One of the big stories this weekend was that the chairman and CEO of General Motors is resigning his position. What is even bigger news is that he is doing so at the behest of the Obama administration. What is even bigger news than that is that General Motors says the Obama administration is working to “restructure” the auto industry. You read that correctly. The government is going to restructure an entire industry. This does indeed signal a “tectonic” change in the way that business relates to government (see Politico.com story).
Here’s how the New York Times is reporting it:
“The White House on Sunday pushed out the chairman of General Motors and instructed Chrysler to form a partnership with the Italian automaker Fiat within 30 days as conditions for receiving another much-needed round of government aid.
“The decision to ask G.M.’s chairman and chief executive, Rick Wagoner, to resign caught Detroit and Washington by surprise, and it underscored the Obama administration’s determination to keep a tight rein on the companies it is bailing out â€” a level of government involvement in business perhaps not seen since the Great Depression.”
The times, they are a-changing. That’s for sure.