• Sep 10, 2010
Even more terrifying tales of the automotive bailout are emerging from Steven Rattner's new book. CNN Money reports that, according to the text, Chrysler had an even rougher go of things than General Motors. Rattner, who served as the head of the automotive task force, writes that after congress failed to give Chrysler the $7 billion in funding that the company originally asked for, executives began to scramble to find other ways to keep the operation afloat. That includes Pentastar boss Bob Nardelli asking the United States Treasury to force General Motors to buy Chrysler. After it was determined that the vast amounts of overlap between the two companies would make a merger impossible, things got even more bizarre.

According to Rattner's book, Steve Feinberg of Chrysler parent company Cerberus Capital offered the carmaker to the treasury department for $1. The treasury thought the offer was a joke, partially because Feinberg made the suggestion to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during a 2:00 AM phone call. Less than a month later, President Bush signed off on $17.4 billion in TARP money for GM and Chrysler. Thanks for the tip, Ollie!

[Source: CNN Money | Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty]


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  • 40 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Those are the eyes of sad, lost little boy. I wonder what he would think this picture was transported back in time to him at like 10 years old so he can see what happened to him.

      "Behind these eyes, one finds only darkness. These are the eyes of a psychopath." - Dr. Loomis
      • 4 Years Ago
      Many fail to realize how bad it really wasin the dark days of '08, the floor had fallen out of the job, housing, stock and bond markets and if it were not for the drastic measures taken by the govt to prop up the entire economy, life would be significantly different for most Americans right now.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nardelli has been over his head for a long time, but everyone who drinks the Jack Welch Management kool-aid keeps giving him chances to destroy companies. He drove Home Depot in the ditch before even thinking about a Sebring. Just because they occupy big jobs does not make them big minds. (Steps off soapbox) ; )
      • 4 Years Ago
      the face tells the whole story...not much going on upstairs for that guy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        He's not called "Minimum Bob" for nothin'.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Still, at least GM was smart about not signing up to take Chrysler -- possibly their best decision during bankruptcy...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bob Nardelli is an idiot. I wonder how many companies you have to run into the ground before people acknowledge that someone is a bad manager. He ran Home Depot into the ground and then Cerberus picked him up for no reason at all. The US government should not be in the business of bailing out privately held companies. Bob Nardelli is an idiot as is the rest of Cerberus management. There, I said it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      While it SOUNDS tempting, given the debt incurred after gaining control, it would have been a foolish purchase. If you did not have the billions to pay off all the creditors, you would have to declare bankruptcy. Which brings it right back to the gov't bailout, or outright death and dismantlement.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yep. That $1 buys all assets *and* all liabilities, even when the liabilities vastly outstrip the assets.
      • 4 Years Ago
      OMG thats would have been epic!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh and...

        I wish this were a caption contest for the photo. My entry would be..

        "I believe you have my stapler"
        • 4 Years Ago
        Epic? Dude $1? That's sad!

        I wish I knew this before. I would have offered them $2, then after I won the bid, I would have sent Vipers, Chargers and Challengers to a private parking facility of my own (like 100 each of them (for parts too) and then flipped the company on ebay for 100% profit...

        Yeah, that's TWO BIG ONES I'd a even offered FREE SHIPPING
      • 4 Years Ago
      JohnB,

      Remember some K-cars had the Mitshubishi 4 bangers those were unreliable garbage..

      My Uncle had a 86 Aries drove that car 300,000 miles only changed the timing belt once ! And fuelpump and 2 injectors..Solid reliable cars...

      My parents had a 1988 k-car NewYorker turbo it lasted 220,000 problem free before getting rid of it..Remember they only had a 5 digit odometer so after 99,999 they rolled over to 0 !

      If my Acura was as good as my uncles Aries or my Moms New Yorker I would of kept it longer than 2 years !!!

      New Chrysler's are reliable,better than Ford's My Ram had 120,000 no issues ever..NONE...Bought a new 2010 Dodge Ram,have family members with Caravans,300's,Charger's all are happier than the ones with Ford,and especially imports My BMW cost me big $$$ same with my Acura (pos)..Alot of Ford trucks knock like crazy,that is not good..
      • 4 Years Ago
      I might have taken it off their hands if I could turn around and sell it for $1 the next day, keeping a Viper as a handling charge. Could that have worked? It probably makes at least as much financial sense as anything else that happened.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't even want to spend $1 buying a car from this lousy company.
      • 4 Years Ago
      BMW has sold Rover to the Phoenix Consortium for just 10 pounds.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Holy crap.
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