As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Genetically Modified GM

In just a little over a month, a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of GM to essentially itself, which took effect in a record amount of time.

General Motors Corp. sped toward a record-short escape from bankruptcy protection Thursday when a judge's order approving the sale of most of its assets to a new company went into effect.

The order, delayed four days to allow time for appeals, became effective despite a last-minute appeal from plaintiffs in an Arizona product liability case against GM involving a Chevrolet Malibu.

GM spokeswoman Julie Gibson said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber's order allowing the sale became effective at 12 p.m. EDT. GM lawyers are working on paperwork to close the sale as quickly as possible, after which GM would leave bankruptcy protection.

Once the world's largest and most powerful automaker, GM will become a leaner and greener company, cleansed of debts and burdensome contracts that nearly dragged it into liquidation.

But it faces brutal international competition and the worst auto sales market in more than 25 years.

Emerging from bankruptcy in 39 days, considering the size of the company and the nature of the tangle of debt, is pretty remarkable. Some predicted 6 months.

The question becomes, "Now what?" Nobody's buying cars, and GM still has some significant legacy costs, particularly in that little thing called health care, which we want to reform so American businesses can actually compete on a global stage. Sadly, keeping the employer-based system largely intact won't do much for GM. Sadly, I don't think Congress is taking into account the importance of how what we'll see on the other side of the health care debate can help businesses and manufacturing.

...the geniuses in Congress want to reverse the closing of thousands of auto dealerships, saddling GM and Chrysler with costs they cannot possibly manage and basically kissing billions of taxpayer dollars goodbye. Great move, guys!

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