• Feb 16, 2009
While there have been rumors and suggested candidates floated for the so-called federal "car czar" post, it now no longer looks like that position will be filled. That's because President Barack Obama has apparently gone cold on the idea. Instead, new reports suggest that he will look to a select group of senior economic advisers for guidance.

In lieu of appointing a single authority to help guide the restructuring of the Detroit Three, a senior adviser is suggesting that Obama instead plans to look to Treasury Secretary, Timothy F. Geithner; National Economic Council chairman Lawrence H. Summers, and Ron Bloom, a labor union and corporate restructuring expert. The three men will work with a presidential auto industry oversight panel, with Obama "reserving for himself any decision on the viability of GM and Chrysler."

The aforementioned panel will be known as the Presidential Task Force on Autos, and will incorporate officials from various government agencies, including commerce, energy, labor, transportation, and Treasury. A number of panel members are already embedded in the project, helping to develop viability plan proposals with the automakers themselves,

Both General Motors and Chrysler are scheduled to file restructuring plans with the Treasury in time to meet a Tuesday deadline, at which point Obama and his newly-assembled team are expected to review the plans for one-to-two weeks before issuing a public statement. More details at the link below. Thanks for the tip, Mike!

[Source: The New York Times | Image: AFP/Getty]


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  • 60 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Boy, the elections are over but some are still mad at the results. Time to let it go for at least 3 years before getting back in campaign mode....
        • 5 Years Ago
        8yrs after the '00 election and there are many who have yet to let it go. So why the double standard?

        Only difference now is that, presumably, your guy won.

        A winner in an election does not suddenly make them unable to be criticized. On the contrary, I think it opens them up to even further criticism since their actions would actually have meaning once the election is over. During the campaign, it's all just talk. At that point, none of what they say will actually change policies.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whassa matter, he couldn't find someone who paid their taxes for the position?
      • 5 Years Ago
      IowaSuby,

      No; my information is based on articles and lectures by Nobel prize winning economists and by some of the greatest minds of our times. And they uniformly agree that tax cuts are not effective stimulus.

      As for Alan Greenspan, his policies were rooted in the profoundly flawed economic ideas of Reagan and Thatcher. I seem to remember W. inheriting a huge surplus and a booming economy. Yet the goverment's own figures show that absolutely no wealth was created during his terms.

      This is not about politics. It is about economic reality. It is also about both sides seeing that a mix of socialism and capitalism is required in any successful society.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol...you seem to forget the dot com bubble burst, did Bush cause that too?

        Yes I know, you read Paul Krugmen. He's a brilliant economist on trade, but that's it. You should really read other economists that have done work or are experts in Keynesian economics. I'd recommend Greg Mankiw of Harvard http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/ or Robert Barro, also from Harvard http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/02/an_interview_with_robert_barro.php

        Also, while you are busy blaming former Pres. Bush, how do you describe the financial meltdown in Latin America, Europe, Russia, China etc..? Here's a post from the telegraph on just how bad things are for Europe:
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/4623525/Failure-to-save-East-Europe-will-lead-to-worldwide-meltdown.html

        Happy reading and try branching out in what you read before you use canned arguments from Pres. Obama who's looking more like FDR every day. All FDR ever did was push a myth that Herbert Hoover was to blame for everything, Democrats are repeating these same tired myth arguments with Pres. Bush.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I seem to remember W. inheriting a huge surplus and a booming economy."

        First, it's common knowledge that the economy was not booming when Bush took over. In fact, it was on a definite downslide due to the dot com bubble bursting. Also a huge surplus just means that the government taxed us well above and beyond what was necessary, which is true at any time for that matter. Why is it that people go ballistic when companies like Exxon/Mobil have record profits (i.e. huge surplus) but think it's great when their government does the same? But I digress...

        And then I also seem to remember that something else happened on Sept. 11, 2001 that affected things as well. It's a shame how soon people tend to forget.
      • 5 Years Ago
      who needs a car czar when you have bankruptcy judges?

      Both GM and Chrysler are going 11. Bet on it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm with Bobby. Mathematics say that GM will fail one way or another, unless of course we decide to just give the entire industry about a trillion dollars. While congress has no problem bailing out their super rich pals in the banking industry with that kind of money, nobody really cares about the every day blue collar working man so they're just going to have to ride this one out. Tough love only really applies to those who aren't connected.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think these people can really help GM, for example Geithner can advise GM not to pay Taxes, and save a few billion $$ in between.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Uhhh, they did already. GM got a 7-10 billion tax break in the Stimulus Bill.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Geithner and Obama just need to inform GM and Chrysler that all of their problems will go away if they just spent a lot more money. It's called deficit spending and it's about jobs, jobs, jobs. Of course, the billions the car makers are going to spend will come from our government's own gargantuan deficit spending so it will be a never ending circle of debt that we taxpayers will be on the hook for until the end of time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, OK.. I didn't say Obama got the auto industry into the mess they're in. Not sure where you got that from.

        The point I'm making is that there is a certain mindset among liberals, um sorry, I guess it's progressives these days..that says that any problem will go away if we just spend more money on it. Before you know it, there is a mountain of money spent but the problem remains along with added debt.

        (Off the subject but do seriously think that the problem with our education system today is that it is underfunded?)

        As for the rest of your rant... Everybody here is entitled to their own opinion. I don't hold it against you that you called my post the "dumbest of the lot". That's actually pretty funny.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm glad that it's a board rather than a single person.
      Also, that door is ____ing huge!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow. Having your fate determined not only by a committee, but a bilevel committee full of bureaucrats. GM and Chrysler ought to just kill themselves now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ding dang y'all! We're being lied to again!!

      The Great Obamanation has pushed fearmongering to the limits. He repeatedly warns of another Great Depression. This fearmongering may be good politics, but it is bad history and bad economics.

      Our current economic woes don't even come close to those of the 1930's. Obama says the US shed 3.4 million jobs (2.2% of the labor force) last year. From Nov 1981 to Oct 1982, 2.4 million jobs were lost (2.2% of the labor force). Not much difference there, because the labor pool was smaller. In 1930, the economy shed 4.8% of the labor force; plus another 6.5% in 1931, 6.5%; and another 7.1% in 1932. Jobs were being lost at double or triple the rate of 2008-09 or 1981-82.

      This was reflected in unemployment rates. The latest survey pegs US unemployment at 7.6%. That is more than three percentage points below the 1982 peak (10.8%) and not even a third of the peak in 1932 (25.2%). No way does today's 7.6% unemployment equate with the Great Depression at all.

      GDP rose in 2008, but will probably decline 2% in 2009. That is comparable to 1982 when the economy contracted 1.9%. It is nothing like 1930, when GDP fell by 9%, or 8% in 1931, or 13% in 1932.

      Auto production last year declined by 25% compared to 1932, when production plummeted by 90%. The failure of a couple of dozen banks in 2008 just doesn't compare to over 10,000 bank failures in 1933, or even the 3,000 or more S & L failures in 1987-88. Stocks devalued by 90% in the early 1930s, compared to our 40% drop.

      Obama's analogies to the Great Depression are not only historically inaccurate, they are also dangerous. Repeated warnings from the White House about a coming economic collapse aren't likely to raise consumer and investor expectations for the future. In fact, they have contributed to the continuing decline in consumer confidence that is restraining a spending pickup. Kind of like cutting your foot off to see if it bleeds.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, because the previous 8 years were so great.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They pulled that door off a bank vault.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Holy sh.. that limo looks huge, it's like an SUV in limo disguise.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My thoughts exactly. I saw the pictures here on autoblog a few weeks before the inauguration. I thought it was based on the Caddy DTS, but this thing looks huge. I'll paraphrase someone here, those normal sized people look like mini me. Another paraphrase it's like an SUV disguised as a sedan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        JLevy, what I heard is that it's actually a modified GMC TopKick chassis. I believe the previous-gen presidential limo was a Caddy body on a Tahoe chassis.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Uh...it is an SUV underneath. It's a Tahoe chassis with Caddy body.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Coming out of that ginormous Caddy, the Pres looks like a..."mini-me" Obama.
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