W. = "Won’t bail out" GM and Ford
WSJ.com – Bush Plays Down Bailout Prospects For GM and Ford:
Also: GM posted more than an $8 Billion Loss for FY 2005, announced today.
“President Bush said General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. should develop ‘a product that's relevant' rather than look to Washington for help with their heavy pension obligations, and hinted he would take a dim view of a government bailout of the struggling auto makers.”
Bush said he didn't want to be put in the position to say yes or no to a Chrysler-style bailout, but he made it sound like that wasn't a precedent he wanted to repeat.
In discussing the auto companies' woes, Mr. Bush suggested his sympathies lie more with the workers who are displaced or unsettled by a changing corporate environment, saying his administration would focus on ways to retrain laid-off employees. “This is going to be a very troubling time for workers and their families,” Mr. Bush said, adding that companies had an obligation to assist employees they cut loose.
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There’s more on this at Scatterbox in a post titled, “Speaking of relevance, Mr. President…” The nation’s CEO has a far worse track record than the auto companies he scolded for not controlling costs and being irrelevant to the public.
Tom LaSorda also made news last week, comenting that governments could do more to control the currency markets to help domestic automakers compete.
In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, LaSorda said Japanese automakers have a trade advantage that has nothing to do with products, quality or productivity.
“The Japanese Central Bank intervenes in currency markets to keep the yen cheap and to create an advantage for its industry. Why doesn’t our government do the same for us?” LaSorda said.
Right, wrong or otherwise – the Big 3 seem to all agree that the government could do something to help them compete.