"Buyout packages? We don't need no stinking buyout packages!"

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Last week General Motors, in an effort to staunch its financial bleeding, offered buyout packages to over 100,000 of its hourly workers. Today's Times brings the revelation that, under GM's Jobs Bank, many of these men are quite often paid full salary and benefits to sit around watching television, chatting, and playing dominoes.
This is indeed good work if you can get it, and as such, most workers don't have to think very hard about declining any offers to cash-out.

"Why would I walk out the door with $2,000 less per month and have to go find a job when I can sit in the bank, get my 30 years and retire?" asked Mr. Pruitt, who at 53 has 27 years' seniority and qualifies for a buyout that would pay him roughly half his hourly wage for three years if he leaves the company now. "It's really to my advantage to ride the bank out as long as it goes."

Ride that bank!
G.M.'s Jobs Bank Looms as Major Obstacle on Road to Survival [NYT]


Bill Ackman: Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads

The principal weakness we share with most other money managers is the fact that our capital base is not permanent, and we therefore keep cash on hand and/or own passive liquid investments which we can sell to meet potential investor demands for capital. To address this weakness in our open end hedge fund structure, later this year, we intend to launch the private phase of Pershing Square Holdings, Ltd., which we expect to eventually list on the London Stock Exchange...In [the cases of Canadian Pacific, JC Penney, Justice Holdings and General Growth], we had the resources to effectuate the necessary change and the capital commitment from investors who were willing to wait for the changes to be implemented. During the course of each investment, however, there have been periods of enormous skepticism both from the investing public at large and, presumably, from some of you who are invested in the Funds...The Pershing Square funds have been a large beneficiary of our ability to take advantage of periodic market skepticism by increasing our ownership at more favorable prices. Volatility is the friend of the unleveraged long-term investor. We much prefer the bumpy road to higher rates of return than a smoother ride to more modest profits. Pershing Square Q12012 Letter To Investors [PDF]