GM Gets Surgical

Doubt continues to grow on whether or not GM can avoid bankruptcy very soon. GM is backed into a corner with its well-heeled bond holders not budging and too many creditors clamoring for cash while the feds while away the hours on the doomsday clock.

People's jobs are at stake, to say nothing for Detroit prestige, and money is all that seems to matter to the bond holders who could save it all.

GM and others are pushing for a "surgical" bankruptcy that could put GM into bankruptcy court on a "preplanned" approach that would go into court with the intention of getting, in advance, the agreement of enough creditors to quickly pull livable pieces of the corporation out of bankruptcy and leave unprofitable pieces to their bankruptcy fate. The goal would be to get the profitable pieces out of court control in a matter of weeks.

But bankruptcy experts are saying it likely wouldn't be less than 6 months before bankruptcy court lets go of any pieces of the GM pie. A good example? The musings of many when Delphi was headed into bankruptcy court just before it filed in October 2005. It's still there.

GM wants its monied bond holders to cut two thirds of the debt by swapping bonds for GM shares but they aren't buying it. Given the recent trading history of GM stock, no one can blame them. A buck sixty eight a share in the afternoon of April 20, 2009. Whoddathunk?

None of this is shaking out too good for GM or Detroit. It won't be pretty for GM owners either. If your car is still covered by warranty, and you've got defects, better get it to the shop pretty soon, while dealers are still willing to honor the GM warranty. Once a bankruptcy is filed by GM, it's anyone's bet on what will happen next.