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Inside the Chrysler, GM rescues

Bruce Nunnally

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At GM, members of the auto task force discovered an insulated cadre of executives, and "perhaps the weakest finance operation any of us had ever seen in a major company," Rattner wrote.

GM sent the government PowerPoint presentations almost daily, seeking approval to spend $100 million. But the task force was "appalled by the absence of sound analysis to justify these expenditures," Rattner wrote.

Senior GM executives worked on the top floor of Detroit's Renaissance Center, behind locked and guarded glass doors. The execs had special cards "that allowed them to descend to their private garage without stopping ... No mixing with the drones."

GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner set a tone at GM of "friendly arrogance."

"Rick and his team seemed to believe that virtually all of their problems could be laid at the feet of some combination of the financial crisis, oil prices, the yen-dollar exchange rate and the UAW," Rattner wrote.

It soon became clear to the task force that GM's management had to change.


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I always suspected as much. Why sell us a Humvee when what soccer moms want is a Wagoneer or Aerostar? Because, that's what GM wants to sell them and GM knows that people who come looking for a Cherokee or Aerostar can be sold a Humvee. Arrrgh. That's why I became a Ford man from 1986-1990, until I discovered the resurgent GM after Roger Smith's GM-10 debacle.

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