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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