Bailout Watch 25: Jerry Flint Votes Aye

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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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.

Robert Farago
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  • Rob Rob on Sep 06, 2008

    carguy622: Excellent link! Now THAT is the truth about [s]cars[/s] GM. After reading Flint's speech and then comparing it to his WardsAuto article, I am left wondering if this is the same person. I would expect Mr. Flint to discuss the oversight and sacrifice aspects a bit more. Perhaps something along the lines of the oversight discussed in bailout watch 26/NY Times (re: Fannie/Freddie). As for sacrifice, 99% of the management of GM should be [s]reprimanded[/s] [s]fired[/s] [s]taken out back and shot [/s] drawn and quartered.

  • Mel23 Mel23 on Sep 06, 2008

    The 2.8 are downsizing rapidly, so there will be fewer plants, workers, sales and dealers, bailout or not. But a terrible mistake is being made in assuming that all 2.8 must be saved. I'm by no means a believer that the 'market' is always right, but I am a believer in merit winning. In the past, we've seen many car companies fail while more successful ones survived and benefited by serving the customers of the failed companies. Why not do the same here? Let at least 1 of the 2.8 disappear. What is very likely to come out of this bailout, whatever we call it, will be a delay of the death of one or two of the 2.8 anyway. The car execs use words like retooling and point to things like CAFE as the cause of their current ailments. Completely voiding CAFE will do nothing for them. Putting all new 'tools' in their plants will do nothing if they keep making the same products; they need new products; obviously. What's needed, but won't happen, is some kind of evaluation and selection based on most/least likely to survive based on realistic, near-term products that can be sold at profit sufficient to support a company. Unless we use a process like this, we're just wasting money and time.

  • Raskolnikov Raskolnikov on Sep 07, 2008

    Can our mcgovernment, which is flat broke, even afford a mcbail out? Methinks the Chinese, Arabs, and British are the ones who will actually finance any potential bailout as they snap up our mctreasury bills like our fatass countrymen devouring biggie size fries and cokes at the nearest Mcrestaraunt.

  • Pjpeery Pjpeery on Sep 08, 2008

    You can use my tax dollars to bail out the detroit big 3 .. yes you can when i get the same health care as they do , when i get all the holidays they do when i get the job protection they do ..when i get the same retirement they do have i left anything out? what are the chances? paul