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Why does General Motors take it up the tailpipe? You could probably come up with at least handful of reasons, but at a breakfast hosted by Fortune this morning, Steve Rattner wanted to highlight one in particular. Over bagels and lox, the retired Car Czar, who last month was finally able to get it off his chest that automaker’s PowerPoint presentations were for shit, said that the higher-ups took no responsibility for their action and spent most of their time smack talking the “competition.”
On Rattner’s conversation with former GM CEO Rick Wagoner when he told him he was fired: “The most curious part of it was that after three to four minutes of chit chat he asked ‘Well are you going to fire Ron Gettelfinger too?’…And I said, ‘Look I’m not in charge of firing Ron Gettelfinger’… One of the problems with GM is that they blame everyone but themselves for their problems…But the fact is, Ford is doing OK and there is no reason why GM had to be in this position.”
Also, don’t talk to him about socialism.
When Serwer asked if government control of the auto industry could be seen as “creeping socialism,” Rattner replied: “We were not volunteers in this war– we were drafted … Without funding, these companies would have liquidated; they would have shut their doors … The only possible source of capital was the US government.”