Well, now we know what an “orderly bankruptcy” means. It means a bailout. GM and Chrysler get $17 billion, with essentially no strings attached. Officially, the loan will be called back if they don’t make reforms, but those reforms are not binding. Does anyone think President Obama will call the loan because the UAW doesn’t make concessions? Besides, even if he were to call the loan, the money will be gone.
Also, the first half of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program is now spent, without spending a single penny on troubled assets.
One final thought, if the TARP gives the President the power to give billions of dollars to whomever the hell he feels like, mightn’t that be an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power? Or is it just a terribly written bill?
UPDATE: Jim Manzi says we were still right to support the bailout. He says the equity injection was necessary and effective. (The TED spread does seem to bear out the latter.) He has no love for the auto bailout, though, and says Congress should be very reluctant to release the second half of the $700 billion.