Bailout Watch 561: PTFOA Steve Rattner: Psycho Killer?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

File this one under “You’re Talking a Lot, But You’re Not Saying Anything.” The Detroit News‘ “wide ranging” interview Presidential Task Force on Automobiles (PTFOA) jefe Steve Rattner’s ranges entirely over well-trodden ground. In fact, you’ve got to give the DetN credit for publishing an entire pow-wow with the man behind the meltdown without revealing a GD thing. Well, other than the between the lines stuff. Like the “I’m a car guy now” subtext to this lump of coal: “We found that the game plan that we had designed back in the March time period actually worked,” “Chooch” Rattner told the Detroit News. “It’s like you build a new car and you take it out and you test drive it and it actually works. It made us feel pretty good going into GM — even though we know GM is bigger and more complicated — that we should be able to accomplish a similar result albeit over a slightly longer period of time.” I like that sense of surprise: this thing actually works! Wing and a prayer GM engineering at its best. Anyway, more . . .

“We get it when people tell us that the culture of GM needs to change,” Rattner said. “We agree. The management change that the president announced back on March 30 was the first step of that. Fritz is doing a great job of embracing the need for change, but now it has to happen.”

How does that square with this?

“Our view is that both companies have announced very thoughtful, measured, fair restructuring plans with shared sacrifice. Now they should be left alone to implement them.”

Hmmm. Maybe GM CEO Fritz Henderson should file THAT discrepancy under “Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better run run run run run run run away.” Certainly, there are signs of psychopathology. “[Rattner] rejected criticism that the administration had used bankruptcy law to force unfair concessions on secured creditors. ‘This idea that we broke bankruptcy law or made new law is ridiculous,’ Rattner said.” And that’s that, I suppose.

No. Wait. One more: “Rattner said the government would look to sell its auto stakes as soon as possible.” Thank God the DetN didn’t push him for a more precise timeline. There could have been blood everywhere.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Commando1 Commando1 on Jun 16, 2009

    You forgot to use the metaphor "throw jello on the wall and see what sticks".

  • Carlos.negros Carlos.negros on Jun 16, 2009

    Anyone with whom you disagree with politically is now a Psycho Killer. Quite hateful, really. Face it. The bankruptcy was reviewed by the judge, the court of appeals and the supreme court. Your side lost, just like it lost the last election.

  • Varezhka The biggest underlying issue of Mitsubishi Motors was that for most of its history the commercial vehicles division was where all the profit was being made, subsidizing the passenger vehicle division losses. Just like Isuzu.And because it was a runt of a giant conglomerate who mainly operated B2G and B2B, it never got the attention it needed to really succeed. So when Daimler came in early 2000s and took away the money making Mitsubishi-Fuso commercial division, it was screwed.Right now it's living off of its legacy user base in SE Asia, while its new parent Nissan is sucking away at its remaining engineering expertise in EV and kei cars. I'd love to see the upcoming US market Delica, so crossing fingers they will last that long.
  • ToolGuy A deep-dive of the TTAC Podcast Archives gleans some valuable insight here.
  • Tassos I heard the same clueless, bigoted BULLSHEET about the Chinese brands, 40 years ago about the Japanese Brands, and more recently about the Koreans.If the Japanese and the Koreans have succeeded in the US market, at the expense of losers such as Fiat, Alfa, Peugeot, and the Domestics,there is ZERO DOUBT in my mind, that if the Chinese want to succeed here, THEY WILL. No matter what one or two bigots do about it.PS try to distinguish between the hard working CHINESE PEOPLE and their GOVERNMENT once in your miserable lives.
  • 28-Cars-Later I guess Santa showed up with bales of cash for Mitsu this past Christmas.
  • Lou_BC I was looking at an extended warranty for my truck. The F&I guy was trying to sell me on the idea by telling me how his wife's Cadillac had 2 infotainment failures costing $4,600 dollars each and how it was very common in all of their products. These idiots can't build a reliable vehicle and they want me to trust them with the vehicle "taking over" for me.