Monthly Archives: December 2008

Bush Bailout: Nearly 14 Billion Made Avialable to Automakers Immediately

I wonder how much good will GM and Chrysler are burning these days? They’ve almost criminally mismanaged their companies and now they’re going to dip into our pockets to cover for their mistakes:

The loans are three-year loans but the money will have to be repaid immediately if the firms do not show themselves to be viable by March 31. It is expected that the companies will have to negotiate new agreements with unions and creditors in order to do so.

During brief remarks at the White House, President Bush said in normal times he would have not been in favor of preventing a bankruptcy of the two companies. But the current state of the economy and credit markets left him no choice but to act.

“Government has a responsibility to safeguard the broader health and stability of our economy,” he said. “If we were to allow the free market to take its course now, it would almost certainly lead to disorderly bankruptcy and liquidation for the automakers.”

“In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action,” Bush added.

My last two autos have been Fords. They’ve been dependable and solid forcing me to deal with only a single real maintenance issue in eight years. I just made my final payment this month and I’d typically be looking for something new but I plan to hold off for a year or more if my SUV hangs tough. Ford is still in the running for my next purchase because they’re transforming, making progress, and have showed some restraint when it comes to taking our tax dollars. However, they’re still an unlikely recipient of my future business because I don’t see anything really compelling, from a design or feature standpoint, on their lots. At the end of the day it comes down to the relationship between the product and consumer – at least it should.

Fire Erupts at Capitol Visitor Center

@senatus broke the story on Twitter but it appears to be a minor event:

A construction crew using torches to work on water pipes on the second level of the 580,000-square-foot center accidentally set fire to insulation shortly after 1 p.m., said Alan Etter, a spokesman for the D.C. fire department.

He described the damage as “negligible” and said the fire did not jeopardize any historical artifacts on display at the $621 million center, which opened Dec. 2 after six years of construction work.