Sunday, December 14, 2008

Who Will Drive the Wild Car in Washington?

Much to the chagrin of the Big Three Auto-Titans, the music still hasn’t stopped and their bronze medal dancing has tangoed on for weeks around very wobbly court chairs. What had started out as a respectable pleading, now had them retching humble pie on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

And what had started out as $25 billion, had now been whittled down for the umteenth time to around $14 billion. It was an eye-opening sight to behold the new King’s court making its decisive motion to silence the music. Yet just as the new King's court moved in to halt the Auto-Titans' dance long enough for a sit-down, the old King’s court hotfooted in posthaste and ripped the chairs right out from under everyone just because they could.

We could see in our rear view mirror that the ancient rituals of old court vs. new court would certainly not be changing this time around. Out of all this posturing, however, did emerge what appeared to be an unusually constructive solution to the Big Three’s serious financial dilemma.

The Big Three Automakers would never see a dime … from TARP that is. Instead, Congress surprisingly agreed to take the Blago (see definition below) approach and simply sell the job posting of “Car Czar” to the highest bidder. The duties of the new Car Czar would not only be the review and approval of all Big Three workout plans, the Car Czar would be the one to lend them the money as well - on favorable terms and with a little governmental guarantee no doubt.

Rahmbo (see definition below) had already leaked the list of acceptable Car Czar candidates for Congressional interviewing and interrogation. The problem was that every prominent and potential auto industry savior on the list had placed its financial future in the hands of Bernie (see definition below) and it looked like Bernie was going to jail.

But all was not lost.

Racing straight from the Indy500 to D.C., came the shocking Car Czar wild card winner, Danica Patrick. Her well-oiled team swooped in like a pit crew wearing lip stick. She was a young, marketing machine who knew what made cars go. The time she spent under the sponsorship of subprime giant Argent/Ameriquest taught her a thing or two about loans, and her current GoDaddy sponsorship could equitably fund a portion of the Big Three bailout bridge loan in question. It was also believed that GoDaddy would give her the worldwide internet exposure she needed to raise plenty of additional capital in record time.

We overheard someone say that the new Car Czar tends to invest in what she loves, and we wondered if that, combined with a progressive, open-minded approach to doing 21st century business, would be enough to turn the Auto-Titanic around. But the real question is, who’s spinning the discs in the Court of Congress now?

For more Carmakers-The Musical, see our ‘In The Rear View Mirror’ November 22, 2008 posting "Will They Get Dubai a Stairway to Heaven?"

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