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    Tag: Chrysler

    What Have We Done For You Lately?

    By Rougman, Section News
    Posted on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:51:29 PM EST
    Tags: Bailout, UAW, GM, Chrysler, Ford (all tags)

    Less than two years ago, the American taxpayers bailed out two of Michigan's largest employers. Years of poor management, a belligerent labor force, and aggressive foreign competitors who were willing to listen to the consumer drove once proud GM and Chrysler into a tailspin.

    Mark Steyn at the time correctly called GM a company that provided health care and retirement benefits to hundreds of thousands of policy holders while also happening to make cars on the side. They were doomed.

    But, guess who stepped up to the plate (though some of us quite reluctantly?)

    The taxpayers borrowed billions of dollars from the Chinese to bail out Chrysler, GM, and the UAW. While many private investors had their investments illegally wiped out in favor of propping up underfunded union pension plans, the UAW walked out of the ensuing mushroom cloud carrying a new and significant ownership stake in the salvaged companies--now viable in the marketplace with its more manageable salary and benefits packages. (An infusion of borrowed billions into corporate coffers didn't hurt either.)

    (6 comments, 541 words in story) Full Story

    Chrysler Workers Thankful For The Bailout

    By grannynanny, Section News
    Posted on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 12:25:23 PM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Detroit, Chrysler, Bailout (all tags)

    As families in Michigan struggle to make ends meet without a taxpayer funded bailout, Chrysler union employees at a Detroit area plant show their appreciation by celebrating their taxpayer funded windfall.


    Any wagers on what will happen to them?

    (29 comments) Comments >>

    A Message To Our Legislators - Beware False Choices

    Time for a Presidential Rally! - 1PM, Macomb Community College

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Tue Jul 14, 2009 at 06:48:25 AM EST
    Tags: President Obama, GM, Chrysler, Macomb Community College, deficit, tax hikes (all tags)

    Breaking! Breaking!  President Obama is going to visit Macomb County today and will be holding a Town Hall meeting where he will hear directly from Michigan residents!

    No, wait, scratch that.  Too much access for the average Michigander. Change of plans from the White House.

    Breaking!  Breaking!  President Obama is going to visit Macomb County today and will be holding an open forum where Michigan moms and dads, while not permitted to speak, will have a chance to attend and hear what the President has to say in person.

    Nah.  White House thinks that, too, amounts to too much face time with normal folks.  Try this one...

    Breaking!  Breaking!  President Obama is going to visit Macomb County today and will hold a glorified press conference in front of a sycophantic press corps and select invite-only Democratic Party big-wigs?

    There's the ticket.  And the only ticket.  No duckets for Michigan's working or unemployed.  Which is a shame.  Even if he isn't inclined to speak to us "normal folks," there's a lot the average Michigander could and very likely would communicate to the man who has injected the federal deficit with anabolic steroids.

    Read on...

    (7 comments, 605 words in story) Full Story

    Second thoughts in Congress about ripping off the Band-Aid

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 07:48:24 AM EST
    Tags: Congress, GM, Chrysler, bankruptcy (all tags)

    This is what happens when politicians, not free markets take control of a major manufacturing company.  

    A House panel in Washington, DC yesterday unanimously approved a measure that would "save" 2,100 GM and Chrysler dealerships across the country. Which is great, right?  I mean, who doesn't want to take a single, simple vote that on her face looks like it'll do nothing but save thousands of Michigan (and non-Michigan) jobs.  

    Except of course for the fact that the dealership cuts were one big leg of the stool the bankrupt automakers were standing on to save many more thousands of other Michigan jobs.  And you know what happens when you knock the leg off a stool.  The Ivory Tower:

    The bill would turn back the clock to before the companies filed for bankruptcy, restoring the 789 dealers cut by Chrysler and 1,300 dealers GM chose to wind down...

    Executives from GM and Chrysler have both told Congress that cutting dealers was essential to their survival outside of bankruptcy, saving each company billions of dollars a year and strengthen their remaining sales force.

    "This legislation, if passed, would put our long-term viability at risk," said GM spokesman Greg Martin.

    I get where the good Congress-people are coming from.  I really, really do. Those dealership closings were tough, particularly because they hit folks across the country, even in states where there's never been any other Big 3 related work force.  

    If you could save fifty local jobs simply by pushing a button, wouldn't you push it?

    The problem is, politicians are not (for the most part) businessmen.  And before the Obama administration started nationalizing major Michigan employers, no Congressman was any kind of boss at GM or Chrysler.

    Suddenly, though, the Federalized Two have over 500 new quasi-members of their Board of Directors, and not a Utilitarian among them.  

    Sure, you may save a few dealerships today but the entire company will be dead tomorrow.  

    The market has been screaming for contraction for years. Excess dealerships are bleeding BILLIONS. Bankruptcy is targeted at helping these manufacturing giants contract as quickly and easily as possible so that they can survive into the future and eventually grow again.  

    That can get sticky when every decision that gets made can suddenly be overturned by politicians and bureaucrats in DC who are more interested in reelection NEXT YEAR than a company's viability NEXT DECADE.  

    Congress wants to save 2,100 dealerships?  Great.  We all do.  But it's going to take more than a single populist vote on the floor of the US House of Representatives.  Especially a vote that winds up doing much more harm than good.

    How about we try something else, just as a change of pace... the Obama administration and Congress stop micromanaging Michigan companies and let the businessmen and the bankruptcy courts figure out the best way to save the most jobs the quickest.

    Otherwise, all we're doing is prolonging the pain, delaying the inevitable and forcing thousands of working moms and dads across the country to float in one heck of a nasty breeze, tossed about by the whims of political expediency. That's not good business and that's not fair.

    (10 comments) Comments >>

    The Boston Tea Party and The Big Three

    By conservmatt, Section Multimedia
    Posted on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 02:36:26 PM EST
    Tags: big 3, obama, chrysler, gm, granholm, video, marxism (all tags)

    Comments >>

    The Governor Turns On Her Own

    By The Wizard of Laws, Section News
    Posted on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:12:31 AM EST
    Tags: Chrysler, lien, mortgage, pension, Tinkerbell (all tags)

    Cross-posted in The Wizard of Laws

    Our governor, whom we affectionately refer to in these pages as Tinkerbell, is no orator. Her speeches sound like they were written for mediocre high school oratory contests, and they are delivered with all the gravitas of a cheerleader. The phrase "a mile wide and an inch deep" comes to mind when I hear her speak, but her speeches -- scripted and controlled -- show the governor at her best (which is none too good).

    When she is off-script, however, watch out. You just never know what might come out of Tink's mouth. Like the other day, during a factory tour in Grandville, when she said that the delay in the Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings (due to a stay issued by the U.S. Supreme Court) was caused by "some greedy lawyers." (The stay has since been lifted and the Chrysler bankruptcy is humming along, shedding assets, jobs, and the future of the U.S. auto industry).

    Tink did not identify the "greedy lawyers" by name, but presumably she meant the lawyers representing the Indiana State Police Pension Trust, the Indiana State Teachers Retirement Fund, and the Indiana Major Moves Construction Fund, who requested the stay in the first place.

    Let's take a closer look at the greedy lawyers and their clients.

    The police and teacher pension funds manage retirement assets for approximately 100,000 Indiana civil servants, including police officers, school teachers, and their families.

    The construction fund finances infrastructure construction projects. (Aren't these supposed to be the saviors of our economy under The One's stimulus package?)

    Chrysler owes the pension funds alone $100 million, secured by a first lien on all of Chrysler's assets. This is part of a total "first lien" debt of $6.9 billion.

    So, police officers and school teachers have been putting away money into a retirement fund, which in turn lent $100 million to Chrysler, in exchange for what amounts to a first mortgage on Chrysler property. So, what did that first lien, that mortgage, get the Indiana retirees? How does "virtually nothing" sound?

    The Indiana funds will get about 28 cents on the dollar, while all of Chrysler's unsecured trade obligations will be paid, all warranty and dealer obligations will be paid, and $10 billion in unsecured claims against Chrysler's VEBA (the Voluntary Employee Benefit Association, a UAW-run health care trust) will be paid by giving the UAW a $4.6 billion promissory note and a 68 percent share of the reorganized Chrysler. Based on testimony at the bankruptcy court hearing, the UAW stock is worth about $24 billion. Wealth distribution, anyone?

    The lawyers for the Indiana funds were looking out for their clients, police and teacher retirees. In doing so, they argued for the law and against the massive distortion of the bankruptcy code orchestrated by the federal government and financed by our tax dollars. The Chrysler bankruptcy has turned the law on its head and will have substantial repercussions for all manufacturing entities in the future, because the current administration treats contracts and the law as irrelevant obstructions to be overcome on the way to its apparent goal of eliminating private enterprise and the right to make a buck.

    Not to mention the Indiana retirees, who have seen 72 million dollars go up in smoke, in a fire lit and stoked by the U.S. Treasury.

    Perhaps Governor Tinkerbell, who has always fed at the public trough and has never had to worry about running a business (as demonstrated time and again by her wretched handling of our state government), considers lawyers trying to protect 72 million pension dollars to be "greedy," but in doing so she has turned on police, teachers, union members, and lawyers, all of whom have supported her in varying degrees over the years. See what happens when you don't have a script in front of you?

    And where is the outrage from teachers, police, and lawyers? Do they just chalk it up to rhetoric, knowing that at crunch time Tink will carry the water? That she won't touch teacher health care in Michigan, that she won't fool with defined benefit pensions, that she will appoint judges of dubious quality in thinly veiled payoffs to the trial lawyers?

    By using the phrase, "greedy lawyers," Tink pandered to the lowest elements of our society, among which, apparently, her heart lies. These are the groups that substitute slogans for political thought, and consider bumper stickers to be a form of literature.

    If advocating zealously on behalf of my clients and arguing for the rule of law makes me a "greedy lawyer," then I am proud to be one. What does destroying Michigan's economy, causing tens of thousands of families to go on public assistance, and driving tens of thousands of people out of our state make you, Governor?

    (10 comments) Comments >>

    UAW taps former Mich. Gov. Blanchard as Chrysler

    By apackof2, Section News
    Posted on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 08:36:46 AM EST
    Tags: obama motors, Chrysler, auto, blanchard, uaw (all tags)

    The United Auto Workers (UAW) union tapped former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard (D) as their representative to the newly-constituted Chrysler.

    (3 comments, 113 words in story) Full Story

    Govt. Forced Chrysler Deal With Minimal Knowledge of Fiat. SCOTUS Asked To Stop Sale!!!

    By Theblogprof, Section News
    Posted on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 10:18:02 PM EST
    Tags: bankruptcy, Chrysler, GM, Obama (all tags)

    Cross-posted at theblogprof

    This is bad. And it shows that the leadership in the Oval Office is an illusion. A mirage. A figment of the MSMs imagination. An empty suit sits there making things up as he goes along. Not ready to lead. Looks like Hillary was right. From NewsBusters (HT: memorandum):<span style="font-weight: bold;"> </span>Shotgun Wedding: Court Docs Reveal Govt. Likely Forced Chrysler Deal With Minimal Knowledge of Fiat.

    Even if they ultimately lose their last-minute court battle, the Indiana pension funds defending their rights as secured first-lien creditors of Chrysler have done a valuable deed.

    We have learned, among many other things, how at least one government lawyer characterized the funds' lawyer, Thomas Lauria.

    A $10,000 Democratic Party donor, Lauria, despite clear evidence of intimidation of his originally larger pool of clients by Barack Obama himself (in his April 30 speech announcing the company's bankruptcy filing) and his car guys, has nonetheless bravely pursued the important contract law and fiduciary duty issues involved in the shortchanging of his clients for several weeks.

    Wait until you see the word the government lawyer used to describe Lauria.

    I have posted on Lauria before. In fact, I was one of the first bloggers to upload the audio of Lauria on the Frank Beckmann show here in Detroit with the revelation that Obama himself threatened his clients (White House Threatens Bondholder With The "Full Power Of The White House Press Corps" (with Audio)). The revelation occurs at the 1:56 mark of Frank's interview with Lauria, which you can hear below:

    (2 comments, 1067 words in story) Full Story

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