Bailout Watch 25: Jerry Flint Votes Aye
What did you expect? Jerry Flint has been a Detroit apologist since Kennedy’s Justice Department tried to force GM to spin-off Chevrolet (if only). Still, Flint’s argument [via WardsAuto] in favor of $50b in low-cost federal loan guarantees for America’s beleaguered automakers is yet another conflicted, half-hearted recommendation. “Detroit can’t convert from a truck-heavy mix to fuel-efficient cars without help, not the way the losses are piling up. General Motors lost $15 billion just in this year’s second quarter, and Ford lost more than $8 billion. Should the nation bother to save the industry? Yes. Opponents say Detroit brought the trouble on itself, ignoring decades of warnings about oil and letting foreign auto makers win battles over quality and technology. That’s all true. Detroit auto makers have made plenty of mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they should not be helped. The Detroit Three provide hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, plus millions more at suppliers and related businesses.’ Translation: the D2.8 are up shit creek, they failed to compete and they’re too big to fail. Double negative aside, it’s a reasonably coherent and compelling arguement. Especially when Flint adds the “strings attached” caveat (albeit asking workers rather than over-compensated executives to take a hit for the team). So why don’t the automakers themselves A) admit their failures and B) admit their mistakes and C) put a concrete proposal in front of the people who will (mark my words) guarantee these loans? Motown’s “reluctance” to come clean is reason enough to deny them the money.
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