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Auto bailout could happen by Friday

by Michigan Business Review

Wednesday December 17, 2008, 6:23 AM

Reports are circulating that automakers could have an approved plan as soon as Friday, after U.S. Treasury officials evaluate national banking reserves.

And President Bush is quoted as saying he's "considering all options" for U.S. auto companies seeking financial aid to overcome a cash crisis.

"I have abandoned free-market principles to save the free- market system," Bush said. The U.S. is "in a huge recession," he said in an interview with CNN.

The Detroit News reports this morning that the Treasury is still asking questions of the automakers even as it considers the impact of the immediate $15 billion in emergency aid it's closer to awarding to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler.

"The autos will get the money as quickly as we can prudently do it," Paulson told CNBC.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times is reporting that Treasury also is considering what kind of conditions to impose on the loan, and how they'll compare to the bailout package defeated earlier this month.

"The Treasury has signalled that while it expects to impose conditions in return for a loan, it may not replicate the precise conditions set out in the failed legislation.

In contrast with recent financial interventions, which have sometimes been pulled together over a weekend, the Treasury is proceeding deliberately over the conditions of the loan.

[article]

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