By on March 30, 2009

The New York Times reports that GM CEO Rick Wagoner has resigned his position with the ailing American automaker. Wagoner will tender his resignation ahead of President Obama’s statement at 11 a.m. today regarding the next round of bailout bucks for the zombie automaker. “As recently as March 18, Mr. Wagoner said in an interview that he had no indication that his job was in jeopardy because of the task force.” The PTFOA has directed that Wagoner’s hand-picked successor and current COO Fritz Henderson assume the top slot—temporarily. Word has it that Steve Rattner, the head of the Presidential Task Force on Autos, initiated Wagoner’s long-overdue defenestration. [General Motors Death Watch below.]

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74 Comments on “GM CEO Rick Wagoner Resigns...”


  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Neither… he was whacked.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    “And, has thou slain the Wagoner?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
    He chortled in his joy.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    Also, Autoblog is claiming he resigned at Obama’s request.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Was he pushed or did he jump?

    If he jumped, how does this square with his statement last week, that he intended to stay around until things were put right?

    p.s. Nice reference RF, and below, I give you more from the same reference, and in an odd way, it also fits to the dowager General:

    “She was beautiful in face and form and lovelier still in spirit. As a flower she grew and as a fair young flower she died. Her life had been always in the sunshine. There had never come to her a single great sorrow. None ever knew her who did not love and revere her for her bright and sunny temper and her saintly unselfishness. Fair, pure and joyous as a maiden, loving, tender and happy as a young wife. When she had just become a mother, when her life seemed to be just begun and when the years seemed so bright before her, then by a strange and terrible fate death came to her. And when my heart’s dearest died, the light went from my life forever.”

  • avatar
    autoemployeefornow

    Smart move. Why stick around to put up with all the bullshit? He has enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    toxicroach, what are you some kind of Jabberwock or something?

  • avatar

    “Mr. Wagoner was asked to, and agreed to, step down as part of G.M.’s restructuring agreement with the Obama administration” according to the NYT.

  • avatar
    Evan is a Robot

    w00t!!!1

  • avatar
    Mike the loser

    Ashes to Ashes

    Dust to Dust

  • avatar

    Now the question is, are they going to do what Ford did and promote an outsider? Or are they just going to promote from within?

    Also, apparently, the fate of Hummer will be decided by Tuesday.

  • avatar

    Holy smokes, them mgmt over there sounded like they were really digging their heels in for the longest time, I think this is probably good news.

    They need somebody over there that’s not some old-boys network insider. Seriously, I think Alan Mulally has done an excellent job of turning Ford around and getting them to focus on building quality products (no pun intended). It’ll be interesting to see who they choose as his successor. They should probably pick me so I can speed up bringing the Cruze to the US market.

    Alternatively, they should pick somebody who respects the small-car market & recognizes that you need quality entry-level offerings to gain customers early on. Few young people will buy and Aveo or Cobalt when there are so many better offerings in the categories – I know I personally would spend $16k on a Fit before I’d buy a $13k Aveo.

    GM still thinks Americans don’t like small cars, as Mark LaNeve said last week at the Minneapolis Auto Show, but that completely ignores the fact that the Corolla and Civic are the #3 & 4 selling cars (excluding trucks) in the USA! Americans like small cars just fine, they just don’t want to buy junky small cars.

    GM needs an outsider to come in like Mulally did, someone who can realistically recognize the industry’s problems and who isn’t tied to too many insiders, someone who isn’t scared to shake things up and maybe hurt a few feelings. I just hope they don’t get some evil slash-and-burn guy like Bob Nardelli…

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “The Detroit News says Obama initiated Wagoner’s long-overdue defenestration.”

    Wow, just wow. Props to Mr. President.

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    Not as big a deal as I thought.

  • avatar
    RNader

    He who killed the electric car killed himself!

    Hows Hummer working out?

  • avatar
    ltd

    Wow, it only took 8 years! Better late than never… Is Nardelli next?
    And what happens now, who’s going to take Wagoner’s place?

  • avatar

    Hasn’t Wagoner presided over the destruction of more wealth than Enron?

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    The real question here is if the CFO will replace him (again).

    If so, this is much less a big deal. And a whole lot more idiotic.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Poor guy/ All he walks away with is millions of dollars paid out over 30 some years. I hope his family doesn’t suffer much, at least not as much as the rest of us poor souls getting laid off without much prospects in this market.

    About-effin’-time.

    So is the Big O going to install a ideological crony in the top spot at GM (er American Leyland) or will American Idol and The Apprentice have a talent contest to see who loses bad enough to take the job.

    How about we have a different version of The Biggest Loser to find a new CEO?

  • avatar
    dwford

    Probably was afraid Obama was about to ask that he give some of his bonuses back.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Oh, and I hope the President’s 2nd order was, take your shitty BoD with you as you leave.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    OMG! NOOOOO !!!! Won’t that leave a huge vacuum at the top of the corporation ? The thought of it: GM on the ropes and now out there, rudderless, without world class….Oops. Sorry. Getting messages from alternate universe.

    Everyone seems to be making that Eliot Spitzer face these days.

    ‘Bout time. Later, Waggy.

  • avatar

    Hmmm, a buck a year pay and having to fly coach to DC every couple of months to plead for more time and money, or a multi-million dollar bullet-proof pension and sipping Tequila on the beach in Aruba. If I were him I know which I’d choose despite anything previously said to the press.

  • avatar
    levi

    These are interesting times we are witnessing.

    A US President tells the CEO of a major corporation he must resign. And he does.

    Can’t wait for the media/corporate spins to kick in.

  • avatar
    lw

    Should be interesting to see if he gets a golden parachute of any kind.

    Heads had to roll for this round of bailouts. Who gets the ax when the next bailout comes around?

    This is definitely a step in the right direction. Props to Obama for doing something I actually agree with. Only took 8 weeks a few trillion dollars, but I actually agree with one of his moves.

  • avatar
    Dave

    That’s the first positive step GM has made in a long time. Shame the Bast%$d keeps his ill gotten gains. Be interesting to see the spin GM put on his ‘resingnation’

    So, Lutz is gone, RiR is gone – what’s the odds on others in the top echelon quiting?

    Where’s the smart money going on his replacement – Carlos Ghosn or the guy from Fiat?

  • avatar

    Now we can find out if someone else can do a much better job. I personally don’t think so, but am ready to be surprised. Under Wagoner, GM dramatically improved manufacturing efficienty and improved the products. Not enough, of course.

    So far Mulally’s big move at Ford was to borrow a ton of money while this was still possible. Not exactly a recipe for success.

    Chrysler is the only one of the three that is an absolute, unqualified train wreck.

    Anyone who has actually run their own business knows it isn’t easy. And the larger the business is, the harder running it is.

  • avatar
    dejalma

    When Saddam Hussein was captured Iraq was supposed to immediately change. It didn’t. After he was executed, again, things were supposed to change overnight and they didn’t.

    The entrenchment of Mr. Wagoner and his people were/are so deep that GM is still going to be the same GM that they were and are for a long, long time.

    You may have cut the snakes head off, but the body is going to wiggle for a long time.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    I’d quit too if I had to keep dealing with the Obama administration.

  • avatar
    IOtheworldaliving

    Awesome! That’s pretty pathetic if Obama dropped the hardware on him. Any other self-respecting person would have quit a long, long time ago.

  • avatar
    Rastus

    Ricky,

    I just want to take this kind moment to THANK you for all the destruction you have bestowed upon the countless American communities under your “Reign of Terror”.

    If I could say one thing, it is this: You were never fit for your role.

    I salute your resignation.

    I hope the Cadillac you drive off into the sunset in breaks down along the roadside….much like all the junk you have bestowed upon the American public.

    Good Riddance.

    -Rastus

  • avatar
    Rusty Brinkley

    I think it’s awesome…he sends the company into the crapper, not staying in touch with the realities and wants of the customer. Now he walks off into the sunset with some type of “golden goodbye.”

  • avatar

    Early word is that Fritz Henderson is going to step in… unsubstantiated for all I know.
    http://twitter.com/AutoTrader_com/status/1414239454

  • avatar
    Mike_H

    I am not sympathetic to Wagoner. I am, however, deeply troubled at the notion that Obama can demand his resignation so that the Obama administration can put its plan for GM in place.

    What to you bet that the Obama plan will include the federal gov’t owning a substantial part of GM? Obama wants government ownership of a large part of what is now the private sector. Banks, GM, perhaps another car maker, then who knows what next.

    With clowns like Barney Frank, and politicians fully bought by the envriomentalist groups, good luck ever getting a ‘fun’ car from GM ever again.

    And last, do you think Obama will demand the resignation of the head of the UAW? Pffft. Game over, capital loses, labor wins.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    When the Skipper bails, the rest of the crew become very fearful. This sure seems to qualify as part of the GM Death Watch series. I was wondering if it would ever happen.

    I wonder how the market will react? Something has to give, and soon.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    GM still thinks Americans don’t like small cars, as Mark LaNeve said last week at the Minneapolis Auto Show, but that completely ignores the fact that the Corolla and Civic are the #3 & 4 selling cars (excluding trucks) in the USA! Americans like small cars just fine, they just don’t want to buy junky small cars.

    Americans will certainly buy small cars at the proper price, particularly when gas is expensive. However, GM is unable to make a small car that Americans will buy profitably. That is because GM’s productivity and product quality is not high enough given their cost of labor.

    GM could either pay their workers less or improve their productivity. Their union contracts generally make it nearly impossible to pay people less. However, the problem with the improving productivity alternative is that GM would need fewer workers to produce as many cars, in a time where the car market is decreasing. GM is also generally unable to fire workers or close plants, again because of union contracts.

    It’s a decades-old problem. GM was never able to respond to the higher productivity manufacturing techniques used by the Japanese. Not hiring new workers, or paying the new workers much less than the older workers has helped some, by allowing attrition to shrink the workforce. Yet, the unusually large size of the GM retirement benefits, combined with increasing life expectancy, has meant that GM’s costs haven’t gone down fast enough. They don’t sell enough cars currently to be able to hire enough young workers at cheap labor rates to subsidize all their retirees.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    While a change at the top is overdue, things are so far gone at GM that I don’t think much will change. Too many GM execs have avoided the disfunctional reality of its business model by muddling through. Ok, so Rick is gone. But who – other than another GM career muddler – is gonna replace him? Who from outside of GM would even want the job – of having to deal with the feds, the unions, the bailouts, the congressional yahoos braying about compensation?

    As RF pointed out, a chapter 11 filing two years ago would have positioned GM for a turnaround. A filing (with a Boeing-to-Chicago style move – Ren-Cen from Detroit to Austin?!?) would have been the bomb. /rant

  • avatar
    galaxygreymx5

    Don’t let the door hit ya, Ricky!

  • avatar
    COWBOY59

    Everyone listen, I have 25 years with Chrysler, and am 50+ years of age, Chrysler can leave Canada, but they would have to support me until I’m retirement eligible, which is in 4 years. At that point, they would gradually phase me into the 30 year retirement bracket, which means full pension and benefits. For those of us who paid our dues, and were smart about investing in the good times, a 4 year combination SUB + EI plus benefits is more than enough to live on. And then comes dessert, my 30 year package, with you guessed it, pension and benefits. I would not normally have mentioned this, but frankly, Ive been getting pretty upset being made the scapegoat for all of the auto industry’s problems, so va fungula.

  • avatar
    COWBOY59

    Something else, even if there is no agreement this weekend, we still have a valid contract until September of 2011, so why panic ?? Personally, I would rather keep things the way they are, with that extra SPA week later this year. Also, did some of you ever think one of the reasons why GM, Ford and Chrysler are having problems is because you don’t buy domestic vehicles ? We’re told to buy Canadian produce, Canadian building supplies, Canadian wines, Canadian clothing, etc….why not Canadian made vehicles ?? You want us to make $20 an hour or less ? What does that do to the poor bloke who’s already making $15 or less/hour, and whose wages are indirectly tied to ours? Will he be happy making proportionally less now because he hates us ??

  • avatar
    per

    “Everyone listen, I have 25 years with Chrysler, and am 50+ years of age, Chrysler can leave Canada, but they would have to support me until I’m retirement eligible, which is in 4 years. At that point, they would gradually phase me into the 30 year retirement bracket, which means full pension and benefits. For those of us who paid our dues, and were smart about investing in the good times, a 4 year combination SUB + EI plus benefits is more than enough to live on.”

    Not if they file bankruptcy.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Maybe they’ll give him a prototype Volt as a retirement gift, since it will save GM. Or definitely not.

  • avatar
    COWBOY59

    The only thing we lose in bankruptcy are our benefits, which btw are slowly but surely being bled from us regardless. Our pensions are protected because they are VESTED !! I don’t need to go to the dentist as often, don’t need orthotics that much, massages are something I can get my wife to do ;->>, have 20/20 vision so don’t need eyeglasses, don’t take drugs, don’t need childcare coverage…….

  • avatar
    COWBOY59

    JOB SECURITY

    (308)
    (a) Eligible employees are those employees
    at the affected plant:
    (i) who are between age 50 and 55 with
    at least 10 years of credited service at the date of the plant
    closure and are not eligible for Regular Early Retirement; or
    (ii) who are at least age 48.1 but under
    age 50, with at least 9.1 years of credited service at the
    date of plant closure, who are placed on layoff and who
    then attain age 50 with at least 10 years of credited service.
    (b) Eligible employees will receive monthly
    PRIMP benefits equal to (a) the sum of the basic and
    supplementary benefit rates in effect under the provisions of
    the applicable pension plan at date of commencement of
    PRIMP benefits, multiplied by (b) the employee’s credited
    service at the date of plant closure or, if later, the date at
    which the employee attains age 50 with at least 10 years of
    credited service;

  • avatar
    Cynder70

    Good riddance. Let’s rebuild the company using sound business leadership and good products.

  • avatar
    BDB

    Thanks, Mr. President.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Two words: Mitt Romney.

  • avatar
    MikeInCanada

    “Our pensions are protected because they are VESTED”

    My friend, you are in for a series of rude shock in the near future…I’m sorry, but this is one of them.

    With whom are these benefits ‘vested’ with? The company? Certainly, not with any government.

    If the company does not exist anymore neither does your old contracts. Just because there is a new company that uses the old name, it does not make them responsible for the old commitments.

  • avatar
    Tomb Z

    I am, however, deeply troubled at the notion that Obama can demand his resignation so that the Obama administration can put its plan for GM in place.

    And so what would Barry be planning to tell Gettelfinger? “You’re fired, too” or “Welcome Back”?

  • avatar
    COWBOY59

    My father-in-law used to work for a company that went belly-up last September. He was getting $**** every month, and since the bankruptcy his pension has remained intact. The pensions are vested with financial institutions as far as I know. And the company he worked with didn’t have near the financial clout as any of the big three. Our union has made sure that pension obligations remain outside the purview and reach of private companies, which is the reason they are vested. Besides, either the feds or provincial government guarantees a minimum of $1,000 per month in any such pension plans in existence.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @Cowboy59 Your pension is NOT garanteed.If anybody tells you different,they are either misinformed or lying.The provincial pension garantee fund,cannot withstand the collapse of the domestic auto industry.There is just simply,not enough dough.
    COWBOY….Call your pension rep and get a copy of the CAW pension report written by Sym Gill.If your a drinking man,pour yourself a double,and have a seat.BEFORE you read it.

    Michael…36.4 years local 222 retiree

  • avatar
    GS650G

    hey Cowboy, you’re entitled to nothing. The way it is supposed to work is you save some of your pay, retire a mortgage, take care of your health and when the time comes you are healthy, wealthy and wise.

    “Paid our dues”?
    No my friend, we are going to pay the dues in the form of massive taxes for all this shit. Then we won’t be able to save for OUR retirement. How great is that? Try thinking about the rest of us. The day a private company took our tax dollars to satisfy a private agreement with a labor union was the day other men truly started to live at the expense of others without preconditions.

    They can’t sell the product, you don’t get paid. Simple math. So the union better figure out how to work with them so that every car makes money. They can’t put their heads in the sand and state they gave enough and it’s not their fault. Might not be but they are taking one for the team anyway.

  • avatar
    COWBOY59

    Mikey, I just looked at this report you refer to, and from what I can see, at least in Chrysler’s case, our funding levels are fine. And if ( big if ) the recommendations of the pension task force are heeded, the minimum guaranteed would jump to $2500 a month, up from the current $1000.

    Worst case scenario, EI pays me for roughly two years to get other training, and with a university degree already, maybe it wouldn’t be so rough for me.

    I believe this crisis will pass, customers will come back, and we’ll all look back on this as a tempest in a teacup. Maybe then I’ll have that stiff drink with you while we’re comparing pension payouts ;->>

  • avatar
    TEW

    I know most of us are happy that this man is gone but who will replace him? Ford got one of the best CEO’s to turn around a failing corporation in Alan Mulally so the outsider augment is not a big deal to me. I don’t know many people who would want to take on this sinking ship.

  • avatar
    COWBOY59

    GS650G,

    Mortgage is paid, have saved plenty of money, am in great health, and think I’m pretty wise to boot ! As I said previously, this will pass, funding levels will be maintained, and pensions will be fine. As for tax hikes, what do you call harmonization of PST & GST ? It didn’t take a crisis in the auto industry to convince the gov’t to increase taxes, but a general overall financial crisis. Once credit starts to flow again, and people rein in their extravagent tastes in homes and live within their means, then they’ll buy cars again. And wait until the next generation of workers start at the Big Three, with their much lower wages under the two-tiered system, then you’ll really see big savings in the auto industry.

  • avatar
    clive

    Bob Lutz left. Rick Wagoner left/resigned/got pushed out. All this has happened before, and all this will happen again…unless there’s significant change to the system at GM. Maybe there’s hope yet.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “Americans will certainly buy small cars at the proper price, particularly when gas is expensive. However, GM is unable to make a small car that Americans will buy profitably. That is because GM’s productivity and product quality is not high enough given their cost of labor.”

    High labor costs don’t explain why the Aveo is such a crappy car. Japan is a higher cost place to do business than Korea, by the Japanese entrants in the sub-compact class generally kick the Aveo’s butt.

    GM builds a goodly portion of its production in Mexico … not exactly UAW territory. GM is building V6 engines in China and shipping them into the US. GM’s problems are 80%+ due to management incompetence.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Well, I am very worried that a sitting Congress and now a US President can tell private industry how to run their businesses.

    This is unconstitutional.

    But then, I think the electorate knew that this would happen.

    All that’s left is to wait for them to tell Robert how to run TTAC, and how much money he can REALLY keep.

  • avatar
    mkII

    Its a lot easier to pinpoint the problem than to fix it… Not that we have categorically singled out Wagoner as the problem anyway. GM, or its phoenix-rebirth version, will need a lot more good stewardship to be back on track as a profitable going concern. Lord knows, maybe by then Hyundai would be their main competitor, if that profitable day ever comes.

  • avatar
    Ronman

    Now we’re talking, this should of happened a long time ago.

    I’m also quite sure the pres. made this happened so that liability can be placed on someone, when a company fails catastrophically, the CEO should resign, it has to be in the constitution of the BOD. he’s there to make the company work, when it stops doing so, he leaves and gets replaced.

    in GM’s case, if the replacement is from within, then it’s hopeless….. i hope not. cause it would be a shame to see RF’s Death Watch come true in the end. it wont be as entertaining then….

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    So far Mulally’s big move at Ford was to borrow a ton of money while this was still possible. Not exactly a recipe for success.

    My best John McEnroe voice: Are you serious?

    Huh.

  • avatar
    cleek

    It’s all Bush’s Wagner’s fault.

    As satisfying as this may seem, I wonder about the automotive industrial genius of the big donor/fundraiser/off-ballot politicians who will be placed in charge.

    Is one culture an improvement over the other?

    American Leyland, indeed.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    “Well, I am very worried that a sitting Congress and now a US President can tell private industry how to run their businesses.

    This is unconstitutional.”

    Wrong on both counts. The Federal government has always been able to tell private industry how to run their businesses (anti-trust legislation, ming law, labor law, OSHA, Federal mandates during wartime, etc). What’s new about this?

    When the Federal Government pours massive amounts of money into a company, it damned well better have some say in how it is run. As taxpayers and passive “investors” we should expect nothing less.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    “Americans will certainly buy small cars at the proper price, particularly when gas is expensive. However, GM is unable to make a small car that Americans will buy profitably. That is because GM’s productivity and product quality is not high enough given their cost of labor.”

    And Mr. Thacker continues to carry water for our lovable Heroes Of Capitalism.

    Again, if decontenting/dequalitying the Cobalt/Cavalier by $1000 to make up for those higher labor costs was such a great strategy, GM wouldn’t be in the straits they’re in now. Of course, what happened was that they sold for $4000 less than the Civic/Corolla. But they’ll make up their ‘savings’ in volume, right?

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    On one hand, I’d love to see someone with zero ties to the auto industry come in and fix the General as a business, but on the other I feel like the one thing they need more than anything else is product, which is where a true car guy would be instrumental. Either way, this is a job for someone who’s serious about getting things back on track and who is willing to move GM forward, and not go back to “business as usual”, and not just making an 8 figure paycheck. The new guy needs to get the groundbreaking cars here, and damn the penny pinchers. We need the Volt, Cruze, and a real competitor for the Fit/Yaris. He should quickly make the deal to dump Saab, Hummer, and Saturn, and not be stupid enough to drop Opel. So, be it a car guy or a business guy, GM needs a guy that knows the right moves to make, and is able to make them quickly.

    Thank you President Obama, the gift you just gave to GM was far larger than the billions of dollars of our money. If only you had been around to do it 5 years ago.

  • avatar
    Kman

    Major props to Obama. This man is doing so many things right, it makes one’s head spin.

    For all their talk about “leadership”, we have seen more genuine leadership from the Obama administration in a few months, than we saw in eight years of Cheney’s rule (with GWB as front-man).

    This is a good thing.

    [GM still has shitty product.]

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    For everyone screaming about socialism and what not please remember one thing. GM and Chrysler ASKED for help. They asked for the money. It was not forced upon them and im sure if they were not happy with the terms they could just go it alone. (like Ford).

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    cowboy,
    You too will get a government bailout. Gratz. Those of us who pay for that mostly get very little protection from an employer screwing us. I will stop whining about the unions when I get equal protections. Until then, I will call em like I see em.

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    I’m astounded at those who are upset the the government is telling a business who they have to fire/hire. In this case, this business went to the government to extort money (sorry “bridge loan”). So as a tax payer I demand some say in how the company is run.

    If you don’t want Obama firing your CEO, then don’t go putting a gun to his head and demanding taxpayer money to cover your mistakes.

  • avatar
    jybt

    “GM on the ropes and now out there, rudderless, without world class…”

    It’s not because Wagoner resigned that GM is without world class. It’s because of Wagoner.

    Wagoner has killed:

    * a self-proclaimed class-leading 4.5 V8 diesel.
    * a self-proclaimed world-class Cruze SS.
    * the G8 ST, after wasting six months of our time figuring out the name for it.
    * maybe the Camaro convertible and Z28; they’re Camaros!
    * the next-generation G8 and CTS-V; no comment.
    * a rear-drive Impala; look at the current one!
    * HPVO, the division of GM that worked on the Z06, ZR1, CTS-V, and Cobalt SS.

    Wagoner has greenlighted:

    * Pontiac G3, without reading the criticisms of the Aveo.
    * Hummer H3T, without reading the criticisms of the H3, and wasting money putting out a new model under a brand that might not even survive.
    * Solstice coupe, without reading the criticisms of the Solstice roadster.

    This should be enough explanation as to why Wagoner is resigning.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    levi :
    March 29th, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    These are interesting times we are witnessing.

    A US President tells the CEO of a major corporation he must resign. And he does.

    Can’t wait for the media/corporate spins to kick in.

    Well, this isn’t the first time this has happened-the CEO of AIG was forced out by the Bush administration.

    Of course, in both cases, the companies they were the head of were completely bankrupt and only survive due to government bailouts.

  • avatar

    Wrong on both counts. The Federal government has always been able to tell private industry how to run their businesses (anti-trust legislation, ming law, labor law, OSHA, Federal mandates during wartime, etc). What’s new about this?

    None of those involve direct management of the company. They are laws that all companies must follow.

    As for wartime, that’s constitutionally a special area and we accept, as a society restrictions on normal rights during wartime or in things materially affecting national security. I should point out that that it’s a characteristic of fascism to say that things are “the moral equivalent of war” to maintain mobilization for particular agendas.

    The Federal government making peacetime personnel and management decisions for companies is a step towards fascism. Of course since the progressive movement and fascism are close cousins, it does not surprise me that a progressive President would act this way.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I think that fascism is being confused with fiduciary responsibility… (also within the limits of authority, given to the “President’s Designee”, legally stipulated terms of the 4q08 loan package.)

    When the Fed has this much skin in the game, it should be able to do what is necessary to ensure the money will meet with a modicum of success and to try to instill a bit of confidence in the action, so that the next funding disbursement will be politically acceptable to the 60+% of people that think that the General should be allowed to sink.

    This also sends a signal to Wall Street CEO’s that they better play ball, or they too will get a one-way ride on the Federal Ejection Seat.

    I’m far more comfortable with this than the bloody Wage & Price Controls mandated by the Nixon Administration … (which helped to set the stage for the mid-70’s stagflationary economy)…

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Looks like his kids won’t be going to college unless he can find another job with similar pay.

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