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That's the question General Motors (GM) shareholders must be asking after hearing that the Nissan-Renault alliance talks have ended.

The statement Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. issued later makes it plain he's unhappy. What will he do now?

Kerkorian can follow any one of three paths:

- The first is to sell his GM shares and walk away.

- The second is to maintain his GM position and be a truly passive investor, estimating he'll make an acceptable return on his investment over time.

- And the third is to ratchet up the pressure on the GM board.

My hunch is that Kerkorian will follow the latter path. Look for him and Jerry York to continue their campaign to convince GM's directors that their turnaround plans are right for the auto company.

If that doesn't work, Kerkorian could wage a more aggressive campaign to replace some members of the board. Remember that earlier this week, GM's bylaws were altered making it easier to replace directors.

If you're a regular reader of Controlled Greed.com, you know what I'm going to say next.

And I hate to keep harping on it -- but GM's top six shareholders own most of the stock. I don't know what they think of all this. How many back Wagoner? How many bank Kerkorian? And how many are remaining mum, waiting to see what happens before declaring their support?

I don't know. But I feel certain of two things.

Rick Wagoner and GM management have enough confidence to kill the alliance talks. And Kirk Kerkorian has the history to suggest he won't give up.

The big question is who has the votes?

GM 1-yr chart:

GM 1-yr chart

Disclosure: The author owns GM shares

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Source: With the GM Merger a No Go, What Kerkorian's Next Move?