Friday, June 05, 2009

Government Motors

Here is what President Obama said about the GM restructuring:
What we are not doing -- what I have no interest in doing -- is running GM. GM will be run by a private board of directors and management team with a track record in American manufacturing that reflects a commitment to innovation and quality. They -- and not the government -- will call the shots and make the decisions about how to turn this company around. The federal government will refrain from exercising its rights as a shareholder in all but the most fundamental corporate decisions. When a difficult decision has to be made on matters like where to open a new plant or what type of new car to make, the new GM, not the United States government, will make that decision.

In short, our goal is to get GM back on its feet, take a hands-off approach, and get out quickly.
Very well put. Apparently, however, the president's congressional allies did not get the memo. Today's Boston Globe reports:

Frank intervention extends life of GM's Norton center

General Motors Corp. will delay the closing of a Norton parts distribution center it planned to shutter by the end of the year, according to US Representative Barney Frank. The extension will temporarily preserve about 80 jobs....

The plant manager received word yesterday that Frank had successfully lobbied GM chief executive Fritz Henderson to delay the closing....

Frank, whose district includes Norton, said he told Henderson, "Look, I understand that these things have to happen but they don't have to happen in the midst of the worst recession in years."

Will the Obama administration call Congressman Frank and ask him to refrain from further politicization of GM business decisions? Or will it put aside its principles and defer to Congress on these matters?