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What If Gm Did Go Bankrupt ….

In: Business and Management

Submitted By gummy
Words 1399
Pages 6
How investors, customers, and suppliers might fare under Chapter 11

After weeks of listening to analysts and pundits beat the drum about the possibility of a General Motors Corp. bankruptcy, Chairman and Chief Executive G. Richard Wagoner Jr. decided he had heard enough. On Nov. 16 he declared in an internal memo to his 325,000 employees that bankruptcy is "unnecessary." There is no plan to file for Chapter 11 protection, Wagoner said flatly, calling such an action "contrary to the interests of our employees, stock- and bondholders, dealers, and our suppliers and customers."

In other words, Wagoner was calling bankruptcy unthinkable. And for a long time, that's exactly the way it seemed. GM has $34 billion in cash and could free up roughly $15 billion more selling various businesses. That alone should be enough to keep the company running for a few years. What's more, its cash-burn rate of $2 billion a quarter will slow down as a recent restructuring, which will eliminate nine factories and 30,000 workers over three years, takes hold.

But despite Wagoner's protestations, investors are clearly starting to ponder the unthinkable. The price of GM's credit-default swaps, which are insurance in case the carmaker can't pay back its loans, have soared in the past month. They now cost a premium of 12 percentage points of the value of the debt that they insure, four times what they cost in January. Few people believe that Washington would help bail out GM, as it did with Chrysler. Investors, suppliers, and employees, meanwhile, are starting to imagine how a GM bankruptcy would unfold and taking steps to defend themselves if it should happen. Some suppliers, for example, are trying to get shorter payment terms from GM in exchange for lower prices.

What would a GM bankruptcy look like? It probably would be the most massive Chapter 11 filing of all time -- a…...

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