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Car Czar: Gov’t Should Hold On To Remaining GM Stake

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jeffgilbert Jeff Gilbert
Automotive reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Radio News....
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  autos arrows plug v2 Car Czar: Govt Should Hold On To Remaining GM Stake

DETROIT (WWJ) – The former Obama Administration “Car Czar” says the treasury department should hang on to its current stake in General Motors.

“My advice, if treasury were to ask me, would be to do what’s right for the country with the GM stock, not what might fit into the election,” said Steven Rattner, who lead the president’s auto industry task force.

Rattner, following a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, told reporters that GM’s current low stock price would mean taxpayers would take more of a loss on the auto industry rescue, than they should.

While many observers feel President Obama would like to get the government out of GM before next year’s election, Rattner says GM’s stock price should be higher than it is.

He feels both GM and Ford are in good shape, but have seen their stock dragged down by world events.

“The world is very pessimistic now,” he said. “I think these companies are doing great, and I think the stocks are very attractive. I would not be a seller of these stocks at this price.”

Rattner also defending the administration’s rescue of GM and Chrysler, and saying, in retrospect, possibly they spent a little more money on GM than they had to.

As for regrets, Rattner said if he had more time, he would have asked some stakeholders to sacrifice more, particularly active UAW members.

“We didn’t ask any active worker to cut his or her pay,” Rattner said. “We didn’t ask them to sacrifice any of their pension. We could have maybe asked them to do a little bit more. As I said before, I am worried about the long term competitiveness here.”

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