Gamestop me if you've heard this one.
GM's going electric.
As a merry band of guerrilla stock traders besieged the hedge-fund short sellers, GM gave the astounding news that it will quit selling gasoline-and diesel-powered cars by 2035.
Damn, that'll probably be too late for me. But GM vows to sell 30 electric-powered cars, 40 percent of its product line, by 2025. My next car could be an battery-powered Sting Ray.
Does anyone but me remember the old Lil Abner song, "What's Good for General Motors Is Good for the USA?"
The company, blasted by the Japanese and European car invasion years ago, doesn't have that kind of power anymore. But thanks to a bailout from the Obama administration - led by then Vice President Joe Biden - the automaker has battled back.
GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra, the architect of the company's electric future, said, “General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world. We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole.”
The GM move might come too late to make a significant difference in reversing climate change. But it offers hope for future generations.
Soccer moms driving those big, fuel-thirsty Suburban SUVs spew a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere. The next generation of moms will drive electric SUVs, if GM fulfills its vision.
The GM bombshell raised the intensity of a volatile week for the American economy.
Just as old-time movie theaters appeared headed for history's teeming dump, those outlaw traders who boosted GameStop drove up megaplex company AMC's stock as well. The hedge fund sharks were crying crocodile tears, as the excellent Matt Taibbi reported in an extensive Substack post.
The GameStop frenzy led to a trading site called Robinhood halting trading of the company. Wasn't Robinhood the name of the Internet startup on HBO's show "Silicon Valley?" The week's frenzy resembled an episode of the show.
As Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed out, Robinhood's action went against the eponymous Sherwood Forest outlaw's ethos to steal from the rich and give to the poor.
When the odious GOP Sen. Ted Cruz agreed with her, AOC rejected his support, accusing him of seeking to have her murdered by encouraging the Capitol rioters.
The soaring stock prices of GameStock and AMC supported companies that flourished in the heyday of suburban shopping malls, now seen as dinosaurs. It's curious that the young traders would prop up those companies rather than some futuristic startup. And the GM news sounds a toll for the internal-combustible engine economy, which fueled - ha, ha - those malls.
General Motors is developing the new Ultium battery, which will make electric cars more affordable. The carmaker also is developing hydrogen technology, and plans to make all of its factories carbon-neutral by 2040.
Artificial intelligence, anyone? Well, robots won't unionize, at least for now.
Following Rupert Murdoch and the Wall Street Journal's editorial page skepticism about climate change, the WSJ played the GM story on its business front page, not on the newspaper's front page. It also dashed cold water by calling the GM plan "aspirational." In contrast, The New York Times made the announcement its lead front page story.
While the wild stock market wildfire is likely to burn out soon, the GM move from the internal combustion engine could bring major economic changes.
The move endangers Exxon and other big oil companies. In place of service stations, electric charging stations will be needed, but how will those be profitable?
Homes likely will be equipped with charging stations, which will generate excess electricity, drawing the ire of utilities like Georgia Power. And fossil fuels still will be needed to manufacture batteries, and keep those media streaming services going.
While Elon Musk's Tesla has pioneered the electric vehicles, GM's move looks like the proverbial game-changer for the economy. European automakers are also developing electric vehicles.
Illustrating the shift in corporate thinking, Ford executive Bill Ford signed a recent ad in The New York Times calling for the Biden administration to take action against climate change, along with Hollywood stars and environmental activists. The Ford company is also on the path to selling nothing but electric vehicles.
If the Sting Ray doesn't work out, an electric Mustang would be fine.