Monday, June 08, 2009

Memo to Indiana Pension Funds: Stop Whining

The deal to sell Chrysler to Fiat has become bogged down because of lawsuits filed by several Indiana pension funds that hold Chrysler debt. Under the current sales plan and bankruptcy proceedings, the funds would receive 29 cents on the dollar for their portion of the debt. This isn't enough for them, so they have temporarily blocked the sale via the courts. Absent the deal with Fiat, Chrysler would likely be cut up into parts and sold off (it seems that some debt holders like the pension funds think that there is more to be made off of the carcass of the company than 29 cents on the dollar-- I'm not sure how). I suppose I would have more sympathy if not for two reasons-- one, this debt was purchased in the summer of 2008 (really?), and two, that everyone-- from individual 401(k) accounts to university endowments to hedge funds to real estate investors-- have lost their asses in the last year. Take it on the chin like everyone else in the world.

It just came out that Ginsberg has granted the temporary stay despite Obama's Solicitor General filing papers against the stay this morning; it seems the matter will be referred to the full court (though there is a possibility that Ginsberg will rescind the stay and allow the deal to close by herself). This is not good; if the deal with Fiat falls through, it will cost even more jobs and will be a huge blow to the UAW.

I agree with Michigan Democratic congressman Gary Peters in his statement that "the state of Indiana was risking losses far greater than its investment in Chrysler’s loans should the company be forced to liquidate".