Brooks raises several legitimate concerns about the government takeover of GM, most of them having to do with corporate culture and his pessimism that the new arrangement can change what was pathological about it. I don't share his pessimism, but he certainly could be right. This particular concern strikes me as off-the-mark, though: [T]he Obama plan will reduce the influence of commercial outsiders. The best place for fresh thinking could come from outside private investors. But the Obama plan rides roughshod over the current private investors and so discourages future investors. G.M.
The Times has an interesting piece about what the government has in store for GM: The administration appears to be drawing in part from a playbook used with troubled banks, with the goal of creating a new, healthier G.M. but leaving behind its liabilities and less valuable assets, perhaps for liquidation. More often referred as the “good bank-bad bank” model, the approach can infuriate those with claims against the bad bank. Under a plan being worked out by the administration, G.M. would file for bankruptcy, according to people briefed on the matter.
Stuart Elliott's round-up of last night's Superbowl ads in The New York Times completely misses the Iraq ad and completely misses the point of the GM ad. The first sentence of his article reads: "No commercial that appeared last night during Super Bowl XLI directly addressed Iraq, unlike a patriotic spot for Budweiser beer that ran during the game two years ago." Actually that's completely wrong.
When you first meet David Rubenstein, you have to force yourself to remember that as a young staffer in the Carter White House he believed that the best thing in the world to be was a public servant. In those days he was known mainly for his unwillingness to go home at night.