Bailout Watch 491: 76% of Americans Say No to More Motown Bailouts
I had a long conversation with Marcy Wheeler, the woman behind the JPMorgan Chase boycott. As I reported yesterday, the action’s designed to force the bailout-fed bank to take a ChryCo debt cramdown to “keep 300,000 workers employed” and “protect America’s industrial base.” Unlike the organization supporting her cause, Ms. Wheeler really knows her onions, from Cerberus’ perfidy to the importance of the FIAT deal to gas prices and the argument for a “soft landing.” Wheeler made as good a case for federal intervention in the US auto industry as I’ve ever heard (even though she insisted that shit-canning GM’s CEO didn’t constitute federal intervention in the US auto industry). CNN reveals that the majority of Americans aren’t buying ANY of it (assuming of course someone’s selling it). “Three out of four Americans would rather see General Motors and Chrysler face bankruptcy than watch the government pour yet another round of bailout cash into the big U.S. automakers.” Uh-oh.
A seventy-six percent majority against more Motown bailout bucks is what you call a conclusive result. It remains to be seen if the taxpayer protecting zealots at the Presidential Task Force on Automobiles consider themselves smarter than the people who pay their salaries. I’m thinking . . . yes. We’re providing debtor-in-possession financing. Not a bailout. What? Those $22.8 billion loans that disappeared? Soft landing, mate. Well worth it.
As far as bankruptcy’s effect on sales, CNN decided to play silly buggers with their methodology—and still managed to winkle-out some interesting results. They asked half of the sample group if they’d buy a car from a [non-specified] bankrupt automaker.
“Almost half of those asked—47%—said they were ‘not likely at all’ to do so, and only 12% said they were ‘very likely’ to buy from a bankrupt company.” Wow! It’s not mentioned, but I make that 41 percent of those surveyed would buy from a bankrupt automaker. And that’s absent any mention of GM and ChryCo’s old friend: fire sale prices.
Or Uncle Sam’s new warranty! When CNN’s pollsters (Salaam Bombay!) threw that one at the other half of the group—demonstrating the effectiveness of President Obama’s press conference on the subject—the number took a turn for the better. “Among those respondents, the ‘very likely’ to buy response rate doubled, to 24%, while the ‘not likely at all’ response declined to 27%.”
Again, no mention of the sudden majority (51 percent) who said sure, WTF, why not? Or price considerations.
Anyway, it seems that Chrysler and GM’s window of opportunity for selling cars in bankruptcy has not yet closed. But the portal for public support for more bailout bucks has. I wonder what Mary makes of that. [thanks to Happy_Endings for the link]
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