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Monday, October 29, 2012

Readers’ Manual on the GM Bailout:



Both Obama and Romney proposed taking GM through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

GM went bankrupt. Its shares became worthless and its assets were transferred to a new company, which was called General Motors.

Obama used taxpayer dollars to force through a political bankruptcy that preserved union contracts and pensions, short changed bondholders, and made the unions and the federal government the new owners of GM

Romney favored a regular bankruptcy that would treat all GM stakeholders fairly. The government would be limited to providing bridge financing backed by GM assets to limit taxpayer exposure.
The federal government remains a major shareholder because it cannot sell its shares without revealing the extent of the taxpayer loss.

The old GM was an ideal candidate for Chapter 11. It had an established brand name, billions of dollars of revenues, and needed restructuring to lower its high labor and pension costs. It would have attracted numerous bidders. It would have emerged from bankruptcy with slightly fewer jobs, lower wages, and less generous union pensions.

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