Let’s see: So far the administration has committed some $350 billion to the banks, and credit has loosened not at all. The auto bailout bill went down, principally because some GOP senators moved to bust the UAW. Bernie Madoff got away with some $50 billion from private investors, including a number of charities, because the regulators weren’t watching. Mr. Bush is still stalling on his promise to help Chrysler and GM.
Meanwhile, Rome is burning. In announcing its longer-than-usual holiday shutdown (at least a month, maybe more), Chrysler said that buyers’ inability to secure loans was responsible for 20-25% of its lost sales. GM is closing 20 North American factories temporarily; Ford is shutting down 10. Demand is plummeting for all cars, including Honda and Toyota.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.
The NY Times reports today that the administration is still in serious negotiations with Chrysler and GM and cites difficulties in getting access to the $700 billion in TARP funds while blaming Congress for the delay in providing auto bailout money. Bush says he will make a decision “relatively soon.” Talks reportedly center on the prepackaged bankruptcy concept, with all parties making concessions.
Well, that would be a Christmas gift of sorts to everybody. We’ll let you know when and if it happens.