Having watched each of the Detroit 3 CEOs take tough questions from the Senate Banking Committee for six hours yesterday, we've returned to the couch today to watch General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli and Ron Gettelfinger, President of the United Auto Workers union, visit House members of the Financial Services Committee led by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts).
We were actually surprised at how well yesterday's hearings went for the Detroit 3. There was far less grand standing by politicians this time around, due largely in part to the lesson learned by each CEO after that whole private jet fiasco. A couple of yesterday's creative solutions for the mess in Motown included a "pre-packaged bankruptcy" in which financing for restructuring would be secured beforehand, as well as a renewed interest in seeing GM and Chrysler follow through on their erstwhile attempt to merge a few months ago. Since Ford's position is more secure than that of GM and Chrysler, Alan Mulally looked bored most of the day, while his colleague Bob Nardelli got the grilling of a lifetime. Senators seemed particularly interested in why Chrysler's owner, the private equity firm Cerberus, couldn't just infuse the Auburn Hills-based automaker with more money.
While senators yesterday seemed to take the situation much more seriously this time around, we've just finished watching opening statements made by members of the House of Representatives in the Financial Services Committee and were less than impressed. It appears the soap boxes are out and spot lights are on.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty]