Marketplace Scratch Pad

Guns and Hummers

Scott Jagow Aug 24, 2009

Forget cash for clunkers. A Hummer dealership in Missouri has another idea for getting people into the showroom. Sell them guns.

From KSDK in St. Louis:

“Well a lot of our Hummer owners were gun owners, already,” said (owner Jim) Lynch. “So we had a very favorable response. Didn’t have enough business to keep this big, beautiful building going with the decline, so we decided we needed to do something else. And the guns fit in with our customer base… a lot of sportsman, a lot of outdoorsmen, and they’ve loved it.”

Lynch’s customers seemed to agree that guns and hummers go together.

Graham Hill said, “I think it’s pretty awesome, to be honest. I think he’s got a lot of interesting pieces and some guns I’ve not seen anywhere else.”

The dealership’s website is gunsandhummers.com. It does have a certain country song ring to it.

While we’re on the subject of automobiles and stock, can someone please explain why people are still buying shares in the old GM? The end of last week, millions of shares in the bankrupt company, not the new, government-owned GM, changed hands. New GM stock won’t go public until next year. The old GM shares could go to zero at any moment.

But on Thursday, the old GM had a higher trading volume than companies like Procter & Gamble, Capital One and CVS that are actually alive and operating. An explanation from AP:

Industry analysts and regulators say two groups are buying Motors Liquidation stock: People who are confused and think they are getting shares of the new GM for cheap, and day traders or institutional investors hoping for short-term gains as others continue buying the stock.

GM and federal regulators say they have done all they can to warn investors, giving old GM the appropriate moniker of Motors Liquidation Co., issuing multiple public warnings and changing the stock symbol from GMGMQ to MTLQQ.PK.

“There are people who think they are buying the new General Motors. Stop. You’re not. You’re buying the detritus,” said Harlan Platt, a finance professor at Northeastern University who follows corporate bankruptcies.

Detritus: disintegrated or eroded matter.

One investor, in a posting on a Web site for small cap stock traders last week, wondered why the shares, which he bought in June for 47 cents, fell more than 40 cents in one day.

“Today it went all the way up to $1.20 and I got greedy and thought I could get out around $1.30,” the trader wrote. “When I came home from work it tanked down to 0.73. Can anyone give me any reasons or signs why this happened?”

Yes. You’re playing with a loaded gun.

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