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GM and Chrysler may be on the verge of bankruptcy, but auto sales are declining so fast the entire industry is in trouble. We assess the prospects for its survival and what the future might look like. Also, Capitol Hill outraged at AIG, and Pakistan confronts instability amid hopes for democratic reform.

Banner image: A tow truck driver loads a Four Runner onto his truck at Superior Toyota of Oakland February 25, 2009 in Oakland, California. In business for just over a month, the 200,000-square-foot mega dealership, unexpectedly shut its doors yesterday throwing about 100 employees out of work. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Making News AIG Outrage Runneth Over on Capitol Hill 5 MIN, 54 SEC

The failed American Insurance Group paid 73 executives bonuses of a million dollars or more, eleven of whom are not with the company any more. Today, Democrats began writing bills to require that $165 million in bonuses, paid for with taxpayer dollars, be returned. Michael Kranish is based in Washington for the Boston Globe.

Michael Kranish, Boston Globe (@globekranish)

Main Topic Car Sales Drive off the Proverbial Cliff 34 MIN, 28 SEC

President Obama’s automobile task force is in Michigan this week to assess the so-called “viability plans” of Chrysler and General Motors. The task force already has determined not to recall the $17 billion in government loans approved by the Bush Administration, and have emphasized that bankruptcy is not their preferred option.  But their final decisions won’t be made until end of this month. Meanwhile, auto sales are in free fall, especially among the gasoline-saving hybrids beloved by politicians who want the industry to turn “green.” How important is the price of gas? How difficult is getting a loan? Are car sales tied to housing? We talk with the world’s biggest Ford dealer and others about the present and future of the automobile. What would “an intelligent transportation system” look like?

John Stoll, Reporter, Wall Street Journal
Wes Brown, Consumer Analyst, Iceology
Peter De Lorenzo, AutoExtremist.com (@Autoextremist)
Bill Reinert, National Manager, Toyota's Advanced Technology Group
Bert Boeckmann, Owner, Galpin Ford

Reporter's Notebook Can Pakistan Sustain a Two-Party State? 8 MIN, 30 SEC

Najam Sethi, Friday Times and Daily Times (@najam_sethi)


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