Friday, December 19, 2008

GM and Chrysler Will Get $13.4 Billion in U.S. Loans

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC will get $13.4 billion in initial government loans to keep operating in exchange for a restructuring under a rescue plan announced by President George W. Bush.

A bankruptcy is unlikely to work for the automakers at this time and can’t be allowed, Bush said at the White House.

“These are not ordinary circumstances,” Bush said. “In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action.”

The money will be drawn from the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the automakers will get an additional $4 billion from the fund in February for a total of $17.4 billion in assistance, according to a statement from the Bush administration. The funds would allow GM and Chrysler to keep operating until March.

Winning the assistance is a reprieve for GM, the biggest U.S. automaker, and No. 3 Chrysler after they said they would run out of operating funds as soon as this month. Bush is stepping in after Senate Republicans’ refusal last week to take up a House-approved rescue raised the prospect of a company failure costing millions of jobs.

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