Bailout Watch 240: DOE Chief Sends Back D2.8's Loan Requests
In the course of tearing the D2.8 CEOs a new NSFW, Senator Corker (R-TN) told the auto execs that Sam Bodman, Energy Sec, has rejected– so far– all the 136 requests for access to the $25b “retooling” loan fund. We have no other information at this time. But Holy frijoles, Corker is after Motown CEOs’ collective Nardelli. “There is not a person alive who thinks Chrysler can make it as a standalone automaker,” Corker asserted. Although the Senator raised the central issue for Chrysler– why the Hell should the U.S. government bail out the ailing automaker if deep-pocketed owner Cerberus won’t do it– Senator Dodd threw the deer-in-the-headlights ChyrCo honcho a lifeline. He changed the subject. Now Corker is sticking it to UAW boss Gettelfinger by trying to get him to agree to swap health care VEBA payments to equity, relieving GM of a big pile of debt. Another squirm. And Corker’s time is up. NSFWs are unpuckering.
S'all on YouTube. Man those CEOs are squirming hard, and Corker is enjoying it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxpB7vQFODM
The hearings are fun and everything, but the odds are high that there will be a bailout of some kind, if not this month, then in January. Nobody will want to accept the blame if the companies flame out. It's safer to approve something soon and then let them fail later, than it would be to vote nay and then get the blame for certain. This is very much like what happened with TARP. The Congressmen grill their subjects, pretend to be up in arms, and otherwise grandstand for their side, before they go into the back room to figure out how they can get negotiate it so as to get enough votes to pass it without everyone having to cast a yes vote.
In a much better world, a guy like Sen. Corker would head that committee, and Sen. Dodd would have a job as a clueless local news hack.