Presidential Task Force on Automobiles Jefe Ron Bloom: Deadlines Suck

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Now that Steve Rattner has surrendered his position as head of The Presidential Task Force on Automobiles (to attend to a federal bribery investigation into his old crew), Ron Bloom is the man running two of America’s three domestic carmakers. I’m sorry? Did I say “running?” I mean to say, “passively protecting.” ‘Cause Ron says his twenty-four member mob—responsible for guarding taxpayers’ $50 billion “investment” in Chrysler and GM—is backing off from hands-on management (e.g., capping GM CEO Rick Wagoner’s ass). They’re only going to step in on “core governance issues” and “major corporate events or transactions.” Did all those quote marks tip you off? It’s true: this makes no sense at all. Didn’t when the checks were cut. Still doesn’t. Anyway, the Detroit News reveals that Big Ron II’s continuing to stretch the bounds of linguistics and credulity to the event horizon. Yesterday, Bloom told the congressional panel in charge of overseeing the overseers that “the best way to get out as quickly as possible is not to commit to a defined schedule.”

The statement makes Bloom the perfect man to run both Chrysler and GM—into the ground. It’s got to be said: Again. Still. Chrysler and GM’s abject inability to set targets and achieve them led directly to their dissolution. The auto execs’ concomitant and complete lack of accountability also mirrors Bloom’s current position. At the end of the day, like any good politician, the jefe’s future depends not a whit on anything as prosaic as securing a return on investment for U.S. taxpayers. It’s all about the spin.

Meanwhile, Ford:

Bloom was asked if the federal government’s financial support for GM and Chrysler could leave Ford at a disadvantage.

“It does pose a dilemma,” Bloom said, though he noted that Ford supported the bailout of its cross-town rivals and was invited to ask for money, too.

That’s his answer? Sucking the oxygen out of the room that privately-owned (though DOE-supported) Ford needs to survive is OK because sign here and Uncle Sam will nationalize your ass too? I’m a pretty creative guy, but this bailout misegos always turns out worse than I can imagine.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Jul 28, 2009

    I'm cool with no defined schedule as long as he's then talking about what metrics need to be achieved and a ballpark timeframe for when said metrics will be reached. Ex. We will exit the daily operations portion of GM when they break even. We expect this to happen in 2025. We can then debate the merits of that plan. Instead, we have yet another confirmation that GM's corporate culture is quite similar to how our Fed. government functions.

  • U mad scientist U mad scientist on Jul 28, 2009
    Ex. We will exit the daily operations portion of GM when they break even. We expect this to happen in 2025. The truth is that GM and likely chrysler will either die or at least be reduced to very weak and small representations of their former selves. The majority of our money is already gone into the cleanup of the giant mess left behind by decades of marginal incompetence. But unfortunately the plebs can't handle the truth, so this charade continues as scheduled. I mean, look at the congressional testimony of their ceo's back before the bankruptcy. They were all saying the same BS.
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