Bailout Watch 235: 20 Questions Congress Should Ask Chrysler, Ford and GM
Litigators use yes/no questions to focus witness testimony and prevent dodging, weaving and long-winded evasiveness. Here are 20 direct questions for Wagoner, Mulally and Nardelli. No doubt TTAC’s Best and Brightest have their own questions which they would like to have answered under oath.
1. Did you bring with you complete and current financial statements, including a balance sheet and financial projections?
2. Are all these financial statements and projections submitted to this committee also available to US taxpayers?
3. Have your financial statements and projections been shared with the UAW?
4. Have they been given to any of your bondholders?
5. Are your financial projections based on the “worst case” scenario?
6. Do you have other models/scenarios for financial projections? For example, is there a best case scenario?
7. Have you provided us with a written statement of all the assumptions you relied on in preparing the financial projections?
8. Did outside consultants/advisors assist in the preparation of your financial projections?
9. Based on the balance sheet presented to us, do your liabilities exceed your assets?
10. Have you spent more than $1 million in 2008 lobbying Congress for financial aid? More than $10 million? More than $20 million?
11. Have you had discussions with your largest bondholders about forgoing interest and principal payments until any taxpayer loan is repaid?
12. Have you asked any bondholders to convert their unsecured debt into common shares?
13. Have any bondholders agreed to convert their debt into common shares?
14. Have any of your bondholders formed a negotiating committee?
15. Do you intend to renegotiate your current labor agreements with the UAW?
16. Do you intend to reduce your dealer network?
17. Have you retained investment bankers to assist you in selling any assets?
18. Do you have collateral to secure repayment of any loan made by US taxpayers?
19. Do you personally have an employment agreement?
20. If your employment is terminated, are you entitled to a severance payment?
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Gentlemen, instead of talking about the cuts you will make if taxpayers give you money, why haven't you made them already? This includes the UAW. If you are really serious about saving your company, these seem prudent steps to take regardless. Why only now do you come up with these ideas? What other ideas have you not yet come up with? If you have come up with new ideas in two weeks, why won't you have even better ideas in January?