Preserving Wall Street, the Auto Industry and the Income Gap
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Everybody understands the hourly wage contracts the United Auto Workers agreed to with GM and Chrysler. But only Wall Street knows how or why investment bankers get bonuses worth tens of millions of dollars. Are Washington's bailouts punishing transparency, rewarding stealth and preserving the income gap? Also, Toyota expects its first operating loss since 1941, and White House e-mails and Dick Cheney's penchant for secrecy. Does history have a chance?
Banner image: Ford trucks are parked in a lot before being shipped in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Toyota Expects First Operating Loss Since 1941 ()
For the first time in 70 years, Toyota expects to post losses. Last year, it made $28 billion, but this year the company predicts a negative outcome of $1.7 billion. Based in Detroit, David Kiley is senior correspondent for BusinessWeek magazine.
- David Kiley: Senior Correspondent, BusinessWeek
Preserving Wall Street, the Auto Industry and the Income Gap ()
All of Washington decided that Wall Street's investment bankers were "too big to fail," to the tune of $350 billion, and nobody really knows where money has gone. After Republicans in Congress held up loans for US automakers, President Bush scraped up $17 billion to keep General Motors and Chrysler from going bankrupt, at least for a while, but only with tough conditions and demands that union contracts be re-drawn. Would US auto companies be better off in bankruptcy? What about investment banks that can't repay their clients? Why do unionized workers have to sacrifice benefits when Wall Street is still paying bonuses worth tens of millions of dollars?
- Paul Ingrassia: Contributing Editor, Portfolio magazine
- Harold Meyerson: Executive Editor, American Prospect, @haroldmeyerson -
- Hugh Ray: Corporate Bankruptcy Attorney, Andrews and Kurth
- Nomi Prins: Senior Fellow, Demos
National Archives Addresses Retrieval of White House E-mails ()
Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George Bush, Sr. are among the outgoing presidents who've sealed records the law says should be a part of history. The current President's exercises in secrecy poses the toughest challenges yet, due to the volume of electronic information and because of Vice President Cheney. Federal District Judge Henry Kennedy has ordered the Bush White House to preserve e-records and not transfer them without his permission. That's the result of a lawsuit brought by two groups, one of which is the National Security Archive, a historical research group. Its director is Thomas Blanton, author of White House E-Mail: the Top Secret Messages the Reagan-Bush White House Tried to Destroy.
- Thomas Blanton: Director, National Security Archive
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