A Little Reality Check From the Cheap Seats

1) Obama didn't ask for this level of engagement with GM and Chrysler. He's not blameless, having voted for the various car company loans as a Senator but he didn't seek it out.

2) Dress it up any way you want, but Obama is choosing sides based on to whom he owes political payback. Republicans would do the same damn thing if they were in charge.

3) There is a fundamental, irreconcilable difference between those who believe car companies should be run in the "national interest" and those who believe they should be run on behalf of owners. The latter means profit consistent with property rights as understood at the time risks were taken. The former means whatever those in power decide it means.

4) For those who prefer less government involvement, Obama is not the one to worry about in this scenario. Obama's decisions are driven by two important dates: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 and Tuesday, November 6, 2012. After that, his interest will wane. Presidents come and go, but Congress is forever. As government involvement in GM and Chrysler expands (and it will only expand) an ecosystem of lawyers, bankers, activists, constituents, consultants, journalists, lobbyists, local/regional/state/federal officials, legislators and more will organize to pry special benefits (financial and otherwise) for themselves out of Treasury's position in Chrysler and GM. If you buy common equity in GM or Chrysler (if it ever goes public), you're a complete fool.

1 comment:

Chris Janc said...

Same goes for the debt of any business that is or may become involved with the government. This administration has shown what it thinks of existing contract law.