Bailout Watch 237: GM Denies Brazil Bailout Story

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
bailout watch 237 gm denies brazil bailout story

When Autoblog caught wind of the Latin American Herald Tribune story quoting GM Brazil’s CEO as saying GM would invest $1b worth of US bailout money in Brazilian operations, they knew there was something weird about the story. Ya think? The original LAHT story paraphrases (rather than directly quoting) GM Brazil’s Jaime Ardila as saying GM’s $1b investment would come from bailout bucks, lending some credence to the official GM position that “something got lost in translation.” But even if the LAHT’s translation was completely accurate, GM would have denied this story up and down. Investing American tax dollars in the developing world? Perish the thought. For one thing, there is no bailout. Yet. If Ardila did say that bailout bucks were going to Brazil, he was way off the reservation, and endangering the still-slim odds of a bailout happening. In any case, we will know what the bailout bucks will be spent on when GM submits their plans for the money to congress on December 2. And don’t bet on seeing a billion dollar line-item for Brazilian investment, for the obvious political reasons. But as an international company that has been supported for years by its overseas units, GM will have to finesse its bailout plan to appeal to congress’s national interests. With nothing but cuts in sight for GM’s North American operations, the General will have to rely ever more heavily on profits from its growth markets abroad to achieve the “viability” congress wants to see. Unfortunately, that viability trades off directly with the bailout’s other goal, which is saving American jobs. Such are the dangers of national bailouts of multinational corporations.

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  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Nov 23, 2008

    Ed, Thanks for the post, it helps the site's credibility. I sent an email to the editor of the LAHT, who wrote the story, asking him to comment on GM's denial. If I get an answer, I'll post it on TTAC.