GM Moves Closer to Bailout as Wagoner Holds Talks With Bolten
General Motors Corp. moved closer to a possible government rescue yesterday as the Bush administration said it may tap a bank bailout fund for financing and GM's top executive discussed terms with administration officials, Bloomberg reported.
GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner spoke by telephone with White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson about a short-term plan to keep the automaker solvent, a person familiar with the talks said.
The talks followed a statement by the White House that it would consider using the Troubled Asset Relief Program to help GM and Chrysler LLC following the Senate's rejection of an aid package the night before.
``Congress has really punted the ball over to the White House,'' John Bogle, founder of the $80.6 billion Vanguard 500 Index Fund, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. ``That will give them temporary stopgap aid. I do not think General Motors is going to go out of business.''
GM Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson also participated in yesterday's talks. GM Chief Financial Officer Ray Young and other executives probably will work on the details with administration staffers this weekend, although any agreement isn't likely until next week at the earliest, the person with knowledge of the matter said.
The administration is trying to keep GM and Chrysler from running out of money before the next Congress takes office Jan. 6, the person said.