It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes a Player is embarrassed by a Payer. The Player in this case is corporatist Jeffery Immelt, CEO of GE, The Payer is a GE shareholder and free market activist, Dr, Tom Borelli. The setting was the GE annual shareholder’s meeting, which took place yesterday.
Highlights of the transcript, via Seeking Alpha.
The problem we have here though, Mr. Immelt, is that your actions as CEO undermines the reduction of our debt, as you know you lobbied – General Electric lobbied for Obama’s $787 billion stimulus, which added almost a trillion to our debt. And then making matters worse, our profitable company took a $100 million in grants from taxpayers. 1 grant was for $30 million and we ended up hiring five or six people. That just doesn’t make any sense and I think it represents a real reputational risk for the company to lobby for big government and favor for cutting the deficit and then on the back end, a profitable company that last year made $16 billion ended up taking grant money from taxpayers. I mean, that’s outrageous, but we have a solution.
We think it’s in the company’s best interest and your best interest to return the $100 million back to the taxpayers. We think that’s a noble initiative. You’re making plenty of money, you really don’t need the $100 million will make a great statement for General Electric’s leadership and to make sure you understand that (inaudible) business, today we launched a website GE, Give It Back, and we have an online petition that’s been directed to the Board of Directors encouraging them to return the taxpayer money back to we, the people….
I’d like your reaction to our request that you return our money back to the people.
What was Immelt’s response? He thanked Dr, Borelli for his comments and moved on.
It will be a cold day in hell when a player like Jeffery Immelt seriously considers returning the taper money. It is nice, however, to see someone stand up for the taxpayer. Thank you, Dr, Borelli.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?