GM's Wagoner Hard To Pin Down
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.), vice-chair of the Financial Services committee, which is grilling the heads of the Big Three automakers right now, just conducted a fun-to-watch interrogation of GM chief Rick Wagoner, trying to pin him down on exactly How. Much. Cash. GM. Needs. Kanjorksi even phrased his question that way out of frustration.
You had to wait to the end of the exchange to get to this nugget of news: If GM gets its share of the $25 billion in instant loans the Big Three automakers are seeking, it has a "good shot" of making it through 2009.
Here's the exchange:
Kanjorski: "When will you run out of money?"
Wagoner: "I can't tell you that for certain. It depends on whether suppliers will continue to ship us parts..."
K (interrupting): "Accounting-wise...someone has briefed you on that, Mr. Wagoner."
W: "If everyone asked for their money to be paid off it would cause a tremendous run on our financial position."
K: "What amount of money do you need to make it to March 30?"
W: "We have talked about the $25 billion bridge loans for the three automakers..."
K (interrupting): "How much for GM?"
W: "We talked about an allocation approximately based on the U.S. market share of GM that suggests $10-to-$12 billion."
K: "I don't understand what they hell you just told me. How much do you need to make it from today until March 30?"
W: "That depends on what happens to suppliers..."
K (interrupting): "The worst-case scenario."
W: "It would be significant."
K: "What is 'significant?' By March 30, you're out of money -- is that right?"
W: "We don't assume a lot of recovery next year. On that basis, with the amount of funding presumably to be allocated to us, we think we have a good shot to make it through next year."
-- Frank Ahrens
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November 19, 2008; 11:52 AM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: Detroit bailout, General Motors
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