Was transport chief pushing 'buy American'?
LaHood backs off of a suggestion that owners of recalled Toyotas stop driving the cars. What was behind the remark?
But that's what Ray LaHood did on Wednesday, although he later backed off and called his comments "obviously a misstatement." He meant to say that Toyota (TM) owners should take their cars to dealerships for examination. Or so he claims.
How do you mess up something like that? That's a pretty damaging thing to say, even for a company like Toyota, which has already done plenty to damage its reputation. Is there something more nefarious going on here?
The Zero Hedge blog suggests that the government is jumping all over Toyota as a way to encourage people to buy American cars.
The comment was "a de facto endorsement of buy American, and not just any American, but cars made by bankrupt and spun off automakers, in which the country has a major equity stake in via TARP and loan facilities."
So the transportation secretary disses Toyota to boost U.S. automakers and help the government recoup its TARP money? Hmm. That's crazy -- or is it crazy like a fox?
Let's hear more from the black helicopter folks at Zero Hedge:
As everyone knows, Cash For Clunkers was a benefit exclusively to Japanese automakers, with Ford barely sneaking into a top 5 spot for cars sold. Well, now it's time for Uncle Sam to demand his pound of flesh; if that involves a "recall" and a huge hit to Toyota's sales and market cap, so be it.
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
The Fed may start tapering in just a few months. Here are a few of the likely winners and losers.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.