There's a reason why GM and Chrysler announced their long-awaited, much-anticipated restructuring plans (the homework requirement for taking taxpayer loot last year) after the markets closed yesterday: The plans pretty much model the Saturday Night Live sketch in which automakers explain to Congress that they will need more federal dollars even or especially if there's an uptick in the car business.
From the Detroit Free Press:
General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC summoned the prospect Tuesday of their collapse unless they get $7 billion in federal aid within six weeks—part of a dramatic plea for a total of up to $39 billion to survive the worst economic crisis in the history of Detroit's signature industry.
Yet the automakers warned that any new money from the federal government would be much cheaper than the staggering cost of bankruptcies and forced liquidation of the two companies. By their estimates, bankruptcies would cost a combined $124 billion in federal loans and up to 3 million lost jobs.
Saints preserve us, I've seen junkies with better raps than that one. Among the options outlined by Chrysler is a merger between it and GM, thus producing the fugliest business baby since Kmart and Sears hooked up.
Yesterday, Reason.tv's Michael C. Moynihan and Dan Hayes detailed the basic problem with the auto industry and its ongoing bailout. Watch now (and go here for downloadable versions, links, and more):