What's in this bill? Will the White House approve? The bill may not meet the President's demand for only giving money to "viable" businesses. The bill does require the automakers to sell their corporate jets, a symbolic gesture that each of the Shrinking Three has already promised to do anyway. Want a used jet anyone?
The bill proposed will limit executive pay, prevent shareholder dividends until the loans are paid back and the loans will be at 5% annual interest. The federal government would $1 worth of stock warrant in the borrowing automakers for every $5 loaned.
If the bill goes ahead it would create a car boss who'd have veto power over any corporation taking the loan money. GM and Chrysler have both said they cannot continue without loans. Ford might not need to take any loan. The car czar would have review power over any decision valued at $25 million or more, presumably that would include some of the traditional bonuses in the car biz. And any union contract worthy of the name. Further the car boss would come up with a set of rules for the American car makers by the end of the year. That is, if they can find anybody who'd take this thankless, perhaps hopeless, mission. President Bush would be empowered to pick the car czar.
The smart car was originally designed by Swatch and was always meant to be electric, just that for the first ten years of commercial production it's been internal combustion instead. That's the sort of brilliance that led Daimler to try to swallow Chrysler, only to spit it out after corporate intestinal blockage occurred.