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

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.

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  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
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