Day By Day

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is Chrysler all done?

Read all about it here

Rumors, credible rumors, are beginning to circulate in the car industry and the automotive press, that Chrysler may not make it another year primarily due to its falling sales and growing financial losses at partner Fiat.
Chrysler sold a 62,197 cars in September, down 42% from the same month last year. The figure was down from 93,222 in August when traffic to dealers was pushed up by the ”cash for clunkers” program.
Chrysler’s problems may only be beginning and, if so, Fiat, the ”managing partner” among Chrysler’s owners may not be able to keep the American company intact
I find it hard to care. The UAW, after driving Chrysler into the ground, was illegally awarded a 55% ownership stake in Chrysler by executive fiat. As the CATO institute wrote:

In January 2009, Chrysler stood on the brink of insolvency.  Purporting to act under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, the Treasury extended Chrysler a $4 billion loan using funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).  Still in a bad financial situation, Chrysler initially proposed an out-of-court reorganization plan that would fully repay all of Chrysler’s secured debt.  The Treasury rejected this proposal and instead insisted on a plan that would completely eradicate Chrysler’s secured debt, hinging billions of dollars in additional TARP funding on Chrysler’s acquiescence.
When Chrysler’s first lien lenders refused to waive their secured rights without full payment, the Treasury devised a scheme by which Chrysler, instead of reorganizing under a chapter 11 plan, would sell its assets free of all secured interests to a shell company, the New Chrysler.  Chrysler was thus able to avoid the “absolute priority rule,” which provides that a court should not approve a bankruptcy plan unless it is “fair and equitable” to all classes of creditors.

 As a taxpayer I wish the government had left Chrysler alone to sink or swim on their own, we've thrown billions of dollars away for nothing. If the executive is allowed to get away with this crime the rule of law will have been forever sublimated to the rule of executive fiat. I can't believe that's a good thing. 

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