Bush Punts Auto Bailout to Obama’s Team

Color me unsurprised.

The Bush administration said it would lend $17.4 billion to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, buying them a few weeks of financial relief but leaving the biggest decisions about the industry’s future to President-elect Barack Obama.

Another WSJ article suggests, contrary to the opinion flagged by my new BFF Mickey Kaus, that Ford can share in the upside without suffering from the downside.

As the lone Big Three auto maker passing on a federal bailout, Ford Motor Co. won’t have to undergo an intrusive government review of its books and its business plans to become a viable company in order to qualify for –and keep — the low-interest loans authorized by the Bush Administration Friday.At the same time, the Dearborn, Mich. car company is likely to benefit from many of the concessions that General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC exact from the suppliers, unions, dealers and debt holders shared by all three companies.

I’ve written so much about the auto industry lately that I feel like I ought to have more to say about yesterday’s development. But as the first excerpt above points out, all this does is buy the companies a few weeks of grace, with any longer-term resolution to be overseen by the Obama Administration. And so I’m like, whatever.

Besides, I have to go out now and chip and shovel the snow that turned to rain late yesterday before freezing solid overnight. I suppose I could have written (or shoveled!) last night, but I had to sit on the couch and watch the original Die Hard on DVD with the Web Goddess. It’s always something.