We have nice bright sunshine though very low temps. I read 8 degrees on my patio thermometer earlier and the expected high is only in the low 20s. At least we have a brief respite from snow and clouds. The last bit of precipitation was not nearly so bad as expected. Who knows what the next ones will bring. The systems are still lined up, according to the weather reporters.
CNBC had extended live coverage of the automakers' CEOs testifying before the Senate Banking Committee. I had a definite feeling of having heard all this non-information before. And like before I was neither impressed nor encouraged by what I heard. One Senator, and I wish I could remember who it was, deserved kudos for tackling the myth of the $73/hour autoworker head on and calling it what it was--misleading mythology. So far, my opinion is still the same--let the big three go through bankruptcy and reorganize. The arguments they make against that don't really hold water. Their sales have already tanked and I doubt that bankruptcy will hurt them that much. They are planning mass lay-offs and mass closings of dealerships anyway. I also don't believe this is a one time deal and they will be back for more next year. I hate thinking about the jobs that will be lost and the business that will go under but that will happen anyway. I hate even more thinking about putting all that money down a rat hole and I fear that is exactly what will happen.
Chris In Paris, blogging at Americablog, echos some of my own sentiments and adds another. I have no confidence that the management of these companies are really equipped to deal with this situation. He specifically mentions Nardelli at Chrysler and his history at Home Depot which is not confidence inspiring. Even at $1/year he would be grossly overpaid. I wonder how many of their upper management, if they get this bail-out, will get 'retention pay.'
And Robert Reich says pretty much what I said on Wednesday and provides an historical connection to solidify the sentiments. The ostensible reason for bailing out the automakers, the reason Senator Dodd and others make the centerpiece of their insistent demand for a bailout, is to save jobs. Reich notes that, during the bailout of Chrysler during the early 1980s, Chrysler cut its workforce deeply and most of those jobs did not come back even after Chrysler returned to profitability. As I said on Wednesday 'give me a better reason.'
I think I will leave this for now. It is time to get some breakfast and do a few chores.