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June 1st, 2009
09:19 AM ET

Bondholder furious over GM bankruptcy

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. matt

    How is it that UAW came out ahead of where they were before?

    How is it that of the 789 cancelled Chrysler dealers, only one contributed to Obama? Statistically, how is this possible?

    How is it that preferred debt/bond holders got no say in the deal they were to get?

    How is it that a dealer cancelled is likely to have their entire networth cancelled – about $10,000,000 each?

    How is it that a cancelled dealer helps GM or Chrysler drive more revenue? Aren't they the ones that create revenue?

    Socialism? Really Obama?

    June 1, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  2. Gary

    Bob Camp claims that this process is under a magnifying glass.... Obviously Bob Camp knows how this government works....
    Too bad their magnifying glass was made by The Unions, and touched by this president.
    They will see any mistakes, or greed,,, of course it will probably come afterward, once the Jim Jones president see this CNN poll and CHANGES HIS MIND AGAIN.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  3. RochNY

    "The Stock Market is a dangerous place" – agreed. However, Ms. June wasn't in the GM stock market. She's a BOND holder. In other words, she lent GM money, with the expectation GM would pay her back – with interest. Still a "R.I.S.K.", true, but GM had to go bankrupt in order to default on its debts for this risk to be realized. This young woman was trying to invest prudently and conservatively (the "tough love" advice from FL450 is right on, though).

    June 1, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  4. Yoop

    Ms. June:
    Besides all of the other comments about market risk and investing, you need to keep in mind that your $70k did not up and vanish.
    It has been used to fund bloated union salaries, health benefits, and retirements. This process has been in the works for decades, and the bill has finally come, as an investor, are helping pick up the tab. Rest assured that many current and former GM employees have lived very comfortably at your expense.
    Should you wish to add further insult to injury, go out and buy a new GM vehicle. It will depreciate about $5k when you drive it off the dealer's lot, and will be worth pennies on the dollar once it is out of warranty.
    Finally, good luck deciding which Presidential administration to blame for the GM failure. Even though this has been festering for decades, I'm sure it is most convenient for you to blame Obama.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  5. JR

    This is why financial advisors will tell you to diversify your portfolio. My wife is a school teacher as well, and I can tell you that we'd never spend $70,000 on any single thing unless it was a house!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  6. K Cali

    I do sympathize with her. Bonds are IOU's in which the company promises a percentage in exchange for borrowing from investors. They are not equivalent to stock, which is linked to the company's performance. She should have been protected in this case – at least have gotten her original $70,000. GM should have been required to pay back people they borrowed from via bonds.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  7. Zane

    I saw this teacher on CNN this morning. What a moron!! She's blaming Obama for letting her down when he's trying to save a whole industry with thousands of jobs. She only lost $70K and may get some of it in stock, but others have lost much more. You made a bad investment Debra, get over it and grow up!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  8. fisho, Fletcher NC

    It could have been worse, a chapter 7 liquidation where you would get absolutely nothing. That was the other option since GM would never have survived a C11 on it's own, unless it had the foresight to do it 2 years ago.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  9. Tony - Houston

    Michelle Obama's statement, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country".

    People are hurting everywhere. Frustration and pain are not singular experiences. Why attack?

    I wish June the best in her attempt to recover from the loss.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  10. california grandma

    Never put all your eggs in one basket. who was advising her? I would be a little miffed at that person. The rest is a risk-investment.
    A lot of people are way worse off.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  11. Gary

    Bob Camp claims that this process is under a magnifying glass.... Obviously Bob Camp knows how this government works....
    Too bad their magnifying glass was made by The Unions, and touched by this president.
    They will see any mistakes, or greed,,, or course it will probably come afterward, once the Jim Jones president see this CNN poll and CHANGES HIS MIND AGAIN.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  12. we all lost money

    Sad story but...I don't think Ms. June understands the stock market. Her $70,000 investment didn't payoff. If that was too big of a loss she should have sold sooner and cut her losses. 140 shares is better than the nothing it could have been.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  13. Dave


    She didn't invest in the stock market. She invested in bonds of a highly rated company, which is incredibly less risky and is SUPPOSE to come with certain guarantees, even in bankruptcy.

    Typically when you own debt in a company, as this woman does, you are in line ahead of stock holders, union workers, and employees when default/foreclosure/bankruptcy occurs. What the Obama administration is doing with the GM and Chrysler "structured bankruptcies, is horribly distorting the original deal these bond holders entered into. That is why she and others are so angry.

    When you buy stock, you are correct, you are guaranteed nothing, but that isn't the case for buying debt .... until now

    June 1, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  14. Jason

    I'm sorry for your situation but join the club. We're all hurting right now and losing lots of money, but the only person responsible for your investing is YOU. As a schoolteacher to whom $70,000 is a huge amount of money, you have no business making that kind of investment. You were not diversified and way out of your element. Did someone put a gun to your head and force you to buy those bonds? I didn't think so. So instead of blaming the task force, the President, Michelle, or anyone else, perhaps you should assign blame to the person you see in the mirror every day. And don't tell me this investment was safe. GM wasn't exactly in good shape six years ago.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  15. Buster

    In a bankruptcy situation, the bondholders are supposed to be FIRST in line to get the assets of the company - land, machinery, etc. Obama has stepped in and put them farther back in the line to protect his union buddies. It's not fair. It's unjust, and I too am outraged by it. GM deserves to go under and the bondholders are getting shafted by Obama. That's change I don't believe in.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  16. Mike Stoken

    When this unfortunate woman bought her GM bonds, she overlooked two factors.

    First, even back then, GM paper was considered "upper medium grade", NOT AAA by a long shot. She bought them, at least in part, because she got a better return than on government, government agency, or AAA corporates (at the time) like GE, IBM and others.

    Second, if $70,000 represents such an enormous portion of her portfolio, she ought not to have been so undiversified. In fact, any fiduciary would have pointed out the undue concentration.

    Greed and fear, greed and just can't buy a $5 bill for $4, can you?

    June 1, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  17. PJ

    Blame yourself! MANAGEMENT is Beholden to the stockholders! That's what the incompetent losers at the top always say. If you can't be bothered to look after your investment and pound on management for being a bunch of overpaid screwups, then you don't DESERVE to have $70,000.00 sitting around doing diddley.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  18. ATL Guy

    Investing in the stock market is no guarantee of riches just as buying a house doesn't mean it will appreciate in value. You took a risk. Sometimes your risk pays off handsomely and sometimes it doesn't. Luckily you're getting a few bucks back; if the government didn't step in and provide stopgap financing to GM, the company would've been liquidating rather than going through bankruptcy.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  19. Dani

    I concur with everyone's statements. I didn't see the interview but from reading the transcript I could tell that this was simply a way for her to take a cheap shot at the President and First Lady. Who in their right minds would keep their money invested in the auto dealerships with everything that is going on right now. I'm sorry, lady, but you need to suck it up and go back to class Investing 101. Unfortunately, this error in judgement has cost you dearly. Just don't expect anyone else to give a crap.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  20. Rich

    I can't believe you would buy this in the first place ! Whoever told you to do this is your big issue.

    Toyota or Honda would have been much smarter.

    Gm is so money hungry look into Richard Wagner's money and his pension and medical benie's I'll bet he doesn't have to worry at all!!

    I'm sorry this happened to a teacher I hope you don't teach investing!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  21. Adam

    Economics. Risk. Capitalism. It would behoove you to understand the fundamental principles of these concepts before throwing $70K of your hard-earned money on the line. Not to say your situation doesn't stink – it certainly does, and I'm sorry that you lost that much money. But you need to understand there is no guarantee in your investment. If you want financial security, you're better off buying government bonds or burying your money in a coffee can in the back yard.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  22. rmpfla

    Ms June, if you were knowledgeable enough to get in when it was so good then you should have been savvy enough to get out before GM got to this point. Investments are not a guarantee. What goes up must come down. Millions of folks have lost in theire retirement and investments it is not pleasant but we have to accept it.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  23. Paul

    Obama and his administration are in businesses that the US Government should not be in. He's a dictator with too much power to force our auto industry into bankruptcy! He told them, you take our money and you do it our way! His entire administration are crooks and they don't represent the American Working Family. When will our eyes open and realize Obama is destroying our country and the world is watching and waiting to react to our struggles. As for the GM bankruptcy, shame on making it part of the deal to have all stockholders loose their investment. Take away the names and players, if any company tried to present the case GM presented (we've been losing money and need over $50 billion from you to survive through bankruptcy) no one in their right mind would listen long enough to even consider it. Not only did Obama listen, he offered more! GM's stockholders lost all their investment, more than 120,000 workers will lose their job (nice stimulus package), and if Americans weren't buying GM and Chrysler cars before, what makes you think we're going to trust them now. We're not! Americans were choosing to buy Foreign automobiles and trucks because of quality, price, warranty, and resale values. American made cars and trucks are nice, but not for the money they're charging or the quality of them.

    GM, Ford, and Chrysler have adjusted to the hard times with smart business sense and decision making strategies and they would have figured this out as well. Lee Iacocca pulled Chrysler our of bankruptcy without government ownership or selling the company and someone would have stepped up to do the same if Obama didn't demand the government take over operations. Who does Obama think he is that he's the best man for the Auto industry, banking, insurance, healthcare, etc. A dictator would believe such ideas, not a president. As for his stimulus package to help America, it's not working. In fact, so far to date, all his 'planning' hasn't worked one bit!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  24. Tony

    I'm confused from listening to her. She "wasn't going to take the deal"??? Did she have a choice?? If so, then what is she whining about???

    I agree with previous comments. This situation can not be blamed on President Obama or his wife.

    Private investors (individually) NEVER have a say.

    If $70K is so much money for her, she should blame whomever encouraged her to invest so much into one entity. Don't financial gurus always preach DIVERSITY???

    Sounds to me like she's got sour grapes over a poor decision. So do murderers, but they too have to face their consequences. Suck it up, honey.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  25. loragonth

    Here is the Michelle Obama quote for reference...

    “What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback and let me tell you something, For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I have seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues. It has made me proud.”............................ Michelle Obama

    So as if her statement matters at all in this instance which I doubt it appears that she had not been really proud of America in her adult lifetime so perhaps just proud...
    I have to say I am not sure I see how she fits into this at all anyway.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  26. Robin Williams

    This deal is rotten. I would expect GM would enter into an agreement that would allow stake holders to recoup much more. However investment is a R.I.S.K and Debra you undertook that risk. You lost. If your $70,000.00 bond gave you a 50% or 100% return you would be smiling cause your risk paid off. In this case it did not, so you would have to accept the returns which is not much in your case. I myself took a big risk in November 2008. I invested $600,000.00 in the stock market, the value has increased 350% as of 6/1/09. I am smilling because it paid off. If the market went south I would have to accept the consequenses. First Lady Michelle Obama has nothing to do with your investment choice. Accept the consequenses and move on.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  27. Alex

    Ms. June,
    I believe you are not being completely truthful. The fact that a school teacher could have $70,000 to invest in a company is suspect in itself.
    Even if you did, why would you think that amount of $$ in a car company is a "safe" investment? I don't believe that you are that completely naive and/or incompetent. I am going to assume there is a 2nd if not 3rd income in your family behind this investment. However, if this were revealed on air, you would present a far less sympathetic figure.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  28. mike

    I feel sorry for you, but no more sorry than millions of other americans that have lost more than $70,000 on their homes, or that have lost their jobs and can't afford their mortgage and bills or those that have also lost in the stock market. Your whole perspective in this situation is flawed. You felt you had entitlled for a safe investment in the stock market, well there is no such thing. People that invested in Sun when it was $100+ have lost more than you, and i can name many other companies that were thought to be safe bets go that way. You should have diversified your $, for this exact reason. Don't blame Obama.

    You being a school teacher has no bearing on anything. I'm tired of people using the fact that their school teachers, firefighters, police officers, as an excuse to be treated differently than any other hard working american. You chose that profession probably 'cuz you couldn't be a doctor, engineer or another type of profession that didn't match your skills or passion. No one put a gun to your head to be a teacher, and no one put a gun to your head to make this investment.

    Moreover, you bringing Michelle Obama into this conversation was what did it for me. I was feeling sorry for you (though I didn't agree with your perspective of what investment is), but when you invoked michelle's name, all pity went out the window and thought you got just what you deserve.

    Like someone else said earlier, you're still young, so keep sobbing and get back in teh game again. Here's a positive side to this story. You can invest another $200 in GM, and you can double your stake in the company, instead of putting in another $70K. 🙂

    June 1, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  29. Gary

    actually Jeff, you rocket scientist you, The stock market isn't legalized gambling, unless your just betting on something. The stock market is made of free market company's who want to borrow $ to increase their businesses.... See that's why you liberal baby killers shouldn't vote, speak or really even be Americans

    June 1, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  30. TXKD

    Ms. June.. Please stop belly aching about your situation it makes you look pathetic. There are millions of people in the last several months that has lost their life savings, job, cars and homes. How about the works at GM who are taking a pay cut or getting laid off? Do you think it is fair for them? It sucks for everyone just not you. I guess your not a Economics teacher because their is no safe place in the stock market for you money. You are a weak person. Also, how does Michelle Obama fit into this again?????

    June 1, 2009 at 11:49 am |

    No sympathy. Why an individual would put so much of her savings in one company's bonds is beyond comprehension and just plain silly. She was looking for a high yield (junk rating) and got burned.

    Next time she should divirsify using a bond fund instead.

    Investing is very simple.

    Rule #1: Diversify
    Rule #2: Don't forget Rule #1

    June 1, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  32. Bill from Atlanta

    I find it incredible that this woman is out there complaining about how "unfair" it is that her investment was wiped out and that somehow she deserves something simply because she doesn't have a lot of money! Well, lady, that's why you don't invest all your saving in the bonds of a company that hasn't turned out a decent product in decades. If your savings are so important, don't invest them in the risk-laden stock market, where companies go belly-up every day of the week. I've been duped in the market before, too, but I'm not screaming that someone OWES me something. PLEASE. WTF.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  33. Bob

    GM executives borrowed against GM assets and then pocketed all $173 billion dollars. They robbed GM and got away with it. This all started in 1980 when Reagen stopped SEC and anti trust enforcement.

    All of the assets of these executive should be confiscated and sold to pay of these debts.

    BTW, GM is not the only company to do this. Almost all corporations have been doing this for over 20 years. Over 20 trillion dollars has gone into the pockets of rich people, by stealing corporate assets.

    This is what happens when republicans stop financial regulatory enforce.

    Don't for AIG executive still get to keep their 20 billion in bonuses. The senate NEVER passed a law taxing these at 99%!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  34. Bob Camp

    I'm furious she's furious.

    Bond holders are always furious, because they are trying to bypass the bankruptcy process and get more than they are entitled to. That won't happen here, as GM's process is under a magnifying glass.

    She's really furious at herself, for investing in a company that hadn't turned a decent profit in a very long time. That is literally throwing money away. Shouldn't she have been more diversified than to spend $70k on just one company?

    June 1, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  35. stop whining, it's just money

    Yes, let's blame GM, President Obama's task force and comments made by Michelle Obama. They are all to blame for this horrible predicament that you are in. You are in no way responsible for decisions that you made. You were not given enough reliable information about investing that $70,000 of your hard earned money. I say let's all send her $5.00 until she recoups her losses. Poor unfortunate soul. seriously? Take a ticket and stand in line lady.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  36. Tim

    This article has me really confused. Not because of the issues, but because Debra June can't form a complete sentence and have it escape her lips in a coherent fashion. Talk about rambling, broken, illogical and, what appears to be, out of context responses. Maybe she's already lost her mind as a result of the bankruptcy. Listen closely to the questions next time Debra so we all have the benefit of understanding what the hell you're talking about. Either that, or just be quiet, thank you.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  37. Gary

    Don't invest in anything that the government, especially this Jim Jones President's government touches. No one will win with this loser at the reigns except for perhaps the Chinese who already own a majority stake in this government

    June 1, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  38. jeff

    you are all missing the point. the government shouldn't be the ones cutting the deal in the first place. we pump billions of $'s into a company that ultimatly goes bankrupt anyway. why is chapter 11 protection/reorg ok for the airlines but not the auto industry? GM and Chrysler should have been allowed/forced into chapter 11 6 months ago, would have saved the country billions and both companies would have come out stronger.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  39. FL510

    There is more to this. The Bondholders have certain rights to assets during bankruptcy. They are being forced by the government to take very undesireable terms. In the meanwhile, the UAW is making out like bandits compared to the bondholders. The bondholders have a reason to be upset. Like it or not rules are rules and right now they don't seem to matter.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  40. Charlie

    To Vonnie: regarding what Michelle Obama said, you are in error. Michelle Obama did in fact say she'd never felt proud of her country. She didn't have the qualifying word 'as' in her sentence. Here is her quote:
    “People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and … 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 11:47 am |
  41. nICKS

    She has no one to blame but herself. I guess she never heard the old saying "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

    June 1, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  42. Jason

    The market seems pretty happy with this development, as the reorganization will finally eliminate much of the uncertainty and risk:

    Dow 8,704.23 +203.90(+2.40%)

    June 1, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  43. retired 71

    Why is it that so many people who invest there money think they should get more. It's a gamble and if you gamble some times you do not win,

    And stop blaming this President and his wife it is not there fault, The president is doing his best to right the mistakes of the past with out all complaining.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  44. Mike in SA

    People need to realize that the Obama administration is selling out pension funds and private individuals like Debra for his buddies at the UAW with these bankruptcy deals being forced by his administration. You thought Obama was a good "union" guy. Too bad it wasn't your union and your retirement that he chose to defend.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  45. A Fool and Their Money..

    This woman has a poor understanding of the system in which she dumped her money.

    GM owes her nothing just because she "thought it was safe."

    I have no sympathy whatsoever for her.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  46. Venom

    The comments are very interesting. I did not realize she was previously a stockholder. It was my impression that she was a bondholder. It is my understanding that stocks and bonds are very different instruments.

    Thus, this situation is more like having $70,000 in your savings, CD’s, or government bonds. This is not a question of having lost money in GM stock. This is more like your bank informing you that your $70,000 in CD’s has vaporized.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  47. HappyMan

    Here's an idea for those unwilling to handle market risk. Cap your returns on good years at 3% – regardless of what the real return on your investment is. The difference gets put away to hand back to you on years when returns are negative so you don't loose money. Oh, wait! That's the same return as a CD!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  48. Tom

    Pathetic whiner. If her investment had doubled in value would she be saying that her profit is too much, let me give some back. Absolutely not. Sure hope that she is not teaching a course on taking responsibility for yourself or the economics of investing your money.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  49. JJ

    Yeah, I agree about the RISK part. There's no such thing as a totally safe investment. I do feel sorry for her though, losing a sum of money like that. It's so hard to believe that GM could have been so neglegent (or stupid) as to allow the situation to slip away from them like this. They have all these analysts and marketing specialists on the payroll and either they didn't do their job or management wouldn't listen to them. Nobody wins no matter how this turns out.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  50. Sara

    Bet on a house bet on GM stock, you don't always win. If $70,000 is that critical for she should have been more diversified. And what was she thinking in the first place GM? Even 6 years ago they were not do that great

    June 1, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  51. Mark from Louisiana

    I'll bet no single UAW worker has lost that much. Weren't those bonds certified and guaranteed? How can our government not honor the contracts on those bonds. I guess the same way they can drop charges on the black panthers who were at the voting poll with blackjacks. We they people have no voice in this government!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  52. Ryan

    This is exhibit 'A' as to why you don't invest everything you have into a single investment vehicle. It also shows that the bankruptcy process works – bondholders are supposed to be less exposed than stockholders, and that is exactly what happened. They are also supposed to end up with control of the company in the event of a bankruptcy. That's exactly what happened. This woman at least ended up with something, the original stockholders will be completely wiped out.

    She's complaining about something that she should have been aware of all along – this is what it means to hold corporate debt.

    And the $200 equity stake is likely a lot more than she'd have ended up with if GM had to liquidate.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  53. pbattis

    Betting on black jack in Vegas is a more honest gamble than putting money into the stock market now.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  54. trh

    I can't believe any investor with 2 brain cells would put more than 10% (and that's being VERY aggressive, I think 5% is too much) of their investments into one company. If that's the case she should still have $630,000 in other investments, in which case she's no 'average joe' that she's making herself out to be.

    So which is it? Dumb investor? Or rich gal who took a hit on one investment that's a tiny fraction of her portfolio?

    June 1, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  55. Edward Quicksall

    Well welcome to socalism.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  56. CallTheWaaaambulance

    Come on. You're a teacher. You are supposed to know that the stock market is a where you place your bets and hopefully get out when it's right. No Garrantee and you lost. I'd have a bit of sympathy for you if you didn't act so entitled. There are so many worse off. btw, Michelle said what?? oh boy.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  57. Jan Detmar

    Some investments are good and some aren't. You have the freedom in this country to make your own choices in investments. You certainly saw this coming for a number of months. You were happy the government was involved until it affected you personally. Then it sounds like you want to blame them. You can't have it both ways. We all need to take responsibility for our own decisions.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  58. raffyprjr8

    This chick is just flat out dumb...she didnt see this coming....the stock was dropping at an alarming rate over the pasted five yr...she just bought one stock with 70000 without diversifying...she is to she is coming on tv blaming the administration for her stupidity...hey i had stock in the company as well i work for the company...i got out of that stock 2 yrs ago...i took my loses and ran..she should have done the same...

    June 1, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  59. Alex

    If you are a school teacher, you should have known better. You should have read the ENTIRE booklet, and then you shouldve gone to individuals that couldhave given you a proper perspective on investing YOU LIFE SAVINGS.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  60. Andrew

    Speculate?... Risk?..... Investing in bonds of GM 6 years ago... is not speculating?... it was in theory a sound investment netting probably a low risk 6-7% yield.... this is what we define as risky greedy speculating?... Open a finance text book sometime.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  61. Steve

    I feel sympathy for anyone losing that amount of money, however, there are countless folks like myself who have seen drops in value of much, much more than that in our funds and stocks the last few years. As others have said, no one forced her to invest in GM. She bought them 6 years ago assuming it was a save bet? Is she kidding? When I bought my first car in 1985, I knew then that GM was on the downslide, based on the cars they were selling then. For the most part, their cars that followed have been the same or worse. Just look at their market share over those years, dropping like a rock each and every year. I would say she didn't do her research if she assumed GM was a safe bet. There are very few safe bets in the market, she knows that now. Sorry.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  62. Steve

    Sorry, but that is why investing is no sure thing. Who do I contact for the huge drop in my 401(k)? I was screwed by a different company, but I understood the rish I took when I invested. She's lucky she's getting anything for her money. GM could have gone Chapter 7 (doubt the government would let that happen but it *is* a possibility) and she would end up with absolutely nothing. If I were her, I would pray that in 10 years her $200 worth of stock is worth something.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  63. Ron

    Dear Ms. June, I hope you read the comments on this page. You think you are the first person to lose money on the stock market? This whole interview is as ridiculous as I have seen. I join the sentiment of the other comments – you risked your life savings on the stock market and lost. Period. Blame your own faith in their management and sitting around waiting for Obama and the taxpayers to do you a personal favor and bail YOU out. Ridiculous.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  64. BOND_LameBond

    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!!

    These BONDHOLDERS were GIVEN NO CHOICE but to bend over and that it in the rear! They were offered WORTHLESS STOCK for their FIXED BOND INVESTMENTS.

    If we are now going to say there is NO DIFFERENCE in investing in high rated BONDS than in speculative stock- then our nations entire capital investment market is WORTHLESS!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  65. Gary

    Actually the Great Barry's wife did say she wasn't proud of her country, but like her messia husband CHANGED her mind once she realized what she said.
    Stupid liberals need to learn how to read past a headline.
    The ObamaNation has no love for this country, well at least the country which was founded on the US constitution. This is a perfect example of a Thug Union prick president ripping off the people who helped build that company. Giving benefits back to the Union.
    Someone needs to wake these stupid Hussein Obama supporters up before the jerk off ruins even their wasted lives.
    You don't have sympathy Vonnie for Haters ?? Why not,,, love your Jim Jones president too much ?? His wife too important in her $500 shoes serving the poor ??
    Wake up

    June 1, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  66. Vonnie U R incorrect

    Just for the record, Vonnie, what Michelle Obama said was, "for the first time in my adult life, I'm really proud of my country." Your version, i.e. "never felt AS proud" may have passed Michelle Obama's lips at some later time, but only in damage control.

    But I agree it's got nothing to do with this bondholder's losses. I just don't like your revision of history.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  67. up in smoke

    Why in the world would you invest so much money in one equity? Have you ever heard of diversity? No one feels sorry for you. You made a huge mistake, and its no ones fault but your own.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  68. Mark

    If you can't afford to gamble the money – don't put it on the table.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  69. Sympathetic

    I feel your pain however – as others have commented, investing can be risky. We've all lost but what's done is done and now you need to move forward. There's nothing you can do except take the loss. Hopefully you did not have all your 'eggs in one basket'. The key word for market investors is 'diversification'. You might want to consider finding a professional Financial Advisor to assist you going forward.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  70. oddrice

    Boo-hoo, you gambled with your money and lost. Investing in a company is no different than playing at a casino. Besides, GM has been doing poorly for years why would you put soo many eggs in one weak that the administrations fault too?

    June 1, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  71. Max

    Look, people, she invested in BONDS, not stocks. She should have been guaranteed a modest return on her investment. Bonds are supposed to be safe investments, stocks investments are at-risk. GM, as enabled by the federal government, changed the rules late in the game and basically wiped her and people like her out. She has every right to be outraged.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  72. Roy Eaton

    I agree with the first few messages that I read. Those of us that are in the market have to accept risk. If June didn't understand this, she is just plain stupid. She is s a school teacher so you need to assume she understood what she was doing. It also sounds like she put all or most all of her eggs in one basket, now thats STUPID!!!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  73. Michigan Resident

    The stock market and bonds are a gamble and there is no guarantee. A lot of people 4-6 years ago saw something not looking right with GM or other auto companies but thought they were still a safe bet. That is the risk you take when you are trying to make money thru an investment. If you can't afford to invest that high amount of money, then you shouldn't be in this arena!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  74. Blue Oval

    If GWB administration had brokered this deal, you would be getting a lot more sympathy from the Obama-bots. Remember, drink your Kool-aid and repeat, "Obama does no wrong"

    June 1, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  75. John

    Since the tax payers owns 60 percent of GM now, I guess we tax payers should get a really great deal at the dealerships huh. NOT.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  76. WNZ

    Are you serious? You 'invested' the money, there's absolutely no guarantee you'll make more than what you invested. Shows you she doesn't know anything about investing in the first place! This is ridiculous. If she has any idea how the stock value has declined, she should understand that with or without the bailout and the bankruptcy filing, her stake is pretty much worthless. Don't blame the wrong thing.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  77. Joe

    Too bad, investment are risky ventures. Next time put your money in your mattress.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  78. Steeeeeev

    Who told this woman she should put all her eggs in one basket in this manner? If you have 7 mil to play with, sure, put 70G in GM, but if it's every dime you have, spread it around... because things like this can happen. Her broker should get his picture and name in the paper right next to "told a schoolteacher to put her whole nest egg in GM bonds" for giving her this advice. : ) S

    June 1, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  79. Paul

    Poor but not stupid...maybe you should have said Poor and ignorant. How were GM bonds speculative? You're poor because you want to leach off of others. This woman invested in an American company, and the new President stole from her, plan and simple. He steals from the common person and gives billions to his buddies on Wall Street and the unions. Obama = reverse Robin Hood, steal from the poor and give to the rich.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  80. Jeff

    The Stock Market is really only legalized gambling. People forget that until they lose.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  81. jB san francisco

    People like this should just stick with FDIC insured CDs.
    "Being for the people" doesn't mean being a nanny for a naive investor.
    And the Michelle Obama comment betrays her politics.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  82. mrtelcom

    Someone call the Dingbat Waaaambulance.
    You invested poorly, and you lost.
    Next time try a mutual fund or CD.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  83. Kevin

    This woman's plight would not exist if she had heard of one word: Diversification. She's a school teacher that probably makes 35K a year and she has 70K invested in one type of investment vehicle and one company. This is totally unsound investing. If she wanted a safe investment, she should've invested in US securities or FDIC insured CD's. Even then, she should've invested portions into different vehicles. While the loss of an investment is troubling, it is part of risk. If you don't understand this concept, then don't invest.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  84. Jba

    You took a risk and it didn't pay off for you. No use crying over it now. Just move on and choose companies more wisely in the future if you decide to gamble on the stock market again. Even six years ago GM shouldn't have been seen as a good bet. You live and learn. Now, just hope that the bondholders get something out of this, unlike those in the Chrysler fiasco.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  85. rambeaux blanks

    I'm hurting too. No one comes to my Tuesday night weekly meetings to join my Quixstar team anymore. That is the best triangle company and they truly believe in me and my team making ourselves and their company millions. Anyone want to sample my sugar free drinks? You have to buy my cd's first.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  86. bill

    I feel very sorry for June. I lost money with GM bonds also, but what really has ruined the retirement savings for my wife and myself is that my stock broker talked me into buying Fannie Mae and Sallie Mae BECAUSE THEY WERE QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL AGENCES THAT WERE SAFE!

    Fannie Mae and Sallie Mae are still in business paying their executives multi-million dollar salaries and we little people are left with nothing for our investment.

    Like the other posters have said, nothing is safe. The treasury department cannot get anyone to buy treasury bonds because no one trusts our government any more. Treasury secretary Geithner is in China right now trying to get them to buy US treasury bonds which the Chinese have no confidence in also.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  87. Harry Woods

    Stop whining Debra. Only an idiot would sink 70 grand into something as risky as the stock market or a single investment. You gambled for the big bucks and you lost. Next time, you'd better diversify where you are investing your funds and put them in safer places if you don't want to lose big.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  88. Claude Montreal

    First of all, this lady did not buy common stock. She bought bonds, which are supposed to be backed by the assets of the company. In a normal bankruptcy, bondholders have first claim to a company's assets. Except that in GM's case (just like Chrysler), Obama stepped in and decided unilateraly to shut out the bondholders (disparaging them as speculators looking for a handout), and to give GM (and Chrysler's) assets to the United Auto Workers and to keep some for the Federal Government. Obama is acting above the law. Hopefully, a bankruptcy judge who respects the law will overturn this unlawful seizing of bondholder property.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  89. Gary

    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...

    This president is the worst thing that could ever have happened to this country. He is not for this country , he is for himself.

    May someone connect with a Shoe to His forehead

    June 1, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  90. Mike

    She purchased the bonds six years ago ... GM had already started to lose a lot of their market share to many of the other car companies at that point. It doesn't seem like a smart decision to invest $70k in a declining company...

    June 1, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  91. larrywi

    I agre with FL450, accept for the comment obout M. Obama, there are no sacred cows here, and her huband was behind the orchestration of the details. Quit treating the Obama's with kid gloves, they opted to get into the arena, now they must fend off the blows!!

    June 1, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  92. Scott B

    My investments all lost lots of money too. We all lost. But I'm not crying on TV about it, looking to be saved or reimbursed. Stocks are a gamble, get over it.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  93. Bane Unreinen

    To bring Michelle Obama's comment, taken out of context no less, kills anything I may have felt for this person.

    Poor But Not Stupid but it best: 'There are no safe bets '
    You risked your money on something, you lost.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  94. NOT-Again

    First, during the Bill Clinton era it was MCI, Enron and now GM. Invest in yourself, TRUST no others. The government ONLY reallocates resources. Take your resources OFF the table and invest in family and yourself, people you can TRUST with your wallet.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  95. Tom in CA

    RISK is what you take whether you're investing in stock or bonds.

    Beside, GM lost over $80B in the last four years – the handwriting was on the wall.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  96. poisenloaf

    Umm...diversify? You put all your eggs in one basket and something bad happens like this, what do you expect?

    June 1, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  97. FL450

    To Ms. June, if you happen to read this, I saw your live interview with John Roberts. I can't say I felt much sympathy for you. Yes, I understand that you have lost a lot of money. And yes I understand that you have a right to be upset. But you came off as feeling "entitled"; as though your situation was something special. I thought you were going to start crying on the air. Listen, pretty much EVERYBODY is hurting in this economy, one way or the other, with few exceptions. At least you still have a job, possibly with benefits and a roof over your head. Many can't even say that! It may be wrong that you have lost so much money(I'm not disputing that), but here's the reality: you made an investment choice where nobody put a gun to your head and made you do it. It's a free enterprise, capitalistic system. Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose! You're a young woman; pick yourself up, dust yourself off AND KEEP MOVING. Adapt! And BTW, your comment about Michelle Obama was waaaay over the top.

    June 1, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  98. mary Bryant

    Stop complaining. The Stock Market is a dangerous place. You are gambling. Its a risk that you took. Nobody made you invest in GM. So what that you teach school. Its not relavant. You invested and it did not pay off.

    June 1, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  99. Vonnie

    I felt for this GM shareholder.... until she bought Michelle Obama into her conversation.... Listen Michelle has nothing to do with you financial situation.... and Michelle did not say 'she had never felt proud of America'..... she said 'she had never felt AS proud' big difference... so now you have no felling... at least from me about your lost... I just hate 'haters'!

    June 1, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  100. Poor but not stupid

    R.I.S.K. this is something she should have understood. There are no safe bets (safe bets dont = $$) I am less than sympathetic to any of these voices. I am not feelng the pull of heart strings just because their horse didnt come in first. This is what one must expect if you are speculating.

    June 1, 2009 at 9:33 am |
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