Monday, February 23, 2009

Is Coyote dissecting Chrysler or conducting an autopsy?

Whichever it is, you should read his extensive take on why Chrysler should not receive another penny of public support.

Here's a key excerpt:

In section one, they blame it all on the credit markets. Specifically, the lack of ability of the Chrysler finance arm to lend to customers. But I showed the other day that consumer lending is still strong by banks. What they are really saying here, but they are smart enough not to utter the actual words, is that their sales depended on a finance arm that was willing to lend at below-market rates to people with bad credit scores, and the lack of this hidden subsidy is what is making it hard to sell their cars. Credit exists — what no longer exists is zero-percent-interest-to-anyone-who-walks-in-the-door-no-questions-asked financing. Instead of figuring out how to make cars that don’t require hidden subsidies to get off the lot, they are trying to get the government to fund their hidden subsidies.

Two problems here:

1) This is a thoughtful, critical economic analysis, based on real accounting and rigorous logic. Thoughtful is not in, today, when we have to spend hundreds of billions of dollars immediately, if not sooner without even taking time to let people read the legislation.

2) Too many people will say that we have to save Chrysler for the sake of the workers. I'd much rather provide direct economic support to the workers while they find other jobs than to put their industry on the public dole, forcing me to continue to subsidize a failed upper and middle management corps. You want the big wigs punished? Then let their companies go under....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But the argument you will get from the pro-industry people is: Jobs.Where will they find these jobs you speak of?

Bottom line ..... the government will never let the big three go bankrupt. They will tell you that the effects to the economy will be catastrophic. That is not the case. The only reason bankruptcy is off the table is if it goes before a judge, union contracts will be voided.