GM investors bet lifeline from U.S. won’t be enough
General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner said the biggest U.S. automaker got "what we asked for" with $9.4 billion in U.S. loans over the next 24 days. Investors bet that it's not enough, Bloomberg reported.
GM dropped as much as 18 percent today in New York trading to extend yesterday's 22 percent plunge, while credit-default swaps on GM bonds rose 0.5 percentage point in a sign of increasing concern that the Bush administration's bailout may end in a default.
The stock-price slide erased the 23 percent gain on Dec. 19, when Detroit-based GM received a federal aid package to help the automaker stay in business until March 31 while it crafts a plan to shut plants, shed brands and reduce debt.
"It's almost impossible for a management that invested in the assets, that hired the people, that put forth the strategy, to change so dramatically in such a short period of time," Edward Altman, a New York University finance professor who created the Z-score formula to measure bankruptcy risk, said in a Bloomberg Television interview.
There is a "high" likelihood of a GM bankruptcy, Standard & Poor's said yesterday in reducing the rating on the company's unsecured debt to C, or 11 grades below investment quality. Robert Schulz, an S&P analyst in New York, said creditors can expect "negligible recovery" should the automaker default.
GM has slashed output and won union concessions since saying Nov. 7 it may run out of operating cash by year's end. The automaker said it would need as much as $18 billion in aid or face a possible bankruptcy.