Stuff on my mind:
The internet interaction will continue at change.gov from the "Office of the President-Elect", complete with blog, space for your posts, and promises of future government transparency. Yeah, Obama's cool and all, but I would hope that independent verification will still come into play.
GM warned that its cash reserves could sink below the minimum level it needs to operate by year's end unless it gets federal aid or can tap other resources.
Massive ugliness ensues. Watch what happens. The auto industry wants $50 billion on top of the $25B, and it needs that $25B right now. Reaching that "minimum level to operate" bottom at GM looks like this-
Perceptions of running out of cash can quickly turn into reality at a company like GM. At year's end, GM's outside auditors have to say whether there's substantial doubt about the company's ability to be, in business parlance, a going concern. If the auditors make such a statement, GM will violate a number of credit agreements, including at least $6 billion in loans -- which banks could call back immediately. The automaker would either have to get a waiver from its lenders or secure even more loans.
Don't know about the possibilities of a waiver, and more loans seems unlikely, so then this happens-
GM and other U.S. automakers need such aid or the domestic auto industry will fall, taking with it nearly 3 million jobs and demolishing the retirement funds of people throughout the country, analysts said. For every job in an assembly plant, there are 7.5 jobs with auto parts suppliers and other companies.
3 million jobs and "demolished retirement funds". Gone. On top of the rapid acceleration of job losses that are already occurring. You can hazard a guess that the ripple effect doesn't stop at 7.5 jobs when you add in things such as consumer confidence and other peripheral factors; the number is probably incalculable.
Urgent, wouldn't you say? Apparently not if your name is George Bush or Henry Paulson.
Obama pressed the Bush Administration to speed the disbursement of $25 billion in retooling loans for automakers that were approved by Congress in September. But the Energy Department said in a conference call this week that it was "doubtful" that any money would be released before next year. Automakers can start applying for loans on Monday under the rules released this week.
Democratic leaders want to extend the Wall Street bailout to automakers through the TARP program - giving taxpayers a stake in the auto companies - and apparently that option is available under the discretion of the Federal Reserve chairman and the Treasury Department.
What say you, Bush people? Want to put the brakes on the pending collapse of the American economy?
The White House said Friday it wasn't planning to extend the Wall Street bailout to automakers without direction from Congress. Paulson has preferred that automakers get aid from the Energy Department program first.
No? Well, alright. Let the legacy be that the Bush administration could have stopped or slowed the freefall, and chose not to.
Call it a farewell present to the American people, and the card will read: From the Worst. President. Ever.