Once king of the auto industry, General Motors filed for bankruptcy this morning, the Wall Street Journal reports. The firm must cut some 21,000 workers and close 12 to 20 factories and 40% of dealerships, adds the New York Times. GM says it owes $172.8 billion and has assets of $82.3; for the US government, which will own 60% of the firm, some $30 billion hangs on GM’s return to profitability.
Canada will own 12% of the company. Meanwhile, the workers’ union will have to pay for half its health care fund with shaky stock in the new GM; bondholders are settling for 10 cents of stock for every lent dollar; and the company is dumping Pontiac, Saturn, Saab, and Hummer. Overseeing the process is likely to be Alix Partners, which guided Enron and Kmart through bankruptcies.