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“Anyone know what Ford's warranty is like? They are making some good looking cars now. I'd have to say if they give 100,000 mile warranty I'll have to give them a look when I buy my next car. I'd love a Flex but they start out in the mid 20's. Yikes!”
“Obama is managing Chrysler. The Senate could not run the Capital cafeteria, but they are running the auto industry.”
“I heard the Obama admin was going to change the name to Lada.”
“I had a 1972 FIAT 124 Sedan
LADA is the same car.
Chrysler and FIAT ??
Will FIAT take over the world?”
“The big laugh is that even the government can do a better job than what we've seen from Gentital Motives and Cryingseller over the past 30 years.”
“thats why they should have been allowed to fold up rather than prop them up.”
“hyway I agree. If in the first days the President (granted we are talking a PrezBO bought and paid for by union thugs) had called both parties in and threatened to do the bailout but also cancel all union contracts..the game would have changed.
Instead we are watching as "creditors" with hard investment (i.e. they own parts of the property) are passed over for union thugs who killed the company.”
“xl, use prezbo when you are trying to rile up the liberals. I don't like the derogatory names for Bush and I don't like them for any other president either. But yeah, I disagree with the demonizing of people who sunk actual money into the company and who are fully within the law in respects to what they feel they should get in a bankruptcy case.”
“The unions did not design Big Chit cars. Yes, the union was part of the problem, but the NASCAR culture of These car companies had to be destroyed.”
“I don't care about the union or the company owners. They are like a tree and its leaves. If their business is thriving then its all good and both prospers. If they do bad business then they will rot and they should fail, falling to the ground in a huge space clearing collapse. then in this void of light and space new,younger, fresher car companies will grow and compete for the space. The best and strongest will prosper and the rest will wither. Such is life.
The better workers from the failed companyt will find jobs with all these new upshoots and as the biggest grows it will keep needing more of them which will be provided from the ones that fail. Such is business
last edited: 5/28/09 8:33:35 AM”
“I could be wrong, but I sort of feel like we would be in deep #&%!$ if we had let every business hit the skids without providing help.”
“We are in deep #&%!$, no "would be" to it..”
“Wish I could post here”
“Government will now own 72.5% of 'New GM'...”
“yes, you are wrong”
“How does one value GM's worth? counting smoke rings from it's exhaust pipe?”
“Fixing It All the Time?”
last edited: 5/28/09 12:32:43 PM”
“GM-$1.04 hit $1.00 for awhile.”
“why not hyway”
“Hyway, I respect the office of the President but I do not respect the occupant. Sorry, sad but true Bush was not a hero of mine either. He is another in a sad line of moderates. But as long as the Liberals try to make O the messiah..I will continue to refer to him as PrezBO.”
“Why not just call him "Sambo"?
You know you want to.”
“That's your right Azzwhole. Sambo would be the more honest way, but now that not very christian like, is it.”
“Ninety five cents.”
“Lusho...Sambo (as in Little Black Sambo) was Indian...you are truly a racist idiot”
“Geez what a pig.”
“You are projecting your racism on others, C-C-C-Coke Machine.”
Grand Theft Auto: How Stevie the Rat bankrupted GM
by Greg Palast
Monday, June 1, 2009
Screw the autoworkers.
They may be crying about General Motors' bankruptcy today. But dumping 40,000 of the last 60,000 union jobs into a mass grave won't spoil Jamie Dimon's day.
Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase bank. While GM workers are losing their retirement health benefits, their jobs, their life savings; while shareholders are getting zilch and many creditors getting hosed, a few privileged GM lenders - led by Morgan and Citibank - expect to get back 100% of their loans to GM, a stunning $6 billion.
The way these banks are getting their $6 billion bonanza is stone cold illegal.
I smell a rat.
Stevie the Rat, to be precise. Steven Rattner, Barack Obama's 'Car Czar' - the man who essentially ordered GM into bankruptcy this morning.
When a company goes bankrupt, everyone takes a hit: fair or not, workers lose some contract wages, stockholders get wiped out and creditors get fragments of what's left. That's the law. What workers don't lose are their pensions (including old-age health funds) already taken from their wages and held in their name.
But not this time. Stevie the Rat has a different plan for GM: grab the pension funds to pay off Morgan and Citi.
Here's the scheme: Rattner is demanding the bankruptcy court simply wipe away the money GM owes workers for their retirement health insurance. Cash in the insurance fund would be replace by GM stock. The percentage may be 17% of GM's stock - or 25%. Whatever, 17% or 25% is worth, well ... just try paying for your dialysis with 50 shares of bankrupt auto stock.
Yet Citibank and Morgan, says Rattner, should get their whole enchilada - $6 billion right now and in cash - from a company that can't pay for auto parts or worker eye exams.
Preventive Detention for Pensions
So what's wrong with seizing workers' pension fund money in a bankruptcy? The answer, Mr. Obama, Mr. Law Professor, is that it's illegal.
In 1974, after a series of scandalous take-downs of pension and retirement funds during the Nixon era, Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. ERISA says you can't seize workers' pension funds (whether monthly payments or health insurance) any more than you can seize their private bank accounts. And that's because they are the same thing: workers give up wages in return for retirement benefits.
The law is darn explicit that grabbing pension money is a no-no. Company executives must hold these retirement funds as "fiduciaries." Here's the law, Professor Obama, as described on the government's own web site under the heading, "Health Plans and Benefits."
"The primary responsibility of fiduciaries is to run the plan solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits."
Every business in America that runs short of cash would love to dip into retirement kitties, but it's not their money any more than a banker can seize your account when the bank's a little short. A plan's assets are for the plan's members only, not for Mr. Dimon nor Mr. Rubin.
Yet, in effect, the Obama Administration is demanding that money for an elderly auto worker's spleen should be siphoned off to feed the TARP babies. Workers go without lung transplants so Dimon and Rubin can pimp out their ride. This is another "Guantanamo" moment for the Obama Administration - channeling Nixon to endorse the preventive detention of retiree health insurance.
Filching GM's pension assets doesn't become legal because the cash due the fund is replaced with GM stock. Congress saw through that switch-a-roo by requiring that companies, as fiduciaries, must
"...act prudently and must diversify the plan's investments in order to minimize the risk of large losses."
By "diversify" for safety, the law does not mean put 100% of worker funds into a single busted company's stock.
This is dangerous business: The Rattner plan opens the floodgate to every politically-connected or down-on-their-luck company seeking to drain health care retirement funds.
House of Rubin
Pensions are wiped away and two connected banks don't even get a haircut? How come Citi and Morgan aren't asked, like workers and other creditors, to take stock in GM?
As Butch said to Sundance, who ARE these guys? You remember Morgan and Citi. These are the corporate Welfare Queens who've already sucked up over a third of a trillion dollars in aid from the US Treasury and Federal Reserve. Not coincidentally, Citi, the big winner, has paid over $100 million to Robert Rubin, the former US Treasury Secretary. Rubin was Obama's point-man in winning banks' endorsement and campaign donations (by far, his largest source of his corporate funding).
With GM's last dying dimes about to fall into one pocket, and the Obama Treasury in his other pocket, Morgan's Jamie Dimon is correct in saying that the last twelve months will prove to be the bank's "finest year ever."
Which leaves us to ask the question: is the forced bankruptcy of GM, the elimination of tens of thousands of jobs, just a collection action for favored financiers?
And it's been a good year for Seńor Rattner. While the Obama Administration made a big deal out of Rattner's youth spent working for the Steelworkers Union, they tried to sweep under the chassis that Rattner was one of the privileged, select group of investors in Cerberus Capital, the owners of Chrysler. "Owning" is a loose term. Cerberus "owned" Chrysler the way a cannibal "hosts" you for dinner. Cerberus paid nothing for Chrysler - indeed, they were paid billions by Germany's Daimler Corporation to haul it away. Cerberus kept the cash, then dumped Chrysler's bankrupt corpse on the US taxpayer.
("Cerberus," by the way, named itself after the Roman's mythical three-headed dog guarding the gates Hell. Subtle these guys are not.)
While Stevie the Rat sold his interest in the Dog from Hell when he became Car Czar, he never relinquished his post at the shop of vultures called Quadrangle Hedge Fund. Rattner's personal net worth stands at roughly half a billion dollars. This is Obama's working class hero.
If you ran a business and played fast and loose with your workers' funds, you could land in prison. Stevie the Rat's plan is nothing less than Grand Theft Auto Pension.
It doesn't make it any less of a crime if the President drives the getaway car.
Government Motors bankrupt”
“Well, at least he isn't ashamed of showing his bias in his "journalism".”
“You show your's well too.”
“I am not a journalist.”
a kinder, gentler marxism....
It's all sunshine and lollypops here in Amerika...”
“36 Congressmen Ask Obama to Return Authority Over Auto Bailout to Congress--But White House Says Its Not Over-Reaching Its Power
Friday, May 29, 2009
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer
Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio)
White House (CNSNews.com) - A bipartisan coalition of 36 members of the House of Representatives--including 30 Republicans and 6 Democrats--has sent a letter to President Obama asking him to return to Congress its constitutional legislative authority to oversee the bailout of the auto industry.
In December, Congress failed to pass a bill authorizing a bailout of Chrysler and General Motors. President Bush and now President Obama, however, proceeded with a bailout process even without legislative autority. That process has cost the taxpayers billions of dollars and given the Executive Branch unilitaral and unprecedented authority to control what happens to the two major auto companies.
â€śWhile we are mindful that time is of the essence, we are respectfully requesting that you return the Auto Task Force to its important advisory role to you and your Administration, but also return the Congressâ€™ Constitutional legislative prerogatives before it further disrupts the lives of people who work at Chrysler or live in communities that depend on it,â€ť says the letter.
The White House is defending the work of the Presidentâ€™s Auto Task Force and is insisting that the president has not seized unconstitutional authority over the matter.
The bipartisan coalition of congressmen who signed the letter to Obama are worried about the practicial economic consequences of the steps he has taken in the auto bailout as well as the constitutional implications for the role of Congress.
â€śWe are grateful to you and your administration for the leadership demonstrated. However, decisions being made by the Auto Task Force, and in the bankruptcy proceedings in New York, are more than troubling,â€ť the letter said, referring to the Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings.
On Thursday, General Motors reportedly reached a deal with bond holders and the Treasury Department to go into bankruptcy.
Because of decisions made by the task force, the letter says, 9,000 workers at Chrysler plants will lose their jobs and 789 Chyrsler dealers have been slated to shut down. Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) who wrote the letter, said the GM bankruptcy could lead to 100,000 dealership-related jobs nationwide and the closing of 14 GM plants.
â€śThe president is being ill served by the auto task force. Theyâ€™re making decisions that I think are making a tough situation much worse,â€ť LaTourette told CNSNews.com. â€śNow the president has off-loaded it and delegated it to this unelected and inexperienced â€“ at least as far as the car business is concerned â€“ automobile task force.â€ť
â€śFor a bunch of folks who say they donâ€™t want to be in the day-to-day operation and donâ€™t want to manage the old Chrysler and the new Chrysler into bankruptcy, they sure seem to be doing that â€“ telling them how much they can spend on advertising, rejecting opportunities to avoid bankruptcy for both Chrysler and GM,â€ť he said.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded that the task force is not making direct decisions on employment, and said that 75 percent of auto dealerships remained open.
â€śThese are decisions that are made by companies about what it is they believe is the best path toward renewed viability for their company,â€ť Gibbs told reporters Wednesday. â€śIf it werenâ€™t for the task force on autos, and if it werenâ€™t for the president's intervention, a hundred percent of those dealerships would be gone, a hundred percent of those plants would be closed.â€ť
The letter states, â€śWhile we are mindful that time is of the essence, we are respectfully requesting that you return the Auto Task Force to its important advisory role to you and your administration, but also return the Congressâ€™ constitutional legislative prerogatives before it further disrupts the lives of people who work at Chrysler or live in communities that depend on it.â€ť
The Bush administration initiated the federal bailout of the auto industry with $17.4 billion in bridge loans going to Chrysler and GM in late 2008. Congress had rejected an auto bailout, so the Bush administration tapped the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), even though Congress had only authorized those funds to be used for financial institutions such as banks and credit unions.
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama expanded the program to include at least $1.1 billion toward covering the cost of Chrysler and GM warranties during the restructuring.
But members of Congress are concerned because the task force sets viability standards, allowing it to dictate terms to the auto industry. Rep. Thad McCotter (R-Mich.) said shutting Congress out leaves a worse deal for the taxpayers.
â€śIn the 70s, we had the Chrysler bailout where the taxpayers were paid with interest because at the legislative level you had people representing all these interests bringing them together and forging a workable plan,â€ť McCotter, who signed the letter, told CNSNews.com. â€śWhat youâ€™re seeing with the Auto Task Force is what was once an advisory group is now in the process of driving the entire process, deadlines, and bankruptcies for Chrysler and with GM the increasingly likely bankruptcy. Who do they answer to? They do not directly answer to the citizens.â€ť
McCotter is also displeased that the auto restructuring is being supervised through TARP, but said the law is so wide, he sees no legal conflict in using the TARP money. â€śIt was wide as the Grand Canyon to allow the executive branch to do what itâ€™s doing,â€ť he said.
Gibbs said that the administration does have â€śa major role to play.â€ť
â€śI think we are playing it in a way that is preserving and protecting as many jobs as possible, protecting as many communities as possible, and hopefully restructuring -- working to restructure an auto industry that has fallen on vastly hard times, and that we're doing all that we can to move that in a different direction,â€ť Gibbs said.
Still, members of Congress faulted the president for saying that the Chrysler bankruptcy would â€śnot disrupt the lives of people who work at Chrysler or live in communities that depend on it.â€ť
â€śThe White House auto task force seems to be pursuing policies that export the manufacturing base of the American economy,â€ť Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said. â€śOur economic strength and our national security are dependent on the automobile, steel, aerospace and shipping industries. We must protect and strengthen these vital industries.â€ť
Further, the letter stated that employees made concessions across the country without knowing their plant would be closed.
Gibbs said Congress clearly has input in helping to revive the auto industry.
â€śCongress certainly is involved in auto decisions, obviously as it relates to setting fuel mileage standards that the President worked on last week, as well as proposals to create tax incentives to trade in older cars that arenâ€™t doing as well on fuel mileage, to both increase auto sales and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,â€ť Gibbs said.
â€śBut I think the vast majority of members I think are appreciative of the efforts of the task force each and every day in order to keep as much as we possibly can in a viable auto industry here in America.â€ť”
“If they keep defending the people who rip them off, Natural Selection will take care of the rest ----”
“Jesus Christ on crutches! If taking 72% of a huge corporation isn't over reaching power what the phuck do they consider to be over reaching power?”
“The One can do no wrong. Just ask t*ltypoo.”
WTF, did not the government "buy" 72%??
GM had a lead and blew it and here we is.
They had a HUGE lead.
I'm not wild about the deal.”
“The federal government can't run their own business well. Who here thinks they can be involved with running GM and NOT run it straight into the ground? This is the dumbest damn thing the fed has done since they took over the railroads in the 80s.”
“UAW - 1
taxpayers - 0”
“Stovie = 0”
“Well, I guess the competitive bid process for supplying government vehicles just went out the window.”
GM Screwed Me Again!
“All the stocks I bought for $1 awhile back...they went up to like $6...should have sold then since today they are at $0.70, damn you GM!”
“If it wasn't for markO's Union, he would be earning minimum wage.”
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