Steve Rattner Saves Detroit!

Steve Rattner Saves Detroit!

Steve Rattner Saves Detroit!

A mostly political weblog.
June 15 2009 3:08 PM

Steve Rattner Saves Detroit!

Embarrassing suck-up post by Henry Blodget crediting "Barack Obama and Steve Rattner" with more-or-less saving General Motors, which "now plans to be profitable ... at a 10-million-unit US annual rate of sales, versus the 15 million previously" and which "has a new car that some people actually want to buy--the Camaro--which apparently gets 29 miles per gallon with 300 horsepower." ... Blodget's analysis: "Exciting!" ... a) "Barack Obama and Steve Rattner." I wonder how poor Ron Bloom feels. Bloom may have more power on the Obama auto task force than Rattner but he doesn't have the media connections. b) If General Motors doesn't "turnaround," will we be allowed to blame Rattner? [ 'Even Steve Rattner couldn't save GM'--ed Sigh]  c) Rattner shows up and, boom, suddenly GM has "a new car that some people actually want to buy"!  It's amazing Rattner had time to design and produce the new Camaro so quickly with all his other financial and filmmaking activities. d) The 300-hp. Camaro gets 22 mpg overall --not bad, but it's deceptive for Blodget to use the higher "highway" estimate.  e) The Camaro, with projected sales of around 100,000, isn't nearly a big enough deal in itself to save GM. And do you really think the Camaro's "halo" is going to get people to buy this ? ...

Blodget seems like a journalistic marshmallow. Whatever news outfit helped rehabilitate this once-tarnished figure has a lot to answer for. ... Oh, wait . Never mind. ...


Update: A better-informed take from Robert Farago , who's perhaps too committed to the Bail/FAIL! thesis. Still ... On holdover GM bureaucrats:

If anything, Chapter 11 means they’re even LESS motivated than before. Think of it this way: if GM’s overlords screw the pooch (again), what are the feds going to do? Declare bankruptcy?

On the Presidential task force (PTFOA):

"Hands-off" or not, the 25-member PTFOA adds another level of bureaucracy above the existing GM bureaucracy. If each PTFOA member fires off fifty emails a day, that’s 1,250 more internal comms  per day . The PTFOA also has a staff. Meetings. Agendas. Targets. Reports. Memos. The federal quango is a shadow governing body for a company that needs less management, not  more .

True story: New GM is inherently worse than old GM. And it’s going to get worse from here.

Plus: But by 2012, GM will be 82% of the way toward saving 29% on engineering costs ! Even Automotive News is laughing at them, apparently. ... 12:27 P.M.