September's US auto sales, the first data point in a post- Cash4Clunkers marketplace, confirmed the worst. C4C used billions in taxpayer money to buy up a quarter million used cars at above-market prices. The stated purpose was to jump start the auto business. Of course what it actually did was stall sales during the run up since people waited to get $4,000 for their trade-in that was worth $700. Then it pulled forward business from future months into August. Anyone who has ever sold anything for a living knew this would happen but the lawyers who make up the majority in Washington DC didn't see it coming. This bunch couldn't sell water in the desert.
Here's the grim story for September 2009 compared to September 2008:
Overall US auto sales dropped an enormous 23%
Hyundai...... UP 27%
Good job, fellas!
In other uplifting news as we head into the weekend, the non-farm payroll numbers for September came in far worse than projected and unemployment rose to 9.8%. The total unemployed and underemployed number is roughly 17%. The total number of Americans looking for work who are unemployed is about 15,100,000.
There's a way out of this. But I don't think anyone currently in power in Washington DC will go for it. In fact, so far, they are running fast in the opposite direction.