Paul and Charlie,I'm not convinced the reward is baked into the price for the risk taken with the major automakers. A burning question for me at the end of the study is if one some how managed to make it over the hurdles put in front of it is what maturity would we buy? Many seem pleased with GM while they are currently down on Ford. GM's debt load is frightening while F still has cash on the books and the deep pockets of the Fords. D-Crysler is a bit different the Chrylser chunk has the same legacy cost issues the other two do + its European obligations which is a different labor/management culture than we have here. None of them have effectively dealt with their overhead cost issues. All of them are trying but I haven't seen a significant shift occur. Auto parts makers are either spin offs, subsidiaries or dependent on the big three + a growing number of foreign companies assembling here. Many of them are strapped with the same overhead issues as the big three. The whole segment is begining to smell like late 70's early 80's steel industry. Tires I usually steer away from on the equity side. I have never looked seriously at their debt. As industries rail has promise as does water transport. UPS and FedEx are shipping/transportation-ish. Levi-Strauss doesn't trade equity but they use debt frequently and report their numbers much as publicaly traded companies do. I would suggest that we steer away from financial institutions like banks and insurers. When money is the inventory things are a little more difficult for most folks to track. Units moved, units sold, services rendered are usually simpler models to understand. jack
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