Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Did Obama leave Money on the Table?

This is getting to be increasingly like a car deal.
Agence France-Presse via "Industry Week" - "Fiat said on June 9 it will stick with plans to forge an alliance with Chrysler after a U.S. Supreme Court decision put a temporary freeze on the transaction. "Fiat is committed (to a tie-up with Chrysler) even after June 15," a Fiat spokesman said. The company is entitled to pull out of the deal after that date if Chrysler's recovery plan has not been fully approved."
When you withdraw and offer, and the customer doesn't walk, it means they will pay more. It's one of the fundamental truths of negotiation, something you learn quickly or die in the car business.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg seemed the wrench throwing Supreme "wench" when she put a stay on the Chrysler Fiat marriage yesterday, but not, Fiat says they'll stick with the betrothal.

So are the bondholders who played high stakes poker with their whole pile of chips finding out they were right? There WAS more money on the table? It sure looks like it.

This is nervous for me in that I work for a Chrysler dealer, one that made it through the cut down and after last week it sure looked like everything was sailing towards salvation. Their were Bond Holders that realized that Chapter 7 Chrysler wouldn't pay out the return that Chapter 11 Chrysler would, even though they could snort and stomp about the unconstitutionality of the whole process, it seemed thy would warm to the idea of an equation that said "Lose $14,000,000.00" or "lose twice that much." That's pretty much the choice they were offered.

The Bond Holders seem to have come to the table and called the bluff saying "we think you'll pay more," Fiat's answer? "Maybe," which almost certainly means "yes." It's a short step then to "how much?"

In a game where union workers won't have anything, a job included, Fiat has expressed a willingness to pay more, and the Bond Holders say they WANT more, I'm guessing there just may be a move shortly after SCOTUS rules in favor of the bond holders to pay them more, which means the Union may get less or Fiat may pay more, or both. Of course if SCOTUS says "take what you got" to the bond holders a dangerous precedent looms for the rest of the secured debt world and Fiat apparently gets a steal. (UPDATE-that's the way it went down) That's the way I read it now.

Obama, any the way this turn(ed) out, is shown to have been so in love with the deal, that he made a bad one.

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