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Merkel To Opel: “You Wait Until Mommy Comes Home!”

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Bailout Watch: German Edition


While German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck were still in DC, an urgent e-mail was sent to Carl-Peter Foster, chief of GM Europe. Also on the To: line: Hans Demant, head of GM’s German Opel subsidiary. They were ordered to get their glutei maximi to Berlin. They were furthermore told to bring Opel’s workers council chief Klaus Franz along. Bloomberg reports that the sit down’s set for the Kanzleramt, right after mammy comes home and emerges from her Airbus 310 (named “Konrad Adenauer,” after Germany’s first chancellor, who’s busy rotating in his grave).

Anywhere between €1b and €2b in governmental loan guarantees will be on the table. Before any money is doled out, Foster and Demant will be in for a serious upbraiding. Economy Minister Glos already dropped the ominous remark. “When tax money is on the line to save international auto makers, there will be demands and conditions.” After Angela is through with Carl-Peter, Hans, and Klaus, and class is dismissed for some serious homework, Merkel’s Finance Minister Steinbrueck and Economy Minister Glos will hammer-out details with the federal states the next day. Berlin will underwrite €1b, the states underwrite another €1b. Or somesuch. And then …

As Opel’s dependency on the Government-administered money-methadone grows, GM’s adopted daughter may slowly be brought back to her German parents. Or rather be given to a dark knight who may already be lurking in the hedges.

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