Bailout Watch 488: Chrysler Supporters Boycott Chase to Force Cramdown

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

From Progress Michigan’s website:

“Today, JP Morgan Chase has sent a signal to the American workforce that they are more interested in churning greedy profits than saving hardworking families from poverty and joblessness,” said Jane Hamsher, founder of “By closing out our Chase accounts and slicing up our credit cards, we’ll be signaling back to the bank that we are interested in rescuing the middle class and preventing Chase from lining its pockets. Boycott JP Morgan Chase today, and save a working American family.”

While I await direct contact with the plastic snipper (, I called Progress Michigan for a little insight into the organization and their cause. After all, if The Detroit News thinks it’s a big story, it must be a big story, right? Define “big.” To that end, I had a little chat with Emma Richardson, PM’s freelance writer. “We’re focusing on saving American jobs and the middle class,” Ms. Richardson opined. As for how bailout-sucking Chase threatens those jobs, and the reasons behind the bank’s decision not to get a buzz cut, let’s just say Ms. Richardson is slightly uninformed.

Ms. Richardson claimed Chase was refusing to negotiate with Chrysler (talks are ongoing). She didn’t know what other banks were involved (JPMorgan Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley). She didn’t how much money was involved ($6.8bn). She didn’t know what offers had been made and/or rejected. She didn’t know who owns Chrysler (Cerberus) or Cerberus’ financial status.

When pressed on these questions, Ms. Richardson said she “didn’t want to get into a debate.” So I didn’t discuss the fact that Chase holds first-lien secured debt on Chrysler meaning they are first in line when the company files for C11 or C7. Or that Chrysler’s assets were pledged as collateral for the loans, so they stand to recover a fair portion of their bad paper.

Because then Ms. Richardson would have even MORE ammo for the greedy Chase meme, and I’d have to counter with Chase’s obligations to its shareholders and employees and repaying its federal loans and the fact that Chrysler pissed away the money in the first place and all sorts of moral gray areas. So, never mind, then.

Which, at the moment, typifies the response to the campaign to put Chase’s nuts in a vice to save Chrysler workers’ jobs. So far, the campaigns Facebook page has 166 members. Progress Michigan has promised to call me back with the number of people who’ve signed firedoglake’s online petition. Meanwhile, what’s the bet the MSM will be ALL over this thing, giving it the oxygen of publicity.

As, of course, I’ve just done.

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2 of 32 comments
  • Baabthesaab Baabthesaab on Apr 09, 2009

    no-slushbox, that's perfect. I am counting on you to do your part!

  • Cynder70 Cynder70 on Apr 09, 2009

    I'm liberal, I get that we want to save jobs and support the economy but this petition to go after a bank to support unwise lending which contributed to the problem we're already in is silly. A better idea would be to support companies that make competitive products consumers would want to buy and use.

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