$14 Billion Auto Bailout Bill Collapses In Senate
“It’s over with. I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It’s not going to be a pleasant sight” - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after Senate fails to take up the House passed auto bailout bill.
Markets in Asia closed lower, and Europe is down today after the Senate last night failed to get the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the $14 billion US automaker bailout bill that passed the House Wednesday 237-170. The storm clouds converged on the Capitol earlier yesterday after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would vote against the bill because “it’s greatest single flaw is that it promises taxpayer money today for reforms that may or may not happen tomorrow.” Lobbyists from Ford (F) and General Motors (GM), and Stephen Feinberg (founder of Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that owns Chrysler) tried to convince Senators to vote for the House bill supported by the White House and President-Elect Obama.
Talks fell apart after several Republican Senators demanded the UAW whose contract expires in 2011, accept cuts in 2009 to be on parity with compensation received by non-union workers at foreign automaker factories in the US. In searching various news reports, I have not been able to ascertain the exact definition of “wage parity.” Does it mean equal cash compensation or an adjustment to benefits to both active and retired UAW workers? And how far away is cash compensation for the “Big Three” from their non-union counterparts?
House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Reid said they will now request that money to assist Chrysler and GM come from the TARP, which ironically has $15 billion left of the $350 billion initially released by Congress to Treasury Secretary Paulson. Democratic leaders will also seek financial assistance from the Federal Reserve even though Chairman Ben Bernanke made it clear in a December 5 letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Dodd that the Fed will not loan money to the automakers without Congressional approval.
As emphasized in my Mars in Sagittarius, Sagittarius New Moon, and Weekly Forecast posts, today’s Full Moon in Gemini is challenged by Mars, Saturn, and Uranus. Gemini and its planetary ruler Mercury (communication and movement/transportation) rule motor vehicles. Issues tend to reach a crisis point at the Full Moon, and as I’ve written, this is a particularly emotionally powerful Full Moon as the Moon is now only 221,587 miles away, or 30,885 miles closer to Earth, the brightest and closest it’s been all year.
What’s also key is that the Full Moon conjoins the USA’s natal Mars in Gemini and challenges the USA natal Neptune in Virgo (work force). As warned, this alignment could potentially create a bearish biased and wild ride in the stock market today as the Full Moon reactivates the energies surrounding the September 15 Harvest Full Moon when Lehman Brothers collapsed.
News reports surfaced last night that GM has hired bankruptcy lawyer Harvey Miller who handled the bankruptcy filing for Lehman Brothers. GM is discussing its plans for its Saturn division which could file for bankruptcy protection as it is technically a separate entity. Naming a vehicle a Saturn is a double-edged sword. The planetary energies of Saturn would physically represent small motor vehicles, which as I’ve indicated in my Saturn in Virgo post are in fashion now. However, Saturn represents boundaries and limitations as it is the opposite energy to Jupiter (growth). GM has had limited success with its Saturn division.
Many people are ready to pull GM CEO Rick Wagoner out of the driver’s seat and into the ejector seat even though GM doesn’t make Aston Martins. Transiting Pluto in Capricorn is challenging Wagoner’s natal Mars in Aries, indicating a change in management is definitely needed, but warrior Wagoner is fighting all the way. Transiting Neptune in Aquarius is opposing his Pluto in Leo, raising the potential that his position in power will shortly disappear. Both of these transits become exact December 19-22. Additionally, the February 9, 2009 Lunar Eclipse in Leo conjoins his Pluto and opposes his Birthday Sun, along with other key transits in March. Clearly, 2009 is a year of major change for Wagoner.
As I commented in my three part series analyzing the Big Three (Part I, Part II, Part III), as a privately-held company, Chrysler should not receive a penny from the government. If Cerberus wants to keep Chrysler going, it’s up to them to use their cash pile. Cerberus’s latest excuse is the company can’t put more money into Chrysler because the bylaws of its investment funds prevent it from putting more than a small percentage of its funds into any one investment. And who created the bylaws? They did, so change them if you want to keep this company with no current or future viable product line afloat!
The White House just announced it is now “looking at all possibilities,” which has helped to improve stock futures, although they still remain well in the red.
Rick Wagoner: February 9, 1953 time unknown Wilmington, Delaware
USA: July 4, 1776 5:10 PM LMT Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Posted 12/12/2008 09:31:00 AM