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Former Treasury boss unaware auto task force fired GM's Wagoner

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:45:00 EST
We dig a good political tell-all every once in a while (how else will we get our political fix while waiting for House of Cards' third season?). Today, we get just that from former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's new book, "Stress Test," which details, among other parts of the 2009 financial catastrophe, the structured bankruptcy that allowed Chrysler and General Motors to emerge as competitive players in the auto industry.

In the book, which is nicely recapped by The Detroit News, Geithner discusses the firing of GM CEO Rick Wagoner while explaining how much trust he had in the auto industry task force that executed the move without his knowledge.

Auto Czar Steve Rattner "didn't even consult me before he fired General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner; if anything, that move increased my confidence in Team Auto," Geithner wrote.

Geithner also details how badly GM miscalculated the government's position while pointing out that President Obama "never seriously" considered letting GM or Chrysler fail. There are some controversial views, however. Geithner defended the decision to go harder on the automakers, while making sure banks didn't suffer to heavily.

It's really worth a read, particularly if you are, like us, a student of the industry and the 2009 bailout. Hop over to The Detroit News website, have a look at some snippets from the book and then let us know what you think in Comments.

By Brandon Turkus

See also: Detroit automakers mulling helping DIA avoid bankruptcy looting, Tier 1 suppliers call GM the worst OEM to work with, Fiat Chrysler posts $690M Q1 loss.