Bailout Watch 299: Chrysler "Government Loan Unlikely To Be Repaid"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 299 chrysler government loan unlikely to be repaid

With GM, the bailout is pretty straightforward. Give us money or the economy dies. With Chrysler, it’s a lot more… complicated. In case you hadn’t noticed, ChrCyo owner Cerberus is looking for an exit strategy. Give us the money and we’ll sell/give our 80 percent share of the company to someone else. The United Auto Workers. Suppliers. Someone. Anyone. The New York Times quotes the official statement: “Cerberus has advised the Treasury that it would contribute its equity in Chrysler automotive to labor and creditors as currency to facilitate the accommodations necessary to effect the restructuring.” How… magnanimous. Meanwhile, president Bush is throwing a quartet of billions Chrysler’s way– without anything resembling a specific plan for recovery (’cause there ain’t one). And here’s the [non] money shot, from the privat eequity firm’s own mouth : “Unless Chrysler’s labor costs can achieve parity with the foreign transplants and without the restructuring of Chrysler’s debt,” Cerberus announced. “Chrysler cannot be restored to long-term health and the government loan will be unlikely to be repaid.” So, unless the UAW capitulates (which it won’t) and the feds bailout Chrysler Financial Services (which it will), you can kiss the Chrysler bailout bucks goodbye. It’s an extraordinary, and extraordinarily honest, admission. But it seems that honesty’s got nothing to do with it…

“Cerberus officials lobbied the White House last week to prevent the private equity firm from being held responsible for the Chrysler loans if the automaker cannot repay them, according to people with knowledge of the talks who declined to be identified because the discussions were private.

But Chrysler executives, who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company, were shut out of the discussions, those people said.”

As Tina Turner almost sang, “What’s cars got to do, got to do with it?”

Bottom line: “In its statement, Cerberus said it agreed to provide $2 billion in proceeds from Chrysler’s finance arm to ‘backstop’ the loans.” So, 50 cents on the dollar, a cauterized wound, and 90 days to find an even bigger sucker. Someone needs to give former U.S. Treasury Secretary and current Cerberus Chairman John Snow a raise.

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  • Bleach Bleach on Dec 22, 2008

    That's what I was thinking. I hope congrats are in order.

  • Mfgreen40 Mfgreen40 on Dec 22, 2008

    Even if the (card check) is made into law, what are the chances the southern states workers would want to join the UAW?

  • Master Baiter "...but the driver must be ready to step in and take control. The system is authorized for use during the day but at speeds lower than 40 mph..."Translation: It's basically useless, and likely more stressful than piloting the car ones's self.
  • Alan My friend has a Toyota Kluger (made in 'murica). A Highlander. These things are based on a Camry platform. I have driven the Kluger we had at work and I find them quite boring even for a SUV. An appliance. I hope this will deliver some driving pleasure. I found the Camry a better boring vehicle.
  • Alan Most Lexii look good to reasonable.....................until you see the front ends with their awkward grilles. It actually would look normal on a GWM, LDV or any other Chinese vehicle.
  • Tassos These last months, every day seems to be another great, consequential piece of news for Tesla, who does not just DOMINATE, it OWNS the US and FREE WORLD BEV market.It is the ONLY (repeat ONLY) maker that builds its huge best sellers at a PROFIT, ie, SUSTAINABLY. FOrd EV is bleeding 3 billion in losses. GM hides theirs, and I bet they are even HIGHER. VW has spent a huge no of billions and its ID series has been an UTTER FAILURE.Toyota, already 12 years too late, is yet to try. I doubt they will succeed to dethrone TESLA.
  • Tassos Again: I never took VOlvo seriously in the last 20 or so years.Chinese Volvo-Geely has a dizzying number of models, I have lost count how many,YET its sales and market share in the US has always been DISMAL these last 20 years.It ranges from a pathetic 0.5% to 0.8% of the US market.For comparison, Toyota has 15% and GM has even more. Tesla has almost 10 TIMES VOlvo's share, with a PITTANCE of really TWO Models, the 3 and the Y, as the S and the X hardly sell any copies any more.So why do we keep reading articles about Stupid VOlvo?Because they have the best PR department of any maker.