No Car Czar For You!
Steve Rattner will just have to settle for his private equity millions, he’s been robbed of a position in the administration playing vroom vroom — by a group of people, some of whom will hopefully know what they’re doing:
Enter the President’s Task Force on Autos. That group will use officials from the departments of Treasury, Labor, Transportation, Commerce and Energy. Members of the National Economic Council, the White House Office of Energy and Environment, the Council of Economic Advisers and the Environmental Protection Agency will also be involved, according to the administration official.
Obama also plans to name restructuring expert Ron Bloom a senior adviser to Geithner. He will not be the "car czar" pointman many labor and business leaders expected. Bloom, a former consultant to the United Steelworkers of America, will be doing much of the financial analysis for the administration.
GM is supposed to reduce its unsecured debt by 2/3 and wants a debt-for-equity swap, but the bondholders are being recalcitrant. The UAW walked away from the negotiating table on Friday over legacy healthcare costs but came back today. It looks like GM is trying to use the threat of bankruptcy to force both into a more malleable position.
BTW, what’s with all the leaking by a "senior administration official?" That place is a sieve. Can’t they just make a friggin’ announcement? Does someone have to get off on being Master of the Universe every time information gets fed to the press?