Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fiat Furiously Backpedalling

In the greatest diplomatic gaffe since Bush Sr. vomited all over Japanese PM Miyazawa, Fiat has sisued a brief with the Supreme Court, claiming what it said yesterday is actually not what it meant.
Whatever commitment Fiat may have to provide the industrial support and management expertise required to restore Chrysler to viability, any further delay imperils the chances of achieving an agreement that would permit Fiat to provide such support, leaving the alternative of a devastating [this was where the Italian translator whipped out a Thesaurus and was told to find the most dramatic, polysyllabic synonym of "big"] liquidation of Chrysler. Even the publicity surrounding the current delay puts Chrysler at further risk by sowing seeds of uncertainty among the many constituencies — employees, suppliers, dealers and taxpayers — who have supported this transaction and whose continued belief in the potential renewed viability of Chrysler is crucial to its survival. Further delay would only compound this risk while serving no countervailing public interest.
No countervailing public interest? How about the interest of those who, rightfully or otherwise, believe they have valid claims, and aside from the creditors, what about all those Asbestos claimants who will be stuck sucking their own thumb until the earlier of i) perpetuity or ii) until asbestosis creeps up.

Of course, this is merely damage control, and the damage already has been done. While yesterday ZH gave the appeal a 0.001% chance of getting cert, over the past 24 hours that probability has risen significantly in our opinion. Also, the 15th is a Monday, meaning the clock is starting to tick very loud for Steve Rattner. Maybe it is time he discovered what Ruth Ginsburg's direct line is and "presented" his view of the situation. Sphere: Related Content
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