Rattner Leaves PTFOA

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

From Reuters comes word that Car Czarlet Steven Rattner will be leaving the Presidential Task Force On Autos. The move “represents the start of a long-planned wind down of the autos panel” according to Reuters’ interpretation of an anonymous White House source. “With GM’s restructuring complete, Steven Rattner, whose leadership and vision were invaluable to the Auto Task Force’s efforts, has decided to transition back to private life and his family in New York City,” explains a statement from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “We are extremely grateful to Steve for his efforts in helping to strengthen GM and Chrysler, recapitalize GMAC, and support the American auto industry. I hope that he takes another opportunity to bring his unique skills to government service in the future.” Unique skills? Is Rattner getting blown off or is this Mission Accomplished? A little of both?


“Because of the President’s commitment to this industry and the deep sacrifices of all stakeholders, GM and Chrysler have achieved a quick restructuring, and the economy avoided the devastation that would have accompanied their liquidation. Now, with day-to-day management of these companies in the hands of the private sector, the American taxpayers have a better chance of recouping their investment in these companies.”

Note Geithner’s use of the past tense. Commitment shown, unpopularity endured, is the White House backing out? Unfortunately, Geithner’s optimism carries shades of a certain carrier landing about it. Declaring victory won’t bring back GM and Chrysler’s sales. But what about Bob Lutz‘s desire for a permanent PTFOA (brought to you by the new CTS Coupe)? Expect Motown subsidies to keep coming, only without the explicit bailout lables attacahed.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Geeber Geeber on Jul 15, 2009
    agenthex: Heaven forbid one weakening organization that represents working people gets to lobby and potentially influence politics, or even vote. You're original point was that no one listens to the UAW, because it is supposedly unpopular, which meant that it could not possibly have any effect on public policy. Here it is, for your convenience: I mean, good God, people really think groups as unpopular as the UAW control public opinion in this country instead of the private media/corp cartels who spend massively to tell their audience what to think? Now, you are at least admitting that the UAW doesn't have to be popular with the public to have policies enacted that are beneficial to it, as long as elected officials are willing to do so. Thank you for admitting my point. agenthex: It’s not as if the general effects of a sudden collapse of industry is totally unknown to wingers’ leadership, so you get to pick the reasons why they conveniently choose to ignore it. Another irrelevant point. Companies go out of business all the time; we would still have a viable auto industry without GM and Chrysler. It's usually better when the "wingers" and everybody else ignore it. If you are that concerned about GM and Chrysler, then drive down to your local dealer and buy one of their vehicles at full sticker. Have your friends and family do the same. If not enough other people are willing to do this to keep said companies in business, you, along with their executives, workers and supporters would do well to take the hint. agenthex: The little people aren’t informed of and therefore generally don’t know about welfare for the wealthy, so it doesn’t matter what they think, as if they’re even capable of such. You obviously don't know too many "little people." agenthex: You are absolutely right, but not only do we need to stop giving these guys about 95%+ of the bailout money but also string them all up as an warning to others. Who’s with me? Generally, just letting them go out of business is much more effective.
  • U mad scientist U mad scientist on Jul 15, 2009
    Now, you are at least admitting that the UAW doesn’t have to be popular with the public to have policies enacted that are beneficial to it, as long as elected officials are willing to do so. Getting influence in political circles we can lobbying. Is the UAW influential in lobbying? Perhaps somewhat, in large part because their members vote. That's what correctly happens in a democracy, officials are accountable to voter's interests. What is not in the interest of democratic ideals is lobbying that is not done for (and often against) the sake of voters. A nod to the jingoists, America is really the best at this. The UAW has little to do with the average citizen, yet gets to be a convenient rallying point for media consumers without too many things in their head. -- Another irrelevant point. Companies go out of business all the time; we would still have a viable auto industry without GM and Chrysler. It’s usually better when the “wingers” and everybody else ignore it. It's understandable that economic rubes can't intuitively grasp external costs, but it's not too high of a bar to understand toxic waste when the same points have been presented repeated in prior posts/comments. -- Generally, just letting them go out of business is much more effective. Tell that to the banks, and a variety of other large interests that your mental owners are subservient to. It's really quite unfortunate that the world is not as simple as can be explained with "labor (that is not affiliated with my masters) = bad", "private industry (that funds my ideologues) = good". If you take a look at relatively simple stuff like how the massive amounts of CDO's are re-traunched, the costs are hardly even linear. The proper discussion to have is to think of "bailouts" like all spending and consider the hit to the banks and larger economy from defaulted consumer/mortgage debt and value of civil society, instead of exaggerating the role of minor players like the UAW because a proper alternative is not convenient. -- You obviously don’t know too many “little people.” Very very few in our society think thoughts outside the realm of the worldview presented in media. That's rather the point of saturation.
  • Irvingklaws Was a must have for my wife's new car. After years of windshield mounts, trying to keep the sun off the phone, wires running across the dash, etc...it's been a welcome upgrade. Don't have it in my current (old) car, just a stock stereo with the aforementioned windshield phone mount and wires...which is fine enough for me. But if I upgrade the radio with an aftermarket unit, the first thing I'm looking for, after separate volume and tuning KNOBS, is Carplay. Note, I've yet to find an aftermarket head unit meeting these basic qualifications. The infotainment in my '17 GTI had both of these and was near perfect, I'd be happy with that unit in any car.
  • Haze3 Near must have... car guy make car, software guy make software THAT I CAN USE EVERYWHERE and not just on some specific brand of truck/car/suv.
  • Wolfwagen If there is no Rust or rot this would be a good buy when MB craftsmanship and engineering meant something. While I prefer the 500 or 560 for the larger engine, this is good
  • Wolfwagen Tim, Now you should ask the B&B who we want to succeed and why. You could limit it to EV or non- North American MFGs.
  • TCowner I consider it mandatory for the navigation purpose - using a phone in a Weathertech cupholder in my old Town Car just doesn't compare. However, I don't use it for anything else (i.e. music, etc) and don't find that important.
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