Policy Forum

Driving in the Wrong Direction: The Sordid Details and Lasting Consequences of the Bush/​Obama Auto Industry Intervention

October 15, 2009 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT

Auditorium/Wintergarden

Featuring Richard Mourdock, Treasurer, State of Indiana and Representative of the Indiana State Pension Funds Objecting to the Chrysler Bankruptcy Plan; and David A. Skeel, Professor of Corporate Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School. Moderated by Daniel J. Ikenson, Associate Director, Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

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According to their own interpretation of events, the Bush and then Obama administrations rescued the entire U.S. auto industry from imminent disaster and total failure. But in fact, a potential collapse only threatened General Motors and Chrysler, whose years of bad decision‐​making had finally caught up with them. Pouring cash into these two corporate clunkers may have “saved” them, for now, but in the process other companies were penalized, laws were circumvented, property rights were trampled, and America’s tradition of free enterprise was badly damaged.

This Forum’s panelists, who have been vigilant in their warnings about the dangers of such interventions, will discuss the ramifications of diverting TARP funds for unauthorized purposes, circumventing long‐​established bankruptcy procedures, violating secured creditors’ rights, and failing to maintain a proper separation between economy and state.