The czars – all of them – are dead in the House of Representatives. Even though every "czar" position in government had already been vacated, the House passed a spending bill that officially eliminated the role and forbids the White House from naming more. In some cases, automotive and banking bailouts and executive pay especially, the czar himself was as polarizing as the job he had to do, and the enduring, transformative effects of their work can explain why politicians might targe
The Detroit News is reporting that a federal judge has thrown out a portion of the lawsuit brought against the federal government by Delphi retirees. The former employees of the automotive supplier brought suit against the federal government after their pensions were terminated in bankruptcy proceedings. U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow dismissed claims against the U.S. Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner, the auto task force, Steven Rattner and Ron Bloom, though the judge did allow the lawsu
Ron Bloom, the former car czar under President Barack Obama, is being asked to clarify some of the statements he made under oath to the United States Congress last month. Three members of the Congressional oversight committee are specifically interested in the Bloom's denial that he remarked "I did all this for the unions" during a farewell speech. Representative Dan Burton, R-Ind., questioned Bloom about the statement at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight an
What do the Detroit automakers, Tesla Motors, Fisker Automotive and Honda have in common? Today, someone from each of these companies met with representatives from the Obama administration at the White House. On the table was a discussion of electric vehicles and how utility companies can/will play a role in the roll-out. Even though Obama himself supports plug-in vehicles, he was in Iowa for a health care rally. We don't know what was said in D.C., but the meeting was apparently headed by auto
Two weeks ago Fiat and Chrysler unleashed an ambitious five-year plan to return Detroit's number three automaker to financial and product health. The plan called for 14 all-new models based mostly on Fiat platforms and ten more vehicles which will receive much-needed attention. While Senator John McCain isn't so sure Chrysler will survive the next few years, Obama Auto Task Force Chief Ron Bloom likes what he sees.
The last two chief financial officers at General Motors, Rick Wagoner and Fritz Henderson, eventually became CEO. Ray Young, who has been CFO at the General for less than a year and a half, likely won't make it to the top. The Detroit News reports that Young is going to resign his post as CFO in the weeks ahead, and he may be only one of a few departures among senior GM brass.
Ron Bloom's role in the bankruptcy and re-emergence of Chrysler and General Motors has proven that his experience driving negotiations with the United Steelworkers union is portable. Pushing the two automotive giants through restructuring in an impressively quick manner has given the Obama administration the impression that Mr. Bloom (far left) is a good choice to head up a manufacturing overlord position which will focus on building that sector of America's economy back up. An appointment annou
On March 30, President Obama announced that the federal government would back the warranties of General Motors and Chrysler in the event of bankruptcy. When the president says the word "backing," he means cold, hard cash, and in this case the total was $641 million. But with both companies out of bankruptcy court and flush with the government cash needed to run their businesses, it is apparently time to pay the money back.
Steve Rattner, the former Wall Street executive who was tapped by the Obama Administration run point for the Auto Task Force, is reportedly stepping down after five months on the job. According to a statement from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Rattner (above, far right) will now "transition back to private life and his family in New York City." He added, "I hope that he takes another opportunity to bring his unique skills to government service in the future."
To date, the U.S. government has reportedly given General Motors, Chrysler, their financial institutions and various industry suppliers about $80 billion in taxpayer money, and Congress wants to know when we're going to get that money back. The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing with the Auto Task Force for the first time to discuss the state of the government loans, as well as whether or not taxpayers will ever be paid back.
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