05/27/09 Washington – Government Motors.
A new name for Detroit's weakened auto giant GM is making the rounds, sometimes with irony, sometimes with dread, suggested by the deepest Washington industrial intervention in a half-century. The Obama administration is planting itself at the wheel of General Motors with a major ownership stake — and all that goes with it for the U.S. taxpayer.
The company appeared closer than ever to filing for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday after its bondholders turned their backs on a federally ordered offer to swap their debt for GM stock. If GM does file (and they will have to), the governments of the United States and Canada could end up with as much as 70 percent of a reconstituted GM when the court dust settles_ with the biggest share by far held by the U.S. Treasury.
Administration officials portray themselves as reluctant players in thi
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