Bailout Watch 323: Chrysler "Full Transparency" Worth More Than $4b

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
bailout watch 323 chrysler full transparency worth more than 4b

Bloomberg reports today that despite receiving $4b in government aid, Chrysler refuses to open its books to the public which involuntarily bailed it out. It turns out that when Robert Nardelli pledged “full financial transparency” while begging the government to buy into his Pentastarred hell, he was really offering “partial financial transparency.” As in, ChryCo will share the numbers with the Treasury, but nobody else. The weekly status reports, biweekly cash statements and monthly certifications to the Treasury are required to demonstrate that Chrysler is complying with policies on expenses. But as Chrysler Spokesperson Lori McTavish puts it “we are not in a position to mirror publicly traded companies, as our investors remain private. However, the company is obligated to our private investors and lenders, and as such, keeps them apprised.” Earth to Chrysler: your major investor is the public. And we expect more than just a thank you card.

If it weren’t for $4b in tax dollars, there would be no more Chrysler. Hell, your other major “equity” holder, Daimler, recently had the decency to tell the public what we already knew: that their 20 percent stake in Chrysler was worth bupkis. So guess what? Cerberus can claim private ownership all it wants, but a public-money bailout means the public has a right to take a look in the Nardelli’s balance book of horror. If Cerberus or Nardelli can’t live up to the consequences of foisting their failed business on taxpayers, let alone their own promises of “full transparency,” they should probably just forget about the second check they’re going to ask for in January. And Treasury Secretary Paulson should make their submitted financial information public anyway.

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  • TheRealAutoGuy TheRealAutoGuy on Jan 07, 2009

    I would humbly suggest that at least some of the vitriol on this matter be directed at the Giant Brains in Stuttgart who bought Chrysler, drained it of cash, and then pushed it to the curb to die. An appropriate follow-up would be to then chase the $700B thrown at Wall Street. Heck, however appropriate or inappropriate the TARP fund may be, the degree of transparency Chrysler has offered is orders of magnitude better than what we know of how Wall Street is spending American dollars.

  • Kurt. Kurt. on Jan 08, 2009

    @Ken Elias, I respectfully have to disagree...I agree, Chrysler is a private company and has no requirement to share it's books. What I don't agree with is the motive. Chrysler COULD appease the public by sharing financial information but it won't. The reason I believe is because where MB sucked out proprietary technology and spit out the company, Cherbus is sucking out cash and assets. When time comes for the Gov to collect its return, there will be nothing left but the employees. Oh, and its the US Governments $4b. It ceased beig mine when they took it from my wallet. I have never had a say in how they spend it.

  • ToolGuy Real Subarus are green and coated with dust from at least three different National Parks (Gateway Arch doesn't count).
  • ToolGuy Good for them.(And their customers. $2500 first-year subscription on top of the system cost? That ain't me)
  • ToolGuy T E L L U R I D E is not on this list(I can keep my poster on the wall)
  • ToolGuy My impression is that Honda has been coasting on its reputation for awhile now.(To Honda's credit, they aren't standing on the Self Destruct button like Toyota seems to be)
  • Fred I owned a 2001 MR2 for 15 years nothing ever went wrong with the vehicle. It was always exciting to drive most people thought it was a boxster. The only negative was storage and legroom considering I'm a little over 6:4 the only reason it was sold was as a second car and a grandchild on the way we needed something more practical.