Back in December, Senator Bob Corker advocated letting GM go through bankruptcy as a way for the company to lose some of the millstones around it’s neck and emerge a stronger company that could stand on it’s own. Democrat’s decried the suggestion as a terrible idea and “un-American”.
Two bailouts of GM and $20,000,000,000 later, Obama is taking GM to bankruptcy court as the “best solution”. Wow, why didn’t we see this sooner? We could have saved all that money.
Unfortunately, Obama is not removing millstones so much realizing that the 3rd bailout in 6 months would probably hurt his approval numbers – so he’s calling this government intervention a “structured bankruptcy”. And worse still for the taxpayer, Obama is leading with his strong suit which is politics not profits:
Every decision the feds have made since December suggests that nonpolitical management will be impossible. First they replaced Mr. Wagoner — whom they are nonetheless still paying — with the more pliable Fritz Henderson as CEO and Kent Kresa as Chairman. The latter are good at playing Washington but unproven in making popular cars. Then Treasury bludgeoned the bond holders in both Chrysler and GM to take pennies on the dollar, which will not make creditors eager to lend to the companies in the future.
There’s also the labor agreement that the UAW approved last week, which goes some way toward reducing costs but probably not enough to make the new, smaller GM competitive. The new agreement simplifies some work rules and job descriptions but makes no reductions in hourly pay, pensions or health care for active workers. The agreement must also be renegotiated in two years by an Obama Administration running for re-election and weighing the need to keep Big Labor happy against the risks to taxpayer-shareholders. Who do you think wins that White House debate?
The Administration’s concessions to the UAW also restrict the company’s ability to import smaller, more fuel-efficient cars that it already makes overseas. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger boasted on PBS’s “NewsHour” last week that “we, quite frankly, put pressure on the White House, the [auto] task force, the corporation” to bar small-car imports from overseas. GM is also selling its Opel operation in Europe as part of this restructuring, and the Washington Post reports that one of Treasury’s sale conditions is that Opel’s new owners must stay out of the U.S., and even out of China, where GM’s business is strong… – The Obama Motor Co.