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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. OMG Me Too!

    Please someone have sympathy for me too. My stock portfolio was down over 62% earlier this year. It's now at a comfy -35% (Thanks FORD!) and I want to blame someone other than myself for MY losses. Please lady, take resonsiblity for YOUR actions and stop blaming others. Guess you weren't donating your proceeds to charity when the going was good now, were you. GREED makes people do STUPID things. Just ask the Madoff lemmings or the people who lost their nest eggs during the savings & loan scandal decades ago. There's no such thing as a free ride or a sure thing. Do your homework and invest in reputable holdings. A longtime, broke down, overburdened, American auto company is not the place to park one's hard earned money.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  2. JP

    You can't pay people $60 an hour to turn a bolt, and expect to stay competitive in the world. GM has been in a royal nose dive for years. How many billions were handed to GM and they still couldn't get the nose up? It just took a recession to put it in the ground. It's AMAZING that anyone is surprised by this. This is just a larger example of what has been happening all over the country for a long time now.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  3. Budster90

    As a working husband and father of 3 in a 2 income household, I find it impossible to feel sympathy for someone who: a) has 70k to invest and b) is so irresponsible to risk it all on a single investment! AND then to have the nerve to whine "poor me" about it afterwards? Give me a break. No different form some loser taking their last $10 to a casion and then whining that they didn't hit the jackpot.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  4. Nate

    Why in the world would you invest your entire savings in corporate bonds? I'm a 22 year old college student and this just baffles me. You know they pay you interest because bankruptcy is a real possibility for any corporation. Either fire your financial adviser or spend an extra couple hundred dollars so you don't lost your entire savings.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  5. Harold

    How many "common" people have $70,000 in savings to invest in one lump sum? Basic market principles involve big gain for big risk, small gain for small risk. Where I come from, $70K in one basket is a big risk.

    At some point, we have to call it a day with debtholders and let these big companies go under. Investment is not always a win-win situation.
    Looks like she lost this one.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  6. subbu

    Greed is what drives many business and they are cushioned by INC lables. unfortunatley system does not allow a indivudual a cushion. against greed. (bane of capitalism?) we should NOT blame individuals for their decisions becasue we all make mistakes. society should work for better solutions to solves these problems . THERE IS NO CURE FOR GREED.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  7. Randy

    Most comments on here have some merit in what they say...BUT..and it is huge. The government has nor had any business being involved in this. When the US Government is deciding what a once private company can and will do as for paying to bond holders or whoever reeks of socialism at best...dictatorship and communism at worst. We just wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on Chrysler and GM and yes investing is risky bussiness...but when the government decides to step in and make decisions that they have no right to do all the investment rules change. I am on disability. I do not want to be. After the bailout of so many financial institutions and those same banks raise my interest to 31% on credit cards and I have done nothing wrong.really makes me angry. Yes I knew very well that they can set my interest to anything they want....but I never knew or thought they the US Government would be helping them to do this by backing them up with money. I was slowly getting my CC paid off. I am now thinking of not paying anyone a penny. After all I am non-judgmental and always will be. No one except the IRS can touch my Social Security and retirement check. I have no assets for them to get and in my state all bad debts come off a credit report after 7 years at which time I will be 65 and would have a decent credit score to purchase a home....my credit score is fine but this whole bailout deal makes me want to do like the big boys and screw all I can....after all they are all screwing us!!!!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  8. AssNapkin Ed

    Let's forget about the politics for while; both parties have done some bonehead moves that have hurt people. CASE CLOSED!

    I can only hope that Ms. June isn't teaching some form of financial responsibilty!! Who puts $70,000 in the bonds of a single company (unless this is just a small percentage of your TOTAL bond allocation)?!?!?? "Paul" made the following remark: "How were GM bonds speculative?" Well, they are very speculative when the company considered bankruptcy twice before in recent history. And, even if that wasn't so, ANYTHING can happen and you should ALWAYS spread your portfolio across as many sectors/companies as you can. Otherwise, it's speculation.

    It's the classic case of all your eggs in one basket.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  9. Eric

    The big issue here is not this woman's loss. It is the fact that what is happening is not legal. Attacking this woman for being an investment idiot is pointless. The real issue is that what the government is doing is illegal. Don't let sob stories and personal attacks distract you from the important part of all of this.

    The government's only real power is protecting property rights and enforcing contracts. They can't modify existing contracts. But that is exactly what they are doing now with this whole situation.

    Step back away from the political attacks and think about it from the perspective of the law and the supposedly limited power that the federal government should have. What they are doing right now breaks all rules of bankruptcy.

    Hopefully, the courts will just throw this whole thing out the door and put GM back into a proper bankruptcy. People like the teacher depicted here will still lose money, but they won't be losing money because the government changed the rules to suit a political agenda.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  10. DR

    Buy Ford. LOL!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  11. subbu

    Greed is what drives many business and they are cushioned by INC lables. unfortunatley system does not allow a indivudual a cushion. against greed. (bane of capitalism?) we should blame individuals for their decisionsbecasue we all make mistakes. society should work for better solutions to solves these problems . THERE IS NO CURE FOR GREED.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  12. Pwrless

    It's all in the fine print: Past performance is not guarantee of future results. If you can't take the heat, then get of of Wall Street.
    There will always be company Executives, Accountants, insiders, day traders, that are actively finding ways of milking the company out of millions and there are others that for many years have managed to run a company onto the ground because their so called Ivy Leage background, Market to Market Financial Modeling and Forcasts are very poor/unsustainable; whereas A High School Graduate could much better read an INCOME STATEMENT and make a wiser choice.
    Next time you need investment advise, try not to contact a professional, just have a one-to-one face conversation with one of your students, you will thank them 10 years down the road.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  13. Brian

    Investment carries risk. Return is usually proportional to risk. If you don't understand that, or don't have it explained to you by whoever is helping you invest, you shouldn't be in ANY financial instrument – stocks, bonds, or anything else.

    She assumed a risk, but now doesn't like the fact that it didn't turn out in her favor and wants her money back – so, she wanted to be paid for taking the risk, but now wants to be indemnified against the loss? I don't think so.

    And may I ask where she's BEEN the last few years, as the auto market was coming unraveled? Did she ever think of redistributing her investment as she saw the industry failing? How about diversifying her portfolio? How difficult a concept is THAT?

    No sympathy hear.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  14. CARMEN KM TX

    Lets forget about our Prsident and our Government, lets get rid of the UAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I work for a company that has No Union and was created by the men who owned Enron KM... Its the greatest place to work without some Union rep asking for Money, Money, Money... WAKE UP AMERICA LETS GET RID OF THE UAW......

    June 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  15. john

    The amount of stupidity and ignorance on this forums is beyond belief. The majority of the individuals on this board she educate themselves on the topics they are discussing BEFORE posting a comment "backed up" by what they hear on TV.

    People think HEADLINES that the media use to pull in viewers REFLECT THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH. wake up you fools – DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT BEFORE YOU TYPE.

    For those that didn't know and are drinking the media kool-aid because you're in the presumably uneducated sector – BONDS are NOT EQUITIES. The majority of investors who invest in the bond/stock market are looking for a JUSTIFIED rate of return on the accepted level of risk.

    What Obama did is ALTER risk during Chrysler and now GM bankruptcies. The White House also did a great job spinning these investors as the "speculative bunch" on Wall St. Sure, some private investors may have speculated (as with ALL OTHER INVESTMENT VEHICLES), but the biggest loser are the small time investors who invested in bond/stock funds through larger funds. This is what frustrates me, the private investor, and investors across the country.

    Please educate yourself before firing off idiotic comments.

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

    Welcome to the world of investments. Risk=reward or failure
    Read the disclaimers.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  17. Warren - Detroit

    It's funny, people are quick to assume that bonds bear the same risk as stock.

    Claude from Montreal said it right, bondholders have the first stake at assets should a company (in this circumstance GM) goes into bankruptcy.

    Generally, that is correct if you're talking about a liquidation bankruptcy (e.g. Circuit City), but this re-organization bankruptcy. The main difference is that bondholders, instead of having rights to equity, lose the right to mature their bonds. That being said, the offer made by GM is legal, but it's not an all-or-nothing deal.

    If you were to accept the proposal, then GM would convert your bonds to equity, if not, you would maintain your bonds until they mature (and the company is out of bankruptcy). The only concern is that if you wait, the bonds may be reduced in value by the bankruptcy judge.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  18. Raja

    This is what is wrong with people,trying to blame every one but themselves, If I buy a house which i cannot afford,say some one tricked me into it,if credit card companies raise your rates because you didnt pay,lets gang up on them,blame blame blame,I lost 50 000 dollars in the dot com bust,I accept the fact that i did nt know squat about investing and hence its my fault.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  19. Guillaume Affleck

    Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, speaking in Milwaukee, Wis. 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.”

    If you hope someone will dhange the rules of the game to steal your money, yup!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  20. Wes Chipman

    What the heck!!! Since when do people that invest in a company knowing....KNOWING....there is risk involved get to play the sympathy card, cry and say it's not fair? I've got the IQ of a baby rattle and I know that investing is risky and you should make choices wisley. Let's look at this logically, she took $70,000 and invested in GM. First, is she loaded, I think the fact she felt she needed to get on CNN and cry about her money being gone means no she doesnt have a lot of money which means she broke the rule of people all your eggs in one basket. Second, I'm know business man no do I keep up on business news but I seem remember GM not doing that well even 6 years ago.
    In summary, SUCK IT UP, you rolled the dice of investment hit craps and your moneys gone, I'm sorry really I am, but please spare us all your whoa is me cry baby act and take responsibility of YOUR OWN ACTIONS like a grown up. GAAAAAHHHHH!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  21. Richard Williams

    Well June, I am sorry you lost your money. However, it sounds like you should have gotten some financial guidance before you dumped $70,000 into GM. Even 6 years ago the company was not in good shape.
    You should have done your homework. Also you should have never put such a large investment into one company. You should have diversified your risks. You made a bad investment and now you want to blame someone else. That's one of the big problems with the people in this country, nobody wants to take responsibility any more. At least you have a job!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  22. Chuck

    Sorry for her and the others.. we have freinds with same issue, most over 60.. BUT not ONE complained when "Stock growing at 5-15% per year etc" and NONE could ever explain at how this was going on and what was source of their new wealth? One did get "paid back" when son and family showed up at door as both laid off in "cost cutting". as company that was making them "great returns on stock".
    Sorry USA, but as we fail, and USA is failing, has been for 30 years now... we turned the management of the once might USA industry over to the "bottom line and stock bonus C//'s and fee feeders along the cash flow". from the "Industry knowledgeable" and we fed the greed machine, rather then the industrial machines.. and "capitalisum" was no more as it required to grow, money going back to plant updates, and workers in USA.. not move offshore via trade rules that a bought congress set up.. So greed got what greed gets, a very few did very well and those millions of commoners taking a beating..
    So as one very wise money guy told me.. "Investment is going for all you can afford to lose.. saving is getting a safe place for funds, one pays or loses very well, the other remains there very well.. you pay and take your chances with your greed index guiding your plan" Sorry but you lost, along with millions of others.. but the fee feeders did well and so will the lawyers as usual. .. So goes GM, so goes the USA

    June 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  23. Jason

    Wow, most of the people on here can't tell the difference between stocks and bonds. She invested in GM bonds, not stock. And six years ago, GM's bonds were considered low risk (not junk) bonds. In most cases, companies that go bankrupt allow the bondholders to take control of the company. In this case, our GOVERNMENT took control of the company. Don't blame her for pointing out what a lot of you can't understand. The GM bondholders got screwed by our own government.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  24. Michael

    Remember GM had the soluction with their all electric car. Customers loved it.
    Then GM killed the electric car. Therefore GM deserves to die.
    GM is stupid.
    Now Obama is laying claim to invent the GM electric car?
    Is everyone in America either crazy or stupid including Obama?
    See the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car."
    Die GM die.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  25. Don Graham

    Debra's key words are "When I bought into GM, I thought it’s a safe thing". She doesn't want to take any responsibility for managing her investment portfolio. She wants to find someone to sue for her stupidity instead. She should have got out when the auto industry when it started getting getting pounded 3 years ago. I don't want to pay for GM's bailout and hers.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  26. John from NC

    The deals were grossly unfair both the GM deal and the Chrysler deals.

    When you give unsecured creditors more than you give secured creditors its a raw deal. When you kowtow to those who are making on average more than 3 times the average US wage and expect everyone else to continue to subsidize that wage it is wrong.

    It is my sincere hope that not 1 American will buy 1 share of the New GM and Chrysler nor that any bank will loan either company any money after the travesty the Government brokered deal is.

    We should have let these two companies fail late last year, we should have let the banks fail. It is what they deserved. Now we are all on the hook to save people more concerned about earning 3 times the national average wage and more concerned about big institutions and big corporations than they are about the people.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  27. gary

    It is truly amazing to read the posts from those who believe this poor woman "invested" in a risky enterprise. She did not. She earned money. She loaned it to GM at a specified interest rate with the risky expectation that GM would repay the note, no more. She did not speculate that GM stock would rise. She should be second in line behind suppliers for the proceeds of liquidation in bankruptcy, and typically would have realized 40% of her investment. That's the law. That is until we elected an openly corrupt president with debts to organized labor. What did organized labor invest in GM that they didn't get paid for? Open corruption. A government strong-arming business, flaunting bankruptcy law. Many people get hurt when big businesses fail, but the government has no business changing the rules to save the politically correct.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  28. Bill/CA

    It's a sad situation indeed...but when you buy stocks and bonds, you assume RISK. And to blame Obama for it? Seriously? It was YOUR financial decision, not his. Take some accountability instead of shifting the blame onto everyone else. Millions of Americans have lost trillions in the stock market, but no one put a gun to your head and forced you into this investment. The stockholders of Lehman Brothers made out much worse than you. I realize you're angry, but coming from someone who lost a good chunk of money in the market last fall, you should accept the fact that it was a risk, you did what you thought was smart, and a horrible turn of the economy which no one could have seen coming hit you as well as millions of others. Get angry, make your peace, and move on. I know it's hard, but being bitter and angry won't make your money come back...believe me, I know. Just make your peace with this, and move on.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  29. JasonTN

    Six years ago GM was still in bad shape, what were you thinking investing $70,000 in a failing company at that time? For a school teacher, who probably only makes around $40-50,000 a year, $70,000 in one company is a huge RISK and amount for one person to invest totally into one company. Unless you are very wealthy from inheritance or other means that we don't know of, why did you do this? Now you want to blame Obama. Blame Mit Romney! He would have bankrupted GM years ago and you would have lost everything with no deal.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  30. Aric

    The Michell Obama comment was over the top, but when she says she hopes a judge questions "what about the people, the dealerships, and factory workers, I nearly laughed myself into a stroke. It's business. And GM was very bad at the business game over the last decade especially. They need to trim the fat, and that means that bondholders, dealerships, and factory workers will be cut, put on hold, etc. What is the government suppose to do, wave a magic wand pay for the company to continue on as it has and hope for the best?

    For a school teacher she is not very bright.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  31. Suzy

    It's true that we should not put all our eggs in one basket. However, it seems that Obama is ruining all the baskets for the people. This is so reminiscing of what Fidel Castro did in Cuba. Castro was trusted, admired and believed at first. What happened after is history. It's very frightening.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  32. Ryan

    Still laughing at the multiple finance "gurus" who seem to think the principal for corporate debt is riskless.

    "Uh, she, uh...um...should at least get her $70,000 back. Darhur"

    I hope you guys can ask your business school for a refund.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  33. Jon

    C'mon. It's the stock market. You can't complain when you lose money like this, it's always a risk. Sure the deal they were offereing is lowsy, but too bad. You invested in a company that bombed as many many many people have lately. I hope you diversified like you're suppoosed to.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  34. Carol

    For all of you who keep saying bondholders should be first in line, you are wrong. That is true in chapter 7 – liquidation. This is a chapter 11 – reorganization – and that means that statuatory debt like paychecks and benefits are first in line by law. This is nothing new – it was true under Reagan and it's true today.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  35. Yoop

    Thanks to so many for their savvy explanations of the difference between stocks and bonds. In the final analysis, Ms. June made an investment in a failing company that has finally reached its breaking point.

    Hopefully Ms. June will relate her story to all of her students, so that future generations won't make the same mistake as her.

    Good luck trying to make Ms. June feel better about her own situation by pointing out all of the auto workers that are going to lose their jobs. Do you really think that a school teacher is going to feel sorry for people that made up to $30/hr bolting parts together? Some of the laid-off folks are going to make 80% of their salary. Any guesses on what Ms. June would get if she were laid off??

    June 1, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  36. Chris C.

    Obama support are saying two things: "oh but you knew there were risks" and "you cant blame Obama". But what they are missing is the fact that Obama's team (and Bush) not only wasted TONS of tax dollars on a dying company; they gave in to the Unions and gave them the best deal while throwing investors under the bus. So the government rewards the group that kept them uncompetitive while slapping the group that gave the most to try and keep things going. One fat pig feeding another. Can't wait til this type of stuff cripples our health industry (which is in need of an overhaul, but not the they Obama is thinking).

    June 1, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  37. brian

    Everything is a risk... For almost three decades Toyota and Honda have built better cars. The time was coming. Had she invested in Toyota instead she would have made a significant amount of money.

    Sorry, no one owes her or any other investor a dime.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  38. rich

    I will be very upset if this woman and her ilk get one additional dime. What about me? I lost half of my portfolio value and have a 20% decline in the value of my home? Will someone mail me a check? We all took risks – until someone compensates me for my losses, I don't want to hear anything from jokers like this lady!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  39. Dave

    A number of folks have written in here claiming that bonds are supposed to be safe investments. Since when? Bonds are and always have been risky investments, just as stocks are. Bonds fluctuate in value, just like stocks. And if the company goes belly up, you can lose big time. That's why you spread your money around, and that's why you pay attention to the company's condition. If the company looks seriously damaged, you can sell the bonds. They won't be worth face value like if you hold them to maturity, but if you've been getting the distributions for a few years, you may not be losing all that much. That's much better than going down with the ship.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  40. Watching from Oregon

    For those of you making negative comments for the boldholder, you've missed the point. Obama started out strong, but clearly he's becoming a money hungry pig. Just like all the other Demo's and is giving into big money and leaving the common people behind.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  41. charlie

    When the government stepped in and got involved I knew it was going to be bad news. I don't care who is president. The government does not know how to run businesses.

    The worse thing about the government getting involved is what happened to this shareholder, that there are no negotiations. You could not argue or sue the government.

    We would've been better off if the TASK force did not get involved. Now taxpayers own 40% of a company that was going to go bankrupt anyways.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  42. Michael (Chicago)

    I wonder what $70,000 represents to this woman as a percentage of her total savings. Why would someone invest a large percentage of their savings into a bond of ONE company? And if this is the case, why would she pick GM? This company has been in decline for a quarter century. To pick GM is to ignore the statistics that have continued to come out quarterly for many years now. The Japanese and German car makers have been consisent gainers in US market share. If she was gambling on a big turnaround, then she should have been using money she could afford to lose. Maybe 10% of her savings. I do not sympathize with this woman one bit.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  43. Chris

    The comments here are amazing – people really don't understand bonds at all. The consensus seems to be: "You lost your money, but you knew the risks and sometimes investments don't pay off." In fact, there seems to be animosity toward anyone who would dare to invest in a company! "Must be some awful RICH PERSON if they've actually managed to save enough to invest!"

    People save money SAFELY by investing in bonds as part of a RETIREMENT PLAN. You know, what responsible adults are SUPPOSED to do? Bondholders are not looking to 'get rich quick' as 'speculators'... they're loaning companies their OWN money, for a VERY small return. GM bonds were one of the safest, most responsible ways for a person to save for retirement. And you people are saying this woman "took a gamble that didn't pay off?" Are you serious? I'm gonna say the same thing to you when your bank account shows up empty one day because the bank went out of business overnight: "You knew the risks, and I guess the gamble didn't pay off."

    This ISN'T STOCK people! This isn't a situation where someone bought stock at one price, hoping it would rise, and instead it went down. No, this woman let GM borrow 70 thousand dollars from her PERSONAL CHECKING ACCOUNT, with an iron-clad promise that they would pay her back, and Obama stepped in and said "I'm breaking GM's promise and letting them keep your money."

    Why? So he could give her money to the UAW. This woman gave GM her OWN money, thinking with absolute certainty that GM would keep their promise and pay her back. Instead, Obama STEALS it and gives it to GM employees. Unbelievable!

    Just another example of Obama taking from one person something that's rightfully theirs and giving it to someone else that didn't earn it. Never mind the law, or fairness, or personal freedom – instead, we've got the self-proclaimed President Robin Hood who can take what he wants, and in his infinite wisdom decide who best to 'redistribute' it to.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  44. BADad

    Although I feel sorry for this and the other bond holders, all investments involve RISK. The alternative in bankrupcy is that she would get nothing – not even the few shares of common stock she would get in this distribution. It's too bad that her anger is misguided. It should be directed at GM's management and board.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  45. market risk

    EVERYTHING has risk including BONDS. WTF was she doing on her income buying 70K in one bond that was DUMB. She took a risk and lost.. Let me ask her this if the 70k would have become 700k would she have given the windfall to Michelle Obama?

    June 1, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  46. joey

    also, to those who claim that obama screwed bondholders in favor of the union, GM had a HUGE unfunded penion liability, so the union was probably one of their largest (soft) lenders....

    June 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  47. bobby the greek

    Corporate management and politicians are interested in keeping the gravy train moving. Saps like us are the feedlot cattle. WAKE up and smell the half caf no foam macciatto vanilla soy latte.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  48. Dan

    I see the true America hasn't changed much from the 1800's. It is dog eat dog, use and abuse who ever you can. Take the little persons money and run then make it look like they are the stupid ones. Most of us lost big time with our 401k plans, in these plans there are very few choices as to how to invest. These are the plans that our goverment is pushing to help us all retire. Lets face it none of them know what they are doing, or maybe they do, its called The Fleecing of America.
    What a mess, we all look stupid!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  49. Ray

    You gotta love the Obama plan for everything, pretty much it says one thing to the koolaid drinkers and screws them all in the end.

    LMAO I voted for the other guy LOL.

    We still have three plus years of this president so buck up everyone we are in for one helluva ride

    June 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  50. Ender

    Evidently this woman thought investing her money was a "no lose" proposition. And she was so very convinced that she put all her money into that one investment?

    Seems to me she would have lost no matter where she invested.

    "A fool and her money are soon parted."

    And I love this comment from her .......

    "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. "

    She was a good girl and should be sheltered from the realities of investing because she did what people told her was "the right thing". And lets not forget .......... she pays her bills. That alone should be worth $70,000.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  51. Bill

    There's sure a lot of idiots on this blog. Read the article, she is not a stock holder, she bought bonds. In a bankruptcy, she should be first to the trough to get her money back. Obama blindsided all the bondholders with his inside negotiations and left them holding the bag. She got screwed by Obama, and GM and company.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  52. Rusty Shackleford

    In the end the this bondholder gets nothing but the CEO of GM will probably walk away with millions. That sounds fair to me. I think GM should be held responsible for their actions. If they owe her 70K then they need to pay it. Maybe they should sale some of their executives personal items to cover it.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  53. Mitch

    Ms. June has a legitmate complaint as far as being a bond holder rather than a stock holder.
    Bond holders have lent money to the company and if the company fails, the procedure is ususally to liqudate that assets to pay off the loan holders. Stock holders have an equity stake. Bond holders have lent money collateralized by the assests of the company, or should be that way.
    It is bad judgement to put all of your money in one big bond, but little guys don't usually know this.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  54. Jesse falvey

    I can certainly empathize with Ms June and the thousands of other GM bond holders. However, her coment "You’re wiping out common people that saved money. I’m not a corporation. " is lacking in personal responsability – yes you saved money but you invested that savings as well in anticipation of a profit and thus subjected that savings to one of the many possible outcomes wich unfortunately did not turn out in your favor.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  55. jonscilz

    anddddd.... stop comparing her to everybody else that is hurting in this economy. she is in a small minority of people who was looking toward her future and retirement and making investments toward that. the majority of you people and everyone else were spending way beyond your means. the reason people are losing their houses is because they borrowed more money than they could pay back. those are the ones that we should not feel sorry for. instead your government is bailing out the people who spent more then they had and screwing the people that saved their money and made investments.

    it really blows my mind how many screwed up people there are in this country – and browsing the CNN website...

    June 1, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  56. joey

    maybe a schoolteacher shouldnt be investing 70K into one high yield name...

    June 1, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  57. Jack

    The real lesson here is, don't invest your money.

    The crooks will break the law as they did here, and find ways to steal it.

    Once your money leaves your hands, it can be stolen by politicians and their friends, who have no regard at all for the law.

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

    It's called RISK. How could you not diversify? You are just as retarded as those running GM. Cry me a river!!!!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  59. horizon

    What has happened to one person can/will happen to another person. For those without sympathy and, most important, without understanding of this situation...your turn is coming.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  60. jubei

    1st, just as it's been said over and over, The stock market is a gamble, it's a crap shoot. you take your punches and you collect your winnings, if you let them ride, thats all on you.

    Obama did a lot more for GM than any of the republican candidates would have. Remember they wanted GM in bankruptcy years ago, and ealier this year they all agreed that GM should go into bankruptcy.
    So Obama delayed the inevitable giving GM every oppourtunity to right it's ship. GM was failing, It was too beholden to the unions who in a sense crushed GM out of competition.
    So now they can restructure, the Union contracts are done, they can start fresh and new. What does that mean for those people who put thier faith in the failed business practice of the past..just as in the government when you try to hold onto the old in the new age you get dropped or left behind.
    Mrs Obama, has been misquoted by a very emotional woman trying to solicit support for a loss of 70,000 dollars. I would to, thats a lot of money. But this is American capitalism rules, and those are the breaks in our society.
    Cest la vie. She has a right to feel the loss and blame someone, but dont get it twisted, this would have happened in february under Mccain, with no sympathy or help offered. one could say the American public would not be in debt with GM as much as they are...but looking to the future, who knows what the american people will get out of the new GM to come. it is sure to be a better company than it was. I'm willing to see what comes out of american production.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  61. William

    Sounds like most of the people who have commented thus far are more sympathetic to Michelle Obama for having her words used against her than for the person who lost her retirement savings – how skewed and illogical is that?

    June 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  62. Jack

    It's odd that people are calling her an idiot for investing in the stock market.

    She did not invest in the stock market.

    She bought bonds.

    If you're going to call people idiots, don't get your facts all wrong.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  63. mike

    i pretty much agree with the general sentiment of the comments – this individual is whining and complaining. suck it up. you made an investment and it didn't pay off. nobody robbed you. if anything, you robbed yourself. i wouldn't have touched GM with a 40 foot pole.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  64. P Dunne

    What everyone is forgetting is that she probably received interest on these bonds. I am guessing that it is a good rate. Let's say it was 10%. This means she would have gotten $42,000 (!0% X $70,000 X 6 years) over her 6 years. Heck, we all lost a lot of money in the stock market with all divdends reinvested. She made out about the same as someone investing in stocks.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  65. D-Will

    Umm, you guys know that she purchased bonds, not stocks, right? So why is everyone talking about taking risks in the stock market? Oh yeah, this is a left-leaning website, why would I expect to find anybody other than the poster Claude Montreal who has a clue about anything other than whining?

    June 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  66. Bonds vs Stocks 101

    To all you people out here shouting about how risky it was to "buy stock" in a company who was losing money, or investing all her eggs in one basket, you seem to be ignoring the fact that THIS WOMAN DID NOT BUY STOCKS. She was a bondholder, which is a very different animal than a stockholder, especially when it comes to bankruptcies. By law, this woman should be first in line for GM assets in the ownership restructuring, but the plan that she has been offered instead stinks. Quit blaming her for buying GM stock. That isn't what she did.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  67. Otto

    You invested 70K in a SINGLE asset! How can you consider yourself to be one of the "people". Sorry for your loss but maybe now you will be brought down to earth a bit and realize what the term average really means in America. Most of America is not running around throwing 70K at loser companies.

    Truth is although you laid 70K on a single company, you did not have that much to lose. No one in their right mind would put all their investment money on one horse. Would you go to Vegas and put 70K on red? Always nice to see nouveau rich get their lumps. You thought you could play in the big leagues and you wind up getting burned. This is the part of the story that does indeed redeem you as being average or even below. You invested poorly and are now disgruntled at being subjugated to your rank as just another broke wage earner. Guess what, you were never anything more than that. Next time try earning your money you groveling proletariat, and stop trying to act as though you can handle the world of high finance.

    Be thankful you are still employed, it puts you on better ground than a lot of other people. Now get to work, it's all you will ever be good for!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  68. Gary

    GM maybe was in trouble before President Jim Jones's financial people got involved, but nobody seems to mention while defending the teleprompter president that Ford didn't take Barry's handout, and they are seeming to ride this out like the rest of investors... What's wrong, didn't Ford's Union vote for Mr Hussein Obama?

    June 1, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  69. Ryan

    I'm literally in tears laughing at the people who are clumsily attempting to differentiate between holding bonds and holding stock.

    The stockholders are completely wiped out, they get nothing. This is exactly what is supposed to happen.
    Bondholders then become equity holders throughout the bankruptcy process and have dibs on whatever is left.

    Debt is always subject to default risk. The only reason she got any money back at all was because she was a bondholder. If those of you defending this woman because "she invested in debt, she should get her money back", you understand nothing about corporate legal structure and will likely end up with a CNN special of your own.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  70. Mike

    It's clear what political party the folks that are completely diverting the issue on behalf of a Michelle Obama remark are. You would defnitely not be saying the same thing if you were in her shoes, just like she wouldn't be saying the same thing if she hadn't lost money. That is just what American culture is about now...greed...for better or worse. I think many of us have lost a lot of money in the last year (I pretty much lost all my investments...diversified...over the past 7 years). It seems that many of the big funds tanked (I'm sure there have been some that seemingly are weathering the storm or at least breaking even of which I'd love to learn more). Anyways, someone else commented that bonds were supposedly safer, and that she was due first dibs at the assets of the company. She should be mad if Obama's team came in and gave that away. If it is true...then it should show all you voters, Republican and Democrat, that politicians on either side of the spectrum are all bad.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  71. peter d.

    the govt. might as well paid off all the bond holders and let GM go down the drain.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  72. Voig Nederlander

    I wonder how many people complained during the 90's that they were making obscene amounts on their investments? Where were the cries for fairness and restraint back then? Oh, I see. The government and Wall Street are only bad guys when they're LOSING everyone money.

    As long as they're making us all rich, we don't care to know the details.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  73. James

    LOL.. Why would you buy bonds in GM? That's retarded anyway.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  74. Mr. Right

    So the UAW and the Government of the United States and Canada are the major owners of GM and the share holders and bond holders got screwed. What makes the UAW and the Government of the United States and Canada think that GM is going to be successful. Right now I dont even think GM is going to even succesful. So UAW and the Government of the United States and Canada think they they are safe and that they just screwed the share holders and bond holders but what they dont know is that they are next. GM is not a good company and this company is eventually going to fail so our tax dollars and the tax dollars of the government of Canada are going to be wasted. UAW people you are going to feel the pain of what this lady is feeling right now so sooner or later you are next.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  75. Abbi

    From the comment on Mrs. Obama, it is clear that she is a republican. I thought that republicans believe in personal responsibility. When you invest you take risk – so accept it. BTW, this is what happens after eight years of George W.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  76. Bob

    "Common" people generally don't have $70,000 laying around to invest.

    "Common" people generally stick to mutual funds.

    "Common" people who think they're sophisticaed investors and pick individual companies need to live with the consequences.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  77. Arnold

    I don't feel sorry for this person at all. She doesn't seem like she's the brightest crayon in the box anyways. She has no grasp of financial risk v. reward.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  78. Jack

    She didn't invest in the stock market.

    She bought Bonds.

    Under the law, she is supposed to get her disbursements first.

    But the White House is breaking the law, and giving the disbursements to favored parties, and giving the bondholders the leftovers.

    This is stealing. It's fraud. It's illegal.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  79. pete

    Michelle Obama (I did not vote for the current president) and the fact that you are a school teacher have nothing to do with this. Are you saying that you are entitled to some help because of what you do? You make around the average wage in this country. That means that about 70 million people make less than you. Are the rest of us not worthy because we have different jobs? No, the rest of us know what an investment is and have taken our losses for what they are. Part of the price for living in this country. A country that allows things like bankruptcy, which in turn allows you to have 140 shares left when in fact you should have 0 shares left. GM did not work and should be allowed to die and be replaced by a business model that does work.

    Look, there is not an investment in the world that is guaranteed. I feel for the money you lost (I have lost a similar amount, most of what I have invested) (not most of what I have saved) but I hope you knew that this was a possibility going in. Every investment I have ever made has had a paragraph devoted to the fact that this is an investment and that there is a possibility of the loss of all of you principle. If you did not know what that meant then I am sorry, but even things like banks and your own home, which almost always are a safe investment, cannot guarantee a return on you money.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  80. Stephen

    The issue is not that she is going to lose money. There obviously is a risk inherent to lending money to a company in exchange for bonds, although that is a MUCH lower risk than buying that company's stock. The point is that in bankruptcy, the bondholders (including herself) should've been paid first, as opposed to being pushed back in line at the expense of the UAW union.

    Therefore, the point is that she should've recouped more money than she is being given, going by the rules in effect for corporate bankruptcy proceedings. It's hard to understand why most people seem to have such a hard time understanding the concept that she was guaranteed to be at the front of the line if the company went bankrupt, but instead, thanks to Obama's "plan", she has been pushed back in line behind the union, and now is getting less than she is entitled to.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  81. CHRIS PITT

    I lost $4,500 at the tables this year, must be because the casino's are suffering huge losses. Now all I'm getting is $450 in free credits! I feel robbed...I should be reimbursed, maybe my lawyer can get my money back! HAHA....what a joke, I might be a little extreme here, but gambling is gambling...look lady, you took a chance and lost....suck it up.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  82. UsingReason

    Only one thing to add. WHo exactly does she want to pay for her loss? GM is bankrupt and owned by the "the people" now, so I guess I should dig in my piggy bank and you in yours and pay her for her. I understand it was a security asset backed bond and not stock so the loss and the rule change sucks. Yet having previously worked for a company that got done over by a bankruptcy the best she could hope for owning her bonds is what ever the company can sell its assets for. Now who wants to buy an over priced out of date production facility in a location where the union is going to try to force themselves in and make labor prices crazy. Humm I think we saw houses in Detroit selling for more last year.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  83. Paul

    Creditors have seniority over stockholders, but employee pay (until terminated) has even higher priority. The UAW has essentially become a senior creditor with the pay/benefits they were promised. No one should complain about this pecking order unless they feel like seeing their own employers start paying bondholders before getting their own paychecks or medical coverage! It's just a shame GM couldn't design and sell vehicles that could successfully overcome these expenses.

    How much was this woman hoping to get out of this anyway? GM's liabilities are nearly double its assets - and they're only going Chapter 11 which means only select assets will be on the table to be liquidated and distributed to bondholders. and it's probably safe to say the assets they do liquidate will probably not even get full book value in the process...

    She should be thankful if she gets those converted shares and be as faithful in the long term to GM with that investment as she was when she bought (and kept) the bonds.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  84. Ed

    Who hasn't lost a ton of money in this market that BTW started going south way before Obama took office? Welcome to the stock market. Maybe you could have lost it in chip stocks or telecom....gee, wake up.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  85. woody

    Seems like a lot of hate in many of these comments...are you people happy that someone lost their investment?
    Also, stop saying that 'even mortgage backed securities used to be safe'. They were........until the government started screwing with them! Please keep in mind that when the government started legislating who should get mortgages, that is the day mortgages became a risky investment.

    Keep the government out and let the market clear itself. Also, I have to laugh at you Obama supporters who gleefully criticize this woman for not being responsible, then you turn around and expect the government to guarantee:
    a minimum wage
    health care
    college education
    welfare benefits for otherwise able workers
    etc
    Which is it you want.......individual responsibility or Obama's nanny state?

    June 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  86. Alexander Smith

    To the person who wrote on this comment board: "Wow- to the people who say- “she knew the risks of speculating”; “the Stock Market is a dangerous place”. HELLO!!!!!!! These are people who invested in BONDS; FIXED INCOME; LOW RISK INVESETMENTS: – NOT THE VOLITLE RISK TAKING STOCK MARKET!!"

    Sorry, but you're missing the point: this is not a savings account in which you are guaranteed to accrue a certain amount of interest monthly no matter the position of the bank.

    You said it yourself in the misspelled comment you made: "Low Risk Invesetments"-Low Risk is not equivalent to No Risk, no matter how naive you are.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  87. Jim in PA

    Alrght folks; here is a link to a pretty relevant article on buying GM bonds... from 2006!

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/columnist/waggon/2006-07-20-gm-bond_x.htm

    The article stresses the risks, says it is worth the risk, but very clearly lays out the fact that THERE IS RISK. To all the commenters above stating that a bond is a guaranteed return on investment, you are wrong wrong wrong. This woman didn't diversify and should not make political excuses for her foolishness.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  88. Alan

    I have to laugh about the "entitlement" comments. Obama voters are ALL looking for entitlements. If you are a minority, gay, or a union worker (including pathetic Hollywood types), you voted for that inexperienced, angry imposter for one specific pet cause. You could care less about the country or else you would be outraged by this guy taking over companies, where he would only be qualified to be in the mail room. He is clearly nothing more than a puppet who was selected to be the front man for a socialist agenda since they knew that most people wouldn't have the guts to criticize a black guy. Wake up America and take our country back!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  89. Greg

    dumb dumb dumb. what about diversification? Thats a big word, lets all say it now. For her 70K has got to be almost more then 2 yrs pay. Is she crazy? I couldnt sleep with that much in one stock. This is got to be a lesson to all diversify!

    June 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  90. Anthony

    Yes, she bought bonds – she was not in the stock market.

    But bonds are still a risk. There is no guarantee with bonds. The company went under and she lost money.

    If bonds were a sure bet, we'd all buy them, but they are still a risk.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  91. JB Cal

    Lee Stewart...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.
    -------------------------------–
    I find that hard to believe considering this administration would have to be worst than Bush, Reagan and Nixon. I just don't see that happening.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  92. N

    All you people who are saying she invested in bonds, not stocks, so it's "not her fault" need a serious education. Especially if this woman is an EDUCATOR she should know how to LEARN something about where she puts her money. I wouldn't want her teaching my kids.

    A corporate bond less risky than stock in the same corporation, that is all. Many stocks are safer than many bonds. Putting all your money in ANY single corporate bond is completely stupid. Putting all your money in an American carmaker in 2003, even in bonds, is pure ignorance, and this woman has no one to blame but herself. If you want a large stake in the bond market, you don't put everything in one risky bond, you buy a bond fund. That way you can diversify and manage your risk. That way even if things turn sour you won't be completely wiped out.

    She bought the ticket, now she's taking the ride. And those of you who are claiming that she had a "right" to a return or that Obama "stole" from her are equally ignorant. If the government didn't step in and GM was forced by bondholders into an unstructured liquidation bankruptcy when it ran out of cash to pay its coupons, the bondholders would get nothing or next to nothing–less than the pittance they are getting under reorganization.

    The institutional bondholders realize this and that's why when it came down to the wire they agreed. This woman wants to destroy an auto company and is harming its workers by trying to hold out for a deal that she CAN'T GET. The money is not there.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  93. Nate

    Socialism ...something that these school teachers preach to our children and something she should have understood better. I'm sure the future prospect for GM's viability are as good as they are for our own government. Our government cannot even keep its own debt under control in its frantic effort to redistribute our tax dollars. I will also point out that the majority of Americans do not pay any net taxes and, being one that does, I'm happy to see the rest of you flounder in the tides of "change."

    June 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  94. E.

    This is plain old fashioned socialism. Hmmmm, I wonder if the UAW will support Obama in 4 years after the scores of back-door meetings between them and his administration of the next few years?

    June 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  95. Ben

    GAH! Bonds are not the "stock market". Bonds are not "equities". I wish that basic finance and economics were required courses in high school. This country would be a better place if it wasn't so full of opinionated idiots who have such strong feelings about things they don't know the first thing about.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  96. David

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

    If anyone is to blame it would be the investor who risks their entire $70K in a single fund. Investments are a gamble. It's tremendously sad when a middle-class working person loses such a large sum of their retirement, but that doesn't change the rules of investment.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  97. Topher

    Come On, I am a 15 year old high school student, even I understand that investments of that type are a risk. Sigh.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  98. TG

    A 70 K investment reduced to 200 bucks is a huge loss. Those of you saying you lost in the stock market are very likely to not have had that kind of loss. Obama interfered with the normal bankrupcy proceedings to ensure his union supporters were taken care of and he dictated the terms that the bondholders would have to take.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  99. foo

    Hey Debra, the Governator of California wants to know if you would like to invest the rest of your life savings into the State of California bonds and he wants to know if you have relatives who are just as guillable, oops, I mean investment savy as you.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  100. Lilly

    Stocks always have the disclaimer that "Past performance is not an indication of future performance". If she doesn't understand that there is risk inherent in the stock market, she should not be in there. Also, she should understand diversification. It is nobody's fault that she lost, except for herself.

    June 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
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