GE transferred $9.5B to GE Finance today to shore up the balance sheet. As of the end of Q4 GE only had about $16.7B in cash from operating activities. I continue to think the company will be forced to do something with the Finance unit. Spinning off GE Finance is going to be incredibly tricky in this environment, but the potential cash drag puts the rest of GE’s spectacular assets at risk. I am still expecting a downgrade of their AAA rating or a dividend cut in the coming months. Immelt needs to attack the problem. Waiting for the economy to turn around (as Ken Lewis is doing) will not work.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.