Tuesday, November 18, 2008

News from Washington

Well, the Big Three automakers got their chance to pitch their cause before the Senate today in hearings concerning the bailout. Rick Wagoner, GM, Alan Mulally, Ford and Robert Nardelli, Chrysler all took their turn at the plate to stake their claims. Basically, it was the same ole' song and dance about 3 million citizens losing their jobs, national crisis, military crisis, ad nauseum. Here are a few nuggets for you:

"Our industry ... needs a bridge to span the financial chasm that has opened up before us," General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner told the Senate Banking Committee.

Robert Nardelli, CEO of Chrysler, told the panel the bailout would be "the least costly alternative" when compared with damage from bankruptcy. "We just cannot be confident that we will be able to successfully emerge from bankruptcy," Nardelli said.

Alan Mulally, Ford CEO, told senators the auto industry was "a pillar of our economy. We look forward to working with you to be part of the solution" to the financial crisis. "We at Ford are well on our way to transforming our country and building a new Ford," he said.

At least Mulally was upbeat and not as rhetorical as the other two. Also speaking today was Ron Getelfinger, representing the UAW, but he did not mention anything worth quoting. Several Senators expressed their concerns about giving money to the automakers, which did not seem like a sensible decision for their long term success.

Most Senate Republicans are opposed to the bill, almost ensuring its death while in infancy.

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