President Obama’s Auto Task Force Chairman Steven Rattner resigned suddenly earlier this week after reports that the New York Attorney General’s office was investigating Rattner’s role in a New York State pension bribery scandal.
Item: Writing in the online Newsweek for June 2, Daniel Gross observed: “It’s been a long time since American devotees of Marx … have had much to cheer about. But with the bankruptcy filings of General Motors and Chrysler, and the transfer of stock ownership from the firms’ long-suffering shareholders to the government and unions, communists of the world can rejoice. The workers are now, finally, significant owners of the means of production. The United Auto Workers control about 65 percent of Chrysler and 17.5 percent of General Motors.”
The ADP National Employment Report estimated that the national economy shed some 473,000 jobs in June, which may be enough to bring the national unemployment rate to the 10-percent threshold once official figures are tallied later in the month.
Ford Motor Company was supposed to be the only major U.S. automaker not in need of a bailout, but this week Ford accepted a $5.9 billion loan subsidy under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The EISA loan is designed to help the auto industry by supporting “capital investments in facilities designed to produce vehicles with greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.”