The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

GM tests the limits of financial engineering

A top-notch pension scheme and subsidized healthcare ensure employees love working for General Motors. But the costs place a huge strain on the finances of one of the world's biggest bond issuers. Smart financial engineering has eased investors' fears over these liabilities. But GM must now address weak profitability in the car business. Its financing arm can't bail it out for ever. Kathryn Tully reports.

Jonn Devine, GM's CFO, is described as a visionary thinker and a risk-adverse manager.

IT IS ONE of the world's top three bond issuers. In terms of assets, it's among America's largest banks and makes most of its money from mortgages. It has 340,000 employees worldwide and vast purchasing power. It is second to only the government as the largest purchaser of Viagra in the US and is the world's biggest buyer of golf balls. Yet neither banking, executive sports or performance-enhancing pharmaceuticals are its main line of business and it isn't a conglomerate. It likes to think of itself as the world's biggest automotive company. There are many baffling things about General Motors but the fact that it buys so much Viagra to pass on at subsidized rates to its employees under its healthcare scheme is surely not run-of-the-mill corporate practice. "People seem really very happy to work there," says one analyst.

We can see why. What with the Viagra flood, one of the best employee pension schemes in the industry and more golf balls than you can shake a five iron at, it sounds like a great place to work.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree