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NPR reports GM's Wagoner to resign, no successor as yet; NPR sees as part of Obama admin being tough on automakers

Update, 6:32pm: ABC News reports Obama asked that Wagoner step down. "Request by White House," exact wording.

NYTimes has article; there are numerous other reports on this.

This may be an interesting comparison with how the administration treats heads of failed and floundering banks and how it treats heads of companies which actually make things (and have unions).

I feel the US automakers' management did not prepare for necessary changes, but, again, the comparison is with financial institutions which have brough the economy to brink and how their managment has been treated in general. Like being on the inside of major negotiations and decisions with the administration....

Does this count as a GM sacrifice? From the Times article:

Speaking Sunday morning on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” President Obama stressed that he intended to maintain an American auto industry.

“But it’s got to be one that’s realistically designed to weather this storm, and to emerge at the other end much more lean, mean and competitive than it currently is,” he said. “And that’s going to mean a set of sacrifices from all parties involved — management, labor, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, dealers. Everybody is going to have to come to the table and say it’s important for us to take serious restructuring steps now, in order to preserve a brighter future down the road.” (My emphasis)

How much more sacrifice will labor, in its pensions and benefits, have to make? How many trillions to banksters, et al, and how much to manufacturers of stuff?

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koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Very macho in his fight against the hardly surviving auto industry (including Japanese auto makers in the South), while totally poodleish in confronting Walled in Street.

The president is worth the Profile in Courage award for poodles.

Submitted by jawbone on

Second time I"ve read this, and each time I'm delighted how well you put this.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I've always said that I wouldn't lose any sleep over seeing any of the heads of the Big Three go, but of the three heads, Rick was the only one I've almost sympathized with to any degree. He lived, breathed, and slept cars, and was the only one of the three to have worked his way up through the company ranks. To say he made mistakes would be an understatement, but when I pit him up against say Nardelli, it's not even a comparison. Nardelli's there for a check and you can tell he despises his job and knows nothing about cars, and Mulally's fortunate enough to have inherited the slightly more healthy of the Big Three. Both of these two are part of the game of Musical CEOs that is played in the business world (Malally from Boeing and Nardellia from Home Depot, lol).

Anyway, yeah, total double-standard. The bank, insurance, and mortgage CEOs are just short of wined-and-dined by this administration, and the banksters practically skipped out of the White House arm-and-arm with Obama, the other day. It's funny how men that shamelessly and maliciously lied and cheated and looted get better treatment than the guys who made mistakes, if even they were huge mistakes (Hummer, anyone?).

I won't be shedding any tears for Wagoner. Besides his pride and the hurt feelings from a forced break-up, he'll be alright. He'd be the first to tell you that. What I'm afraid of is what's in store for the workers.