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July 19, 2010

Obama's Management of GM, Chrysler Cost 10,000+ Jobs

Et tu Times?

President Obama’s auto task force pressed General Motors and Chrysler to close scores of dealerships without adequately considering the jobs that would be lost or having a firm idea of the cost savings that would be achieved, an audit of the process has concluded.

The report by Neil M. Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program of the Treasury Department, said both carmakers needed to shut down some underperforming dealerships. But it questioned whether the cuts should have been made so quickly, particularly during a recession. The report, released on Sunday, estimated that tens of thousands of jobs were lost as a result.

“It is not at all clear that the greatly accelerated pace of the dealership closings during one of the most severe economic downturns in our nation’s history was either necessary for the sake of the companies’ economic survival or prudent for the sake of the nation’s economic recovery,” the report said.

Translation of that last bit: it was bad management and bad economics and we can't for the life of us figure out what the President thought he was doing. However, I have a suggestion or two.

The truth is that the Administration was in full panic mode and were trying to chop the auto companies down to something a distracted, inexperienced bureaucracy could manage. Both GM and Chrysler ultimately rejected hundreds of Obama terminations -- evidence that the President's taskforce was making hasty and arbitrary choices.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:33 AM

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