"[Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton has intervened in talks over the future of Opel and Vauxhall at the request of German ministers," reports the London Times . Why is that fascinating to those who read the gossip columns? Because the two bidders for Opel are FIAT of Italy and Magna of Canada. Magna's Executive Vice-Chairman and former CEO is Belinda Stronach (whose father, Frank Stronach, founded the company and is board chairman). Belinda Stronach has been linked in the gossip pages with ... Bill Clinton. Even the Washington Post once cited Canadian reports of their "'close personal and business relationship.'" She's the one whose mere presence in a tabloid photograph , leaving a restaurant in a group with Bill, caused concern among N.Y. Dem pols, according to the NYT .
Now Bill Clinton's wife will help decide the fate of her firm's bid for Opel.
I thought Jeffrey Toobin told us sex was never relevant ! ... [ Hillary's listed as a friend on her (unofficial) MySpace "tribute" page . Will her relationship with Bill hurt her or help her?--ed Don't know. But it's likely to be one or the other!]
Update: It appears that Stronach's firm, Magna, will get Opel (after coming up with "new ideas"). That leaves FIAT the loser bidder, and FIAT's new American partner, the New! Chrysler, looking awfully Chooch y:
Opel’s technology would have been a major asset in the Chrysler effort, because of its strength in small to medium size cars that Chrysler’s current lineup lacks. Industry analysts were much bigger supporters of the potential Opel deal for Fiat, viewing the chance of a successful combination with Chrysler as much smaller. [ NYT ]
Defining Ruthlessness Down
"As it has been up to this point, the Obama administration's role going forward is to be ruthless and impatient about the restructuring of these once-great American companies so they can emerge from the current recession profitable and competitive." -- Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein, defending the Chrysler and GM bailouts . [E.A]
"For our active members these tentative changes mean no loss in your base hourly pay, no reduction in your healthcare and no reduction in pensions ." --UAW memo to GM workers about the concessions made to help the company. Via WSJ . [E.A.]