Auto Task Force to Back More Loans, Push Concessions

Experienced or not, decisions from Obama's task force will come this week
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2009 8:10 AM CDT
Steven Rattner is head of the auto task force. Like the other dozen core members, he has limited knowledge of the auto industry, but a firm background in investment banking.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – President Obama’s auto task force will back new loans for General Motors and Chrysler but will ask for more sacrifices from unions, management, and GM’s bondholders, the Wall Street Journal reports. GM and Chrysler have requested $22 billion more atop the $17.4 billion already loaned to them. The stakes are high; 140,000 autoworkers, more than 10,000 dealerships, and the entire Rust Belt await the task force's decisions, expected tomorrow or Monday.

The team, at work for only a month, has virtually no auto industry experience and has spent the last month learning on the job—touring manufacturing facilities and hearing out unions and analysts. The team’s chief, Steven Rattner, dismisses the complaint that his team lacks auto expertise. "We are not trying to run car companies," he tells the Journal. "This is the type of investment decision that many of us on this team are used to making."