We aren't often prone to agree with Andrew Ross Sorkin ("ARS" to his friends and when writing in third person). In fact, it is highly unusual that we wouldn't violently disagree with Mr. Sorkin. He is on our side of at least one debate other than the need to change the age of consent in the United States (we only differ here on the direction of the change, it should be noted). We agree that GM shouldn't get another dime from anyone (including customers) until its already declared bankruptcy. Says ARS:
G.M is using money so quickly that a $10 billion infusion made today would disappear by February. That is why taxpayers shouldn't fork over a cent, at least until shareholders are wiped out, management is tossed out and the industry is completely reorganized.
Somewhere, back I think when programmers bragged about (and were paid based on) the number of lines of code they had produced, the Big Three got into the business of measuring success with metrics like "we created the most jobs of any industry in the last two decades" or "We employ more people in your state than
Of course, all good things must come to an end and agreement with the ARSE is no exception. In this cause, our slow nodding of the head ceases abruptly with this passage from Sorkin:
So, first, the government would force G.M into a prepackaged bankruptcy now -- even before policy makers may think it needs to be.
Forgive us for feeling that, perhaps, the government of the United States shouldn't be in the business of "forcing" anyone into bankruptcy, particularly "before policy makers may think that it needs to be." The rather severe potential for abuse by government with discretionary power to force firms into bankruptcy before they seem to need it is a property of this plan that makes it indefensible. Who would review such a decision? Who would make it? Would bicameralism and presentment be required? Or simply an executive order or a finding by an agency? The entire concept sounds awfully "bill of attainder" like to us. We'll pass, thanks.
A Bridge Loan? U.S. Should Guide G.M. in a Chapter 11 [Dealbook]