One of the These Things Is Not Like the Other Ones


As Bush once again "abandons free-market principles to save the free-market system," Ford distinguishes itself with a whispered "thanks but no thanks."

The deal would extend $13.4 billion in loans to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC in December and January, with another $4 billion likely available in February. It also would provide the government with non-voting warrants, although the exact amount was unclear immediately. Ford Motor Co. has said it doesn't need short-term assistance.

While this isn't going to make me run out and replace my flawlessly functioning and very sexy maroon 1998 Toyota Camry, I'll raise a glass to Ford for making a go at (a tiny, piddling version of) self-sufficiency this time, especially self-sufficiency driven by good old-fashioned self-interest:

Observers around Detroit suggest that the Ford family's continuing control of the company has surely influenced the decision to not seek federal assistance. "Any dilution of equity has to be an issue for the family, and also the loss of dividends," says Brad Coulter, a specialist in bankruptcy and loan workouts with O'Keefe & Associates of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Any dividend payment would likely need the approval of a new "car czar," which the White House might appoint if it moves to provide aid.)

More on the bailouts here.