Monday

Bidding Starts for Chrysler

A few weeks ago we reported that GM was talking with DaimlerChrysler about buying the ailing Chrysler US operation. Turns out they were not only talking, they actually made a low ball bid.

GM offered to take over Chrysler in exchange for a small amount of GM stock and DaimlerChyrsler paying GM money to take on Chrysler's $16 Billion health care liability. Sounds like GM made a low ball bid in order to set itself up for later negotiations. If so, that time may be coming.

DaimlerChrysler is saying they want the Chrysler bids in hand before the next stockholder meeting on April 4 and a sale set up by September. With that kind of timetable, the bidders are circling like wolves around a crippled calf, just licking their chomps.

Possible buyers have been identified as Cerberus Capital Management or the Blackstone Group or Canadian supplier Magna International. All three are reported to be talking to union reps, probably asking for pay cuts, and Magna is reported to have put out the best bid so far.

Once again, you just don't know where the dust will settle in Detroit. And once again, the uncertainty of Chrysler has people saying that this is no time to buy a new Chrysler unless you can get it at one heck of a price.

That's a shame too because a thousands of ordinary people depend on Chrysler for their survival. The bigger shame is that when the Germans staged their $36 Billion buying coup in 1998, it was the blue suits in the boardroom that let them buy it out ... and who made out like a bandit? Why, those same blue suits, of course.

When Daimler took over, everyday Americans in Detroit lost their jobs, the boardroom bandits grabbed their money (lots of it) and ran, and now DaimlerChrysler's "American experiment" has come full circle. The problem is, foreigners are still the ones who are looking at picking up the pieces.

When will Congress change the laws to stop this sort of corporate shenanigans? When people start making their voices heard in Washington louder than the sound of silver dollars being tossed at the politicians in their fundraisers.

These days, maybe what we need is a Lemon Law that covers politicians.

Click here to write your congressman and complain. Let them know you’re watching what they are NOT doing. Politicians don’t like that and maybe that’ll keep them honest.