Germany Ponders Its Own Auto-Bailout

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück is currently in Washington, attending that “G20” summit that is supposed to restructure the international financial system – i.e. to bring about a “Bretton Woods II” – to deal with the current world-wide economic troubles. But after this weekend he’ll not be back at his Berlin office long before he’ll face yet another economic summit, reports the German business newspaper Handelsblatt: Steinbrück calls Opel-Summit.

That’s “Opel” as in “Adam Opel GmbH,” the German-based daughter auto-making concern of General Motors. As you can imagine, it’s currently in financial trouble; this past week it directed its own appeal for help to the German government (actually governments, see below). And so, in more-or-less mirror-image to the issue the US government is now having to confront, Germany is also now taking up the same dilemma: should its auto-makers be bailed out to save the many thousands of jobs dependent on them? Or would that be throwing only the first installment of massive monies to an industry that is anyway doomed with no future? (more…)

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