First, I'm inclined to think that a big reason that the automakers' execs did not have a plan was that they watched the Wall Street hearings in Congress a few weeks before, and assumed that they would be treated in the same manner as the good folks on Wall Street, who had nary a plan.
Second, a big reason for the current, acute nature of the Big Three's problems is that people have not been able to (or are afraid to) purchase a new vehicle now because of the economic downturn that was precipitated by the good folks on Wall Street.
So ironically, the biggest manufacturing industry in America is now at risk--and may result in millions of people out of work--because of the good folks on Wall Street who were given hundreds of billions of dollars a few weeks ago with almost no controls at all.
During World War II, Detroit was called the "Arsenal of Democracy" because it quickly ramped up to make most of the tools that defended the free world against fascism. If a global conflict were to begin next week, would anyone in the US be able to do the same?
Dec 2 2008 - 9:41pm