last fall without Billions of taxpayer dollars. Same result, less taxpayer debt.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  80. HRR

    This woman wants to get sympathy for loosing 70K and she is 'only a school teacher'? What kind of school teacher has 70k laying aroung to invest. Bonds and Stock are a gamble she played she lost.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  81. Daniel

    I also want to question what kind of interview was this. Why does John play the shoulder to cry on. Why doesn't he ask her as a school teacher wasn't she smart enought to understand the risk. Wasn't she smart enough to understand diversification. What was it that she read 6 years ago that made her think GM was a good investment. I think these interviews that they have been doing on CNN and other stations make things worse by not looking at both sides. Sure she may not be getting a fair shake in deciding how the bankruptcy should be handled but she is hardly an innocent bistander she is an investor.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  82. Thomas

    Yeah, a bond is typically supposed to be a safe bet. But then again mortgage-backed securities were a relatively safe bet until the market went nuts with them, saw the $$ start to roll in and lost their minds. If it's not FDIC there's always going to be some way of losing it. With the government involvement I'm sure the chinese are paying close attention at this time to how we treat bondholders, being that with our deficit our country is looking more and more like GM every day.

    I can understand the game changes in a bankruptcy and that's the nature of the beast. But you can't be so easy to call a bond gambling. It's not the same as a stock.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  83. Lee Stewart

    I am truly amazed at teh number of people responding to this interview that do not know the difference between a bond and a stock. Any investment has associated risks, but bonds are a totally different type of investment vehicle from stocks. In a free America, the bondholders DO get first shot at the bankrupcy money.
    As for teh politics, the President is clearly acting outside the law on this and many other issues. His attorney general, appears to have just approved harassment of poll watchers with the Black Pnather case.
    This administration will go down as the most overbearing, corrupt and law breaking one in Americn history. Sorry Obama supporters, all we have to do is watch the facts begin to unfold. That is, if the government does not soon try to control speech and print as well.
    Disgusted with the whole thing.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  84. Kirby

    All you financial neophytes, reread Robert Johnson's post. He has nailed it for you. Fin 101.

    Bond holers are supposed to be the some of the first paid.

    That is why this socialist govt is scary, they are meddling where they have no business meddling.

    Have a fun 4, Obama.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  85. Smarter Than You

    Is this for real? Two problems with this country of ours – you make a bad choice, you blame the President and his wife. Get a clue, GM has been on the decline for years, any half witted individual invests in companies who make choices for the future – GM didn't.

    Second, to Gary and other "Our Republicans Are Better Than You" people, get a clue as well – your King George's policies led us to this financial collapse, so take a load of Obama's shoulder and realize he is trying where George just hid in Crawford, TX for 8 years. Typical Republican propaganda to try and shift the blame from a Republican administration to the new President.

    Stop voting for parties, and start voting for brains – the most qualified candidate finally won and now people are jealous because their TEAM didn't win. Maybe you should invest in GM and make King George Jr. look better.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  86. Scott

    I think it's awful to bring up Michelle Obama!
    It's her husband that cheated all these bond holders. All of you good folks who keep talking about risk and the stock market need to look up the definition of bonds and see what the govement has done here.

    How many of you will buy a goverment car when this little travesty is over? Oh, thats right you don't have any money or credit in these 'tough times" maybe a getaway weekend to the big apple will make you feel better...

    June 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  87. ThermalHunter

    The the bonds she purchase were secured by the actual assets of GM. She should be given her share of the sell of the GM assets. Without an inventory of the assets and a calculation of non-stock debt, we don't know what her true recovery should be.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  88. mary

    This whole thing is a shame. Years ago the auto industry had a major 'buy American' campaign that pretty much included just automobiles. Without other 'American manufacturing' jobs, it soon became apparent, we Americans could no longer afford those American cars.
    I'm not certain why our auto industry thought they were indestructable, why they thought we could just keep paying more and more for their product, or why they thought we would want to, when so many other Americans truly were without jobs - yet, the unions kept the line pumped up thinking they were worth more than the rest of us, and kept threatening strikes and the likes - all the while management kept burying their heads deeper and deeper in the sand, while paying themselves more and more -- it was a horrible game of Russian Ruoulette - and now we know who lost - we all lost. Companies that did business with GM have lost, individuals who were invested in Bonds or stock, have lost - but most of all, our country has lost as we are one step deeper into Socialism, or Marxism or Facism - not sure which one would take over a company quite like GM was just taken over.
    Wake up America, your job, or your business could be next.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  89. Louise

    No one is to blame for GM's demise but several generations of
    GM management.

    How was management able to drive GM into the ground? Look at the posters here who are praising Obama. Poor management is excused and justified time and time. .

    The investor's complaint is legitimate. Despite federal law, Obama's administration has structured the bankruptcy to favor unsecured debtors (the union health plan) over secured debtors such as this lady. The goal is to pay off the autoworkers union for its political support.

    Worst, he's picked a 31-year-old Harvard grad to be in charge of the new GM. Someone with no real world experience, never started or run a business of his own and who admits himself he knows nothing about the auto industry. But he was a political activist who supported Obama.

    America now has two incompetent administrations in a row – Bush and Obama. Wonder if our economy will survive.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  90. Will

    This woman fails.

    "Don't put all your eggs into one basket" is one thing to say. But better stated, "put all your eggs in one basket and watch that basket very very carefully."

    As my great-grandfather always said, "boy, you better pay attention."

    June 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  91. CG from Tky

    What kind of fluff is this from CNN? Not sure who is more clueless, Debra or the people who keep saying she invested in stocks. If you do not know the difference, why are you bothering to post? That being said, Debra deserves to lose most of her money because GM bonds have been a risky investment for years.

    But the real crime here is how Pres. Obama and his task force of investment bankers are violating the basics of contract law and the US Constitution with these sham bankruptcies. No one should ever invest in a unionized company again, because when times get tough, the government will screw the investor in order to save union jobs and all those campaign dollars.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  92. Terri

    What has happened to the Values and Integrity of this Country when a fellow American has been swindled by her own government and the sheepeople are berating her for telling you about it. Shame on you!If you would think for yourself and understand what it means to be a bondholder, you would see that she was cheated. But alas, better people that I have tried to educate you on what it means to hold a bond and you have turned a deaf ear.

    But beware! For anyone, be them a conservative or liberal, to blindly follow a leader or party is signing away your liberties. This is isn't socialism this is FASCISM. Look it up in the dictionary. At least we know Webster's is impartial.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  93. Nicholas

    People in America are so stupid. Can't even understand the difference between a bond and a stock. No wonder so many of you have lost money in investments. You all should take investing 101! And I agree with the woman. She basically loaned GM $70K and GM paid interest for the money. Imagine if you loaned that kind of money to your relative and they didn't pay you back. You'd be pretty upset.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  94. Mark

    Should have invested the $70,000 in a Folger's coffee can.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  95. Mike

    Just reading the GM bankruptcy article; GM has assets of $82B and liabilities of $173B. If GM were forced into Chapter 7 Bankruptcy instead of Chapter 13, creditors would see roughly 45% of their money depending on the structure of those assets. Yes, more people would be out of work, the ripple effects throughout the economy would be potentially devastating. In the current scenario what we are asking people like June to do is to subsidize the bailout of GM far beyond what is legally required, theirs rights have been trampled on. I do not feel that June should get all her money back, I am not really sympathetic to her as even in bonds there is risk, assets do devalue, but what the government is asking a small group of people to shoulder is unconscionable.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  96. Thomas

    Hmm, 101-reverse split means stock will be worth $100, so 140 shares is $14,000. If stock goes up to $4, she'll have her money back.

    That's not that bad of a loss, for someone who bought bonds in a failing company (sounds like a vulture to me), Even if she didn't intentionally mean to scavenge off of others' livelihoods, she should realize that's what she's asking for.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  97. the count

    ...i took a nap and woke up in a bizzare american version of the DDR (German Democratic Republic, east germany)...

    obama, geithner, pelosi, clinton, bush.... they ALL are to blame for the mess we are in.

    imho reagan was the last halfway decent president we had, and he was nearly killed...

    June 1, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  98. Cory

    I can't believe most of the people on here. You got robbed deal with it yourself. Love how you guys stick up for each other. And it's a bond you idiots not a stock.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  99. Dave

    For those of you who think that CD's and Treasuries are safe, be prepared for the massive federal deficits to trigger high inflation and wipe out the value of those also.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  100. gil

    GM has't made a profit in 40 years! They destoyed their incredible electric car ( because it was TOO good) and wouldn't let the leaseholders BUY the cars! They pursued the BAD business of making money on replacement parts and servicing their defective vehicles! She did not do her homework ( and she's a teacher!) and her second mistake was never put all your money in one pot. DIVERSIFY! The stock market is NOT a savings account that accrues interest! It is a high risk environment that must be watched closely! I called it! I told everyone that GM was going to go bankrupt a year and a half ago. Everyone who has had a GM car says they are crap! How long can a company produce crap and stay in business. I bought one 20 years ago and my truck stopped in the middle of the road ( defective oil pump) I got NO help from GM and they LOST my engine at the dealership when I was told they were going to investigate it. I replace the engine $6500. and the next week the transmission went out (S-10 pickup) . they bubble gummed it up after a week without a car I got it back only to have the transmission shooting out transmission fluid like Old Faithful. Bubble gummed it up 3 times and then sold it to HyUNDAI ! My family will NEVER buy a GM car again! GOOD RIDDANCE GM!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
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