As I predicted last week here on the BiggerPockets Blog, the President told the press this afternoon he ordered the Treasury to bailout the automakers. In my post entitled, Can Hank Paulson Use TARP Funds To Bail Out Auto-Makers?, I foretold this action a week in advance.
Surprisingly I received a few comments chiding me for not reading the TARP legislation stating how TARP was reserved for banking institutions. Of course, I’m not going to say, “I told you so”….
Wait…of course I am…
“I Told You So!”
The AP reported the President’s order this way,
“Some $13.4 billion of the rescue money will be available this month and next — $9.4 billion of it for General Motors Corp. and $4 billion for Chrysler LLC, the two auto giants that have said they could be facing bankruptcy soon without government help. GM is slated to receive the remaining $4 billion in loans after more money is released from the financial rescue account. Ford Motor Co. says it doesn’t need federal cash now but would be badly damaged if one or both of the other two went under.”
I also knew this morning the announcement was coming because Hank Paulson announced the move a lot earlier than the President.
I’ll share those typically arrogant Paulson words in full below,
Secretary Paulson Statement on Stabilizing the Automotive Industry
“Washington- Today, we have acted to support General Motors and Chrysler, with the requirement that they move quickly to develop and adopt acceptable plans for long term viability. This step will prevent significant disruption to our economy, while putting the companies on a path to the significant restructuring necessary to achieve long-term viability. At the same time, we are including loan provisions to protect the taxpayers to the maximum extent possible.
Treasury will make these loans using authority provided for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. While the purpose of this program and the enabling legislation is to stabilize our financial sector, the authority allows us to take this action. Absent Congressional action, no other authorities existed to stave off a disorderly bankruptcy of one or more auto companies.
As a result of this decision, Treasury effectively has allocated the first $350 billion from the TARP. The actual disbursement of this amount is subject to approval of bank capital applications, many of which remain with the regulators and will not reach Treasury for review until early next year. Disbursement is also subject to finalizing the structure for the Federal Reserve-Treasury consumer credit program (TALF). In the very short-term, the allocated but not yet disbursed TARP balances, in conjunction with the powers of the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, give me confidence that we have the necessary resources to address a significant financial market event. It is clear, however, that Congress will need to release the remainder of the TARP to support financial market stability. I will discuss that process with the congressional leadership and the President-elect’s transition team in the near future.”
I’ll be glad when this guy (and his boss) is gone…
Photo Credit: Current