Der Spiegel vivisects Cerberus, the private equity group that won Chrysler for a relative bargain today from German auto giant Daimler. Financier Stephen Feinberg's 15-year-old firm has $60 billion in assets, and specializes in companies on the brink of bankruptcy. The group avoids the spotlight, recruits former CEOs and politicians, including John Snow and Dan Quayle, and flips its holdings expeditiously.
Cerberus has recently developed a taste both for Germany and the auto industry—it owns the financing unit of GM and several big rental companies. Its last trip to the headlines was an insurance deal that failed because of Cerberus' "abrasive and imperious manner." Its founder is known for a propensity to renegotiate agreements that have already been reached.