NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

General Electric's Corporate Tantrum

September 30, 2015

In June, a revolt against the unhealthy marriage between the government and large corporations put the mother of all crony programs, the Ex-Im Bank, in liquidation. Being the second-largest beneficiary of the bank's largesse and one of the 10 mega-corporations collecting 64% of its overall activities, General Electric (GE) is upset. It wasted millions of dollars in lobbying, yet Congress still cut off its access to cheap loans.

The idea that there is no export financing without Ex-Im is ludicrous. Over 98% of U.S. exports take place without any help from Ex-Im -- proving that export financing is readily available, even for General Electric.

  • General Electric Capital Corporation holds assets of $499 billion and posted net income of $7 billion last year.
  • Lending to General Electric is a pretty safe bet considering that the company has a market cap of $255 billion and annual revenues of $149 billion.
  • General Electric is threatening to move 500 jobs outside the United States, 400 of which could go to France.

It is quite obvious that the French jobs have nothing to do with the demise of Ex-Im. As Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner reports, GE had already promised the French government that it would create 1,000 jobs there in exchange for approving a merger with French power giant Alstom. In other words, blaming Ex-Im for the possible job creation in France is disingenuous.

Source: Veronique De Rugy, "GE Resorts to Bullying Congress to Keep its Subsidies," Investor's Business Daily, September 23, 2015.

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