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Pressure coming from different quarters to sell stake even at a loss

With the election behind President Obama, there will be pressure coming from different quarters to sell off the 32% of General Motors that the government owns.

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After General Motors and Chrysler required a combined $80 billion in government assistance to keep their doors open, many speculated that Uncle Sam would want to keep a hand in the carmaking cookie jar. While it is debatable how much control (a lot) the White House and Congress have over the Detroit automakers, it certainly appears that our politicians have taken a keen interest in the nation's auto industry.

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The facts in the case of the White House versus Edmunds are essentially indisputable – but they are open for interpretation. The federal government's $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program generated 690,000 sales by providing $3,500 and $4,500 vouchers to car buyers who turned in their eligible car or truck in exchange for a more fuel efficient ride. From here on in, Edmunds and the White House seem to be at considerable odds.

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The facts in the case of the White House versus Edmunds are essentially indisputable – but they are open for interpretation. The federal government's $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program generated 690,000 sales by providing $3,500 and $4,500 vouchers to car buyers who turned in their eligible car or truck in exchange for a more fuel efficient ride. From here on in, Edmunds and the White House seem to be at considerable odds.

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General Motors' bankruptcy endgame appears to be at hand, with word coming out that the automaker will indeed file for Chapter 11 protection early on Monday morning, which in turn is expected to trigger $30.1 billion in U.S. government loans. That funding will arrive on the heels of the $19.4 billion GM has already received since late last year, and Canada is expected to chip in an additional $9.5 billion. In exchange for that $30.1 billion in financing, Capitol Hill will receive a 60% share of

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According to The Washington Post, the White House is readying General Motors for a bankruptcy filing that could come as early as the end of next week. According to the paper, the proceedings would likely grant GM nearly $30 billion in additional federal loans, bringing taxpayer investments into the company to almost $45 billion.

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In addition to announcing the shuttering of Pontiac, General Motors has put forth a new offer to its bondholders to exchange $27 billion in claims for equity in the struggling automaker.

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President George W. Bush will doubtlessly be remembered for many things things, but his parting legacy may yet be his eleventh-hour pledge of $17.4 billion in low-interest loans to General Motors and Chrysler (Ford Motor Company has said it does not require relief at this time).

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The House of Bush told reporters this morning that the administration is looking into an "orderly" bankruptcy for General Motors and Chrysler that would be part of an overall rescue package. One possible plan is to give the two automakers enough cash to make it through the next few months (essentially the bailout funds that GM and Chrysler pleaded for in front of Congress) and after that time a federal overseer would sit down with the executives and other interested parties to discuss filing for

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55% of Americans are against a federal bailout of U.S. automakers. This, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll of 1,003 randomly-selected adults nationwide that was conducted by phone last week between December 11 and 14 (we didn't get a call, did you?). 42% of those polled express support for the measure, which died in the Senate late last Thursday night. The poll results show that respondents place 75% of the blame for the current crisis facing Detroit on the shoulders of management, wi

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9:30 AM EST has come and gone and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has officially begun its trading day. As expected, the index dropped sharply after the opening bell, which was rung today by singer/actress Mandy Moore. Ms. Moore watched as before sound waves from the bell hit the other side of the room, the Dow had fallen from 8,565 points to 8,348, or about 217 points. At the moment it's back up above 8,400 points, but who knows where we'll go from there.

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Rescue, bailout, whatever you want to call it, the bill that would shovel about $15 billion in gov't loans to General Motors and Chrysler is being finalized as we speak. The stumbling block between Congressional Democrats and the White House has been the breadth of power that will be given to a Bush-appointed Car Czar and whether or not automakers will be able to continue their legal fight against the state of California, 17 other states and the EPA over stricter emissions standards.

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In a December 6 White House press briefing, press secretary Dana Perino said the White House has a proposal for a new increase in the CAFE standard for light trucks and SUVs. The president has full control of the CAFE standard for light trucks (which includes SUVs but not passenger cars) and has used it twice in his administration. The news of a proposed, third change in SUV CAFE came in a response to a question on the support for the compromise reached on CAFE two weeks ago. As we reported, the

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What did I tell ya? The great photo above is of Bush and Dingell from 2005 but it could have been two days ago. According to the Detroit News, the House has delayed the energy bill vote. As we reported, CAFE is largely settled and even Toyota has come out in support of the new agreement. Trouble is, John Dingell has a problem with it, and it's the same problem, it turns out, that the White House mentioned in a letter to Congress threatening to veto the bill again. So, do they just have to dot so

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Recently we reported that the CAFE issue was largely settled in the energy bill. On CSPAN Monday, Edmund Andrews of the New York Times even dared to say Dingell "lost." Do not underestimate the power of the Dingell side, you have no idea of the power he possesses. Don't believe me? Let's keep in mind that, according to the Detroit News, Dingel did an interview Saturday where he said he got no help from the White House.

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The new Democratic Congress will be sworn in tomorrow, and the annual ritual of the Presidential State of the Union speech will follow in a few weeks' time. Last year, the Decider-in-Chief said America was "addicted to oil." What will his environmental and energy message be this year?

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On Tuesday, November 14, the CEO's of the three Detroit based car-makers finally got the White House meeting that they've been waiting for so many months. GM's Rick Wagoner, Chrysler's Tom LaSorda, and Ford's Alan Mulally got to sit down with the President in the oval office for about an hour. Today the three companies issued a joint statement about the meeting and it has some interesting details about energy policy. Among the highlights were a voluntary committment to making half of their annua

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Bill Ford, Rick Wagoner and Tom LaSorda have been twiddling their thumbs since May waiting for the White House to confirm a date for the Detroit trio to meet with George Bush, the D.C. decider. Tentative times have come and gone, and as each one passed, the perception that the current administration cares little about the challenges facing domestic automakers continued to grow. In reality, those challenges that include health care costs and the price of imported raw materials like steel, just di

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