By on February 24, 2009

Once the feds bailed out GMAC—despite the failed lender’s inability to meet federal regulations—there wasn’t an industry expert who seriously believed that GM could convince its bondholders and union reps to swap $30 billion worth of GM debt for $30 billion of worth GM equity. (No sniggering.) Who cares that the swap was required as part the conditions of the automaker’s $13.4 billion “emergency bridge loans?” Nobody. To its credit, GM played the requisite game of charades, holding “marathon” negotiations with the bondholders and union reps. To no avail. According to Dow Jones, Uncle Sam reacted to the missed deadline with a stern, “Never mind!” And “Chrysler LLC, which received a $4 billion loan, was subject to the same terms as GM and also failed to reach deals with the UAW or debtors, although talks still continue.” See? As long as they’re talking, there’s hope! So . . . back to your smoke-filled room! And no more deadlines for you, Mister! Obviously, there’s more important game afoot: the MSM feeding frenzy over the whips driven by the presidential automotive task force. Question: when did the media and our elected pols become such wimps, weasels, scoundrels and patsies?

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17 Comments on “Bailout Watch 415: Feds: Hakuna Matata as GM, Chrysler Blow Through Debt Swap Deadline...”


  • avatar
    minion444

    Question: when did the media and our elected pols become such wimps, weasels, scoundrels and patsies?

    When Moses sat down with the first reporter after receiving the 10 commandments. “You tell the people I went on a binge, I’ll have Aaron leave you in the desert.”

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Question: when did the media and our elected pols become such wimps, weasels, scoundrels and patsies?

    They generally always have been, but it got awful between the Bush administration’s rather astute handing of the media over the last eight years, the convergence of Big Media and the prevalence of lawyers over editors when it comes to final decisions on content.

  • avatar
    John R

    Question: when did the media and our elected pols become such wimps, weasels, scoundrels and patsies?

    That happens when your job security depends on who writes your checks and who you can access. Its the difference between Motorweek TV and Top Gear (BBC is public supported, remember) and who can get into the White House press room…and stay there.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Answer: WAS [“While America Slept”].

  • avatar
    Stein X Leikanger

    They’re just running the money printing presses 24/7.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’m not sniggering,honest,and I’m a glass half full,all in Detroit fan boy.But to be perfectly honest I woudn’t trade squat for $30b of GM equity.In my uneducated way of thinking,if GM HAD
    30b equity somewhere,lenders would be lining up.

  • avatar
    toadroller

    See, now, there you got yer Hope and you got yer Change. All in one deal!

  • avatar
    bigbaffoon1

    Welcome to Europe circa 1970…ish.
    You will soon learn to relax and enjoy your new world of social democracy.

  • avatar

    “Estes did not stand alone; faith in the large car ran strong at General Motors. “The car purchase and buying up to bigger cars in the market are the fundamental concepts of American life,” table-pounding Mack W. Worden, the corporation’s marketing vice-president, trumpeted. An inadvertent echo of hucksters “Carload” Collins and Dick Grant, Worden urged everyone “to help sell America out of its troubles. The way to keep the economy from sliding further downhill,” he told the American Marketing Association, “is for the salesmen and saleswomen of this country to get out and sell something, and for everyone to begin to reverse the gloom-and-doom psychology that seems to control the attitudes and adversely influences the action of too many people.” One could almost hear Herbert Hoover cheering from the Elysian Fields.”

    — “Chrome Colossus”

    From:
    Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 2:01 PM
    To: [email protected], [email protected]
    Subject: Death of Mack Worden Former VP of marketing for GM

    He was a great man. Were u aware of his death?

  • avatar
    NickR

    Can someone please tell me where to find creditors with such flexible lending terms? My life would be soooo much easier.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The New York Times might be waking up to the reality that GM and Chrysler are corpses. I’m no fan of that paper, but check out Thomas Friedman’s column this past weekend and he says the bailout money should be directed to start-ups who might actually accomplish something, rather than GM and Chrysler. Yesterday, the same paper ran an editorial stating that we’re throwing good money after bad.

    In my experience, I’ve noticed that when the NYTimes “picks up” a story, the rest of the papers, or in this case, what’s left of the papers, will soon follow.

  • avatar

    Psarhjinian blaming it on George Bush? Geeze. George Bush and Bill Clinton both played and manipulated the MSM like the patsies they are. But then again every President does.

  • avatar
    geeber

    psharjinian: They generally always have been, but it got awful between the Bush administration’s rather astute handing of the media over the last eight years, the convergence of Big Media and the prevalence of lawyers over editors when it comes to final decisions on content.

    The media has always been controlled by a few very large, corporate, players.

    What has changed is that their control over the news (which is not the same thing as control over the organizations that report the news) has lessened over the last decade with the rise of the internet and development of sites such as this.

    If this story had happened in 1998, we would still be largely relying on the mainstream media for stories, not to mention their interpretation of the car makers’ problems. Now, we have sites such as this that actually question the PR spin put out by the companies and government officials, and dissect stories in mainstream publications.

    The media hasn’t changed. Because of the internet, those who have long questioned the media now have an inexpensive method to spread their skepticism and pose their questions to a larger audience. As a result, we have become more savvy.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Psarhjinian blaming it on George Bush?

    I wouldn’t say “blaming”, per se. Certain administrations (Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton) were very good at steering the media, while others (H.G. Bush comes immediately to mind) were very bad at it.

    G.W. Bush’s administration took that level of steering to a new level. The press’ access to information was rationed to a degree that you typically didn’t see before. You could make the argument that the Internet and cable news made the media easier to manipulate, because it made getting the news quickly a more immediate need.

    If you want to put it in crude terms, Clinton was a media darling, but Bush made the media his bitch. It was only when he became weak—around 2006 or so—that the media became accordingly more critical.

    Note that I don’t have any love for the major media outlets, and as such I don’t feel this is a condemning point for Bush. I don’t like a lot of what he and his colleagues did, but for a good six years he and his staff did an impressive job of curbing the kind of magpie tendencies that’s typical of the major outlets.

    What has changed is that their control over the news (which is not the same thing as control over the organizations that report the news) has lessened over the last decade with the rise of the internet and development of sites such as this.

    I agree with you to a point: the major media still has a lot of (possibly undeserved) credence, especially in certain demographics. It’s especially true of older people, or those who depend entirely on push content.

    While the internet has broken that somewhat, I think the real tipping point will be the coming mass collapse of Big Media. If you think the business model of GM is broken, that of the likes of Fox or Time-Warner is only slightly less so. Give it a year or so and I’d expect several of these outlets to fold as their revenue streams dry up.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Robert Farago said:
    Question: when did the media and our elected pols become such wimps, weasels, scoundrels and patsies?

    Sherman Lin said:
    George Bush and Bill Clinton both played and manipulated the MSM like the patsies they are. But then again every President does.

    Bill Clinton was being impeached for a blow job. No one tried to impeach George Bush when he violated the constitutional rights of American people (those who tried probably ended up in Guantanamo).

    That’s when.

  • avatar
    wsn

    psarhjinian :
    While the internet has broken that somewhat, I think the real tipping point will be the coming mass collapse of Big Media. If you think the business model of GM is broken, that of the likes of Fox or Time-Warner is only slightly less so. Give it a year or so and I’d expect several of these outlets to fold as their revenue streams dry up.

    I totally agree. Technology is the fundamental game changer in politics.

  • avatar
    gogogodzilla

    To wsn:

    Clinton wasn’t impeached for a blow-job… he was impeached for lying about it.

    It he had testified, under oath, that yes… indeed he had gotten a blow job, the storm would’ve ‘blown’ over.

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