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I guess I misunderstood the June 1deadline for General Motors to get all its restructuring plans approved.
Silly me, I thought that was a deadline to
bankruptcy. Turns out it was the deadline to
All that business about getting bondholders and the United Auto Workers to agree to a restructuring plan was just a way of getting everything ready for the court.
What a let down. I was on pins and needles there last week, thinking GM was seriously trying to avert a court-managed restructuring. All those last-minute deals with the UAW and bondholders provided a lot of drama, but the director of this tragicomedy had other ideas. You know who I mean. The "director" of this staged bankruptcy drama has been President Obama.
That's good film making, using a little misdirection to set things up for the surprising next scene, and I fell for it. I really believed there was a chance of avoiding bankruptcy and that everyone would be better off outside the courts.
I thought maybe GM could follow the example of rival
, and preserve as much value as possible for those who've stuck with the company through the hard times - the shareholders who've lost most of the value of their investments and the bondholders who are getting shortchanged.
I knew this was possible. Everyone seemed to think it was inevitable. Yet I had hoped that the Obama administration and the folks at GM might really be trying to avoid bankruptcy. After all, there was no push to get
Bank of America
to reorganize under bankruptcy pressure.
The financial firms have all been given more breaks and more time. Not so for the carmakers.
I guess it could be worse for GM -- at least the company isn't being chopped up and sold to an Italian rival.
That's Chrysler's fate with Fiat.
Hall is the editor of
. Previously, he served as deputy editor and chief innovation officer at
The Orange County Register
and as a news manager at
in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. As a reporter, he covered business and financial markets, worked in both print and television in the U.S. and Europe, and conducted in-depth investigative coverage at
in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work also has been published in a variety of newspapers including
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
International Herald Tribune
. Hall received a bachelor�s degree in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University and has taken graduate management science courses at Boston University.