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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

House Starts Beating Up On Big Three

Yesterday, the heads of Detroit's Big Three automakers got slapped around by the Senate. Today, it's the House's turn.

The whole thing reminds us of an excellent commercial of yore for ESPN's "Sportscenter," in which offended heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield stalked through the sports network's newsroom in search of a particular on-air personality, urging him to "come on out and get your whuppin'!"

Seated before Rep. Barney Frank's (D-Mass.) Financial Services committee are GM's Rick Wagoner, Ford's Alan Mulally and Chrysler's Bob Nardelli, seeking $34 billion in government loans. They are joined by UAW president Ron Gettelfinger.

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) just landed an effective punch:

"After a decade of declining sales volume, you tell us that if it weren't for the current financial crisis, people would be buying the products form Detroit," she said, adding that the Big Three's problems are the result of "overcapacity, poor corporate governance and a lack of foresight."

She allowed that Ford had the "foresight to make preparations for the future," but that GM and Chrysler ignored deteriorating conditions, "probably planning on coming to Congress" to ask for money.

"They have acted with negligent disregard," she said.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 5, 2008; 10:27 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Barney Frank, Chrysler, Ford, GM, General Motors  
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