• Dec 18th 2009 at 10:03AM
  • 13
Planning for the future is perhaps an alien concept to big business – even automakers, with their protracted product development cycles. Take a cue of what not to do from them, then, and start planning now for next Christmas. May we suggest that your 2010 wishlist starts with what's destined to be a hotly-anticipated tome: Steven Rattner's memoir of his spearheading the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. Tentatively titled "Overhaul," the cloyingly-named book will tell the story of the quick-rinse bankruptcies Rattner presided over.

A fascinating piece that Rattner wrote for Fortune Magazine back in October gave us a glimpse of how riveting such a seemingly-dry subject can be. The book is on track for a debut in the fall of 2010, and might be even more interesting in a year depending on how Rattner's deals work out. The hardest part is going to be behaving well enough for an entire year so this thing gets stuffed in our stocking.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Neilson Barnard/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just look how smug that face of his is.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who gives a shat? The guy's another overpaid, MBA douche. I'm sick of reading/hearing about business pricks and their horseshat "accomplishments".
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sea Urchin....if you think the government did not seize the companies....ask the shareholders and bondholders..they were the owners of the company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM and Chrysler might not exist by the time this book arrives.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The December loan came with one pre-eminent condition: Have a VIABLE recovery plan in place by 17 March.
      The plan GM came back with was a forecast of increasing margins on cars, decreasing incentives on vehicles, and increasing year over year market share of a 12,000,000 unit 2009 market.
      However ...
      GM's market share is not going to increase in 2009 vs 2008, not by 2%.
      GM's margin on cars has always been less than on trucks
      The US market in 2009 was forecast at that time to be closer 10,000,000 units.
      The government, at that moment, had the opportunity to demand taxpayer money be returned because clearly, that was an unreasonable plan. They were given until 1 June to come up with a better plan and failed to do so - in effect calling the government's bluff.

      Had the government demanded repayment of taxpayer money (and essentially, at the moment GM accepted the money, the government became as more of an owner than the bondholders, due to the conditions of the loan), the bond holders would have had more like $0.04 on the dollar instead of $0.20.
      Twenty is more than four. Way more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who knew Harry Potter was the car czar?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Typical Wall Streeters greedy move. In the end he wants to profit for his "service" to the USA.

      His own account of how unprepared they were for the media frenzy with helicopters, reporters and everyday people following them during their visit to the GM's Warren Tech Center, Chryslers Warren Truck Ass'y and other locations shows who is also leading an insular existence devoid of any accountability to the rest of the country.

      Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the job he did but he is a hypocrite when it comes to his insular comments about Detroit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They came to the government seeking loans. They got a load from GWB that allowed to stall off an immediate Chapter 7.

      But the terms of the loan allowed Obama to force them into Chapter 7 at will.

      I'm not so sure things would have ended up like they did if Obama wasn't given that level of power over them, even if they still had to go the bankruptcy route.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know it's unpopular to offer a positive opinion to an article like this, but I really enjoyed that article on CNN Money and I'm really looking forward to reading the book. Kind of reaffirming all the stuff that we all knew as car enthusiasts, but it's different to hear it come from the source.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If he will dish some dirt on the administration the book will really sell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You won't see anything but about how the government came in and saved the day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Only after GM and Chrysler repay the taxpayers. Also Government did not seize GM and Chrysler, they came to the Government and asked it to bail them out. I am sure you just made an honest mistake.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "....if you think the government did not seize the companies....ask the shareholders and bondholders..they were the owners of the company."

      there's no government conspiracy here. the US car companies (with possible exception of Ford) would be circling the bowl right now if we tax payers didn't bail them out.

      The reason the gov't got involved was due to all the jobs that would have also gone in the toilet.

      A republican president got the ball rolling and a democrat took the hand-off and continued to run with it.
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