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Grand Theft Auto: How Stevie the Rat bankrupted GM ^ | 6/1/09 | Greg Palast

Posted on 06/02/2009 3:10:32 PM PDT by Wife of D

Grand Theft Auto: How Stevie the Rat bankrupted GM

by Greg Palast Monday, June 1, 2009

ant-farm_2Screw the autoworkers. They may be crying about General Motors' bankruptcy today. But dumping 40,000 of the last 60,000 union jobs into a mass grave won't spoil Jamie Dimon's day.

Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase bank. While GM workers are losing their retirement health benefits, their jobs, their life savings; while shareholders are getting zilch and many creditors getting hosed, a few privileged GM lenders – led by Morgan and Citibank – expect to get back 100% of their loans to GM, a stunning $6 billion.

The way these banks are getting their $6 billion bonanza is stone cold illegal.

I smell a rat.

Stevie the Rat, to be precise. Steven Rattner, Barack Obama's 'Car Czar' - the man who essentially ordered GM into bankruptcy this morning.

When a company goes bankrupt, everyone takes a hit: fair or not, workers lose some contract wages, stockholders get wiped out and creditors get fragments of what's left. That's the law. What workers don't lose are their pensions (including old-age health funds) already taken from their wages and held in their name.

But not this time. Stevie the Rat has a different plan for GM: grab the pension funds to pay off Morgan and Citi.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: automakers; bho44; carczar; detroit; dimon; generalmotors; rattner
I just found this article; found it interesting.

Didn't see it posted anywhere. Hope it's in the right place. Hope it's ok to post.

1 posted on 06/02/2009 3:10:32 PM PDT by Wife of D
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To: Wife of D

It’s always about the banks. So it goes.

2 posted on 06/02/2009 3:13:39 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wife of D

I wonder if any of those union members ever dreamed that “Hope and Change” really meant “Drop Dead Suckers!”

Illegal as all get out.

3 posted on 06/02/2009 3:16:23 PM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publici scholae)
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To: Wife of D
"Why Obama was so insistent on tax-cheat Geithner
...Geithner ... most of his childhood living outside the United States, including present-day Zimbabwe, Zambia, India and Thailand
where he completed high school at International School Bangkok. He attended Camp Becket-in-the-Berkshires-for-boys,
a summer camp located in western Massachusetts. He then attended Dartmouth College,
graduating with a B.A. in government and Asian studies in 1983.
He earned an M.A. in international economics and East Asian studies
from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in 1985. He has studied Chinese and Japanese.

...grandfather, Paul Herman Geithner (1902–1972), emigrated with his parents from Zeulenroda,
Germany to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1908. His father, Peter F. Geithner,
is the director of the Asia program at the Ford Foundation in New York. During the early 1980s,
Peter Geithner oversaw the Ford Foundation's microfinance programs in Indonesia being developed
by S. ANN DUNHAM-SOETORO, President Barack Obama's MOTHER, and they met in person at least once.
Timothy Geithner's mother, Deborah Moore Geithner, is a pianist and piano teacher ...
Geithner's maternal grandfather, Charles F. Moore, was an adviser to President Dwight D. Eisenhower
and served as Vice President of Public Relations from 1952-1964 for FORD MOTOR COMPANY."

"After completing his studies, Geithner worked for KISSINGER and Associates in Washington, D.C.,
for three years and then joined the International Affairs division of the U.S. Treasury Department in 1988.
He went on to serve as an attaché at the US Embassy in Tokyo.
He was deputy assistant secretary for international monetary and financial policy (1995–1996),
senior deputy assistant secretary for international affairs (1996-1997), assistant secretary for international affairs (1997–1998)."

He was Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs (1998–2001) under Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin
and Lawrence Summers. Summers was his mentor, but other sources call him a Rubin protégé..."

4 posted on 06/02/2009 3:17:44 PM PDT by Diogenesis (Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: Wife of D
Isn't this article by the same psychotic that accused Bush of stealing two elections?
5 posted on 06/02/2009 3:19:34 PM PDT by Larry381 ("in the final instance civilization is always saved by a platoon of soldiers" Oswald Spengler)
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To: Wife of D
Greg Palast is a left winger from way back and it is hysterical to see him go off, with good reason, on Obama's boy Rattner.

This is how the Obama administration works. It is Cook county corruption writ large. The machine get fat, everyone else gets the scraps.

6 posted on 06/02/2009 3:20:35 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Larry381

Yep, but he is right on here.

7 posted on 06/02/2009 3:21:50 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Larry381

I don’t know, but thanks for the input. I’ll go have a look-see. Just thought the article was informative.

8 posted on 06/02/2009 3:23:29 PM PDT by Wife of D
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To: Anti-Bubba182

Oh...I had no idea.
Well, at least even one left-winger can do some honest reporting.
Thanks for the heads up on him.
I was looking around for how much money the Chinese parts company that ‘doesn’t make cars but might think about doing so in the future’ was going to get with the Hummer deal. Maybe nothing, but my tin-foil beanie radar is on overload with this deal - looking for a back-door way China is going to get some money back.

9 posted on 06/02/2009 3:28:52 PM PDT by Wife of D
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To: Wife of D
He might be right, but I have no interest in the man. Read the endorsers here.
10 posted on 06/02/2009 3:50:43 PM PDT by sig226 (1/21/13 . . . He's not my president . . . Impeach Obama . . . whatever)
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To: Wife of D
Stevie the Rat has a different plan for GM: grab the pension funds to pay off Morgan and Citi.

Anybody who believes this is totally retarded.
The pension funds are in trust and not GM property and cannot be touched by a 3rd party.
Who the f@#k comes up with this crap?

11 posted on 06/02/2009 4:06:04 PM PDT by Riodacat (Legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus.)
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To: Wife of D

Very good article. There are so many train wrecks it’s hard to watch and keep my head from flying off. If this guy’s a lefty then he’s had a cold shower. Unless something happens there will be a lot of dems sleeping under the bridge with us and heating our beans in a bent tin can.

12 posted on 06/02/2009 4:09:24 PM PDT by Belasarius (Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. Job 5:2-7)
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To: Riodacat

well, here’s rest of the article -

Here’s the scheme: Rattner is demanding the bankruptcy court simply wipe away the money GM owes workers for their retirement health insurance. Cash in the insurance fund would be replaced by GM stock. The percentage may be 17% of GM’s stock - or 25%. Whatever, 17% or 25% is worth, well ... just try paying for your dialysis with 50 shares of bankrupt auto stock.

Yet Citibank and Morgan, says Rattner, should get their whole enchilada - $6 billion right now and in cash - from a company that can’t pay for auto parts or worker eye exams.

Preventive Detention for Pensions

So what’s wrong with seizing workers’ pension fund money in a bankruptcy? The answer, Mr. Obama, Mr. Law Professor, is that it’s illegal.

In 1974, after a series of scandalous take-downs of pension and retirement funds during the Nixon era, Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. ERISA says you can’t seize workers’ pension funds (whether monthly payments or health insurance) any more than you can seize their private bank accounts. And that’s because they are the same thing: workers give up wages in return for retirement benefits.

The law is darn explicit that grabbing pension money is a no-no. Company executives must hold these retirement funds as “fiduciaries.” Here’s the law, Professor Obama, as described on the government’s own web site under the heading, “Health Plans and Benefits.”

“The primary responsibility of fiduciaries is to run the plan solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits.”

Every business in America that runs short of cash would love to dip into retirement kitties, but it’s not their money any more than a banker can seize your account when the bank’s a little short. A plan’s assets are for the plan’s members only, not for Mr. Dimon nor Mr. Rubin.

Yet, in effect, the Obama Administration is demanding that money for an elderly auto worker’s spleen should be siphoned off to feed the TARP babies. Workers go without lung transplants so Dimon and Rubin can pimp out their ride. This is another “Guantanamo” moment for the Obama Administration - channeling Nixon to endorse the preventive detention of retiree health insurance.

Filching GM’s pension assets doesn’t become legal because the cash due the fund is replaced with GM stock. Congress saw through that switch-a-roo by requiring that companies, as fiduciaries, must

“...act prudently and must diversify the plan’s investments in order to minimize the risk of large losses.”

By “diversify” for safety, the law does not mean put 100% of worker funds into a single busted company’s stock.

This is dangerous business: The Rattner plan opens the floodgate to every politically-connected or down-on-their-luck company seeking to drain health care retirement funds.

House of Rubin

Pensions are wiped away and two connected banks don’t even get a haircut? How come Citi and Morgan aren’t asked, like workers and other creditors, to take stock in GM?

As Butch said to Sundance, who ARE these guys? You remember Morgan and Citi. These are the corporate Welfare Queens who’ve already sucked up over a third of a trillion dollars in aid from the US Treasury and Federal Reserve. Not coincidentally, Citi, the big winner, has paid over $100 million to Robert Rubin, the former US Treasury Secretary. Rubin was Obama’s point-man in winning banks’ endorsement and campaign donations (by far, his largest source of his corporate funding).

With GM’s last dying dimes about to fall into one pocket, and the Obama Treasury in his other pocket, Morgan’s Jamie Dimon is correct in saying that the last twelve months will prove to be the bank’s “finest year ever.”

Which leaves us to ask the question: is the forced bankruptcy of GM, the elimination of tens of thousands of jobs, just a collection action for favored financiers?

And it’s been a good year for Señor Rattner. While the Obama Administration made a big deal out of Rattner’s youth spent working for the Steelworkers Union, they tried to sweep under the chassis that Rattner was one of the privileged, select group of investors in Cerberus Capital, the owners of Chrysler. “Owning” is a loose term. Cerberus “owned” Chrysler the way a cannibal “hosts” you for dinner. Cerberus paid nothing for Chrysler - indeed, they were paid billions by Germany’s Daimler Corporation to haul it away. Cerberus kept the cash, then dumped Chrysler’s bankrupt corpse on the US taxpayer.

(”Cerberus,” by the way, named itself after the Roman’s mythical three-headed dog guarding the gates Hell. Subtle these guys are not.)

While Stevie the Rat sold his interest in the Dog from Hell when he became Car Czar, he never relinquished his post at the shop of vultures called Quadrangle Hedge Fund. Rattner’s personal net worth stands at roughly half a billion dollars. This is Obama’s working class hero.

If you ran a business and played fast and loose with your workers’ funds, you could land in prison. Stevie the Rat’s plan is nothing less than Grand Theft Auto Pension.

It doesn’t make it any less of a crime if the President drives the getaway car.


Economist and journalist Greg Palast, a former trade union contract negotiator, is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse. He is a GM bondholder and card-carrying member of United Automobile Workers Local 1981.

13 posted on 06/02/2009 4:23:33 PM PDT by Wife of D
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To: Riodacat

Coarse profane epithets really make the argument, eh!

14 posted on 06/02/2009 4:27:52 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Wife of D

It would be nice to hear the Chrysler bond holders’ comments about the issue of double standard.

15 posted on 06/02/2009 4:32:50 PM PDT by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free...their passions forge their fetters.)
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To: Belasarius

>>>There are so many train wrecks it’s hard to watch and keep my head from flying off.<<<

Duct tape. Apply daily.

It is very difficult to watch our America get turned into....
damn! - I can’t think of a bad enough description. But it’s so hard. The multiple train wrecks have to be a tactic, carpet bombing...this website helps, prayer helps. I believe God will allow what He will allow, and I believe it’s all in His hands. I have to remind myself constantly that that is so. At least I know I’m not alone.
Chin up!

16 posted on 06/02/2009 4:53:00 PM PDT by Wife of D
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To: Wife of D

Insightful article. I wonder if there is anyone who offer redress to the criminally affected?

17 posted on 06/02/2009 6:04:31 PM PDT by rawhide
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