The federal government handouts to the auto industry continued over the weekend with the announcement of a $4 billion bridge loan to Chrysler LLC to help keep the Big Three automaker afloat. Chrysler, be it duly noted, is 81 percent owned by Cerberus Capital Management LP, one of the world's largest hedge funds, which has been inexplicably unwilling to use any of its own billions to help the troubled automotive giant.
In a December 23 communication sent to the American Civil Liberties Union's benefactors, administration and finance director Alma Montclair reported that the organization will not receive the sum of $850,000 from two foundations whose contributions were counted on to continue the group's work. The unnamed donors, she stated, have been "forced to close their doors and terminate their grants" because they "have been victimized by the Madoff scandal."
The recent decision by the federal government to bail out GMAC, the financing arm of General Motors, encouraged the illusion that the federal government has decided to "rescue" the U.S. automobile industry, saving many thousands of jobs and sparing America untold economic pain in the process. But the truth of the matter is less encouraging.