Chrysler bankruptcy going according to plan

By Felix Salmon
May 8, 2009

This is pretty much exactly what we wanted, right? Chrysler gets the benefits of bankruptcy — such as being able to restructure its obligations to its dealer network — while the holdout creditors, who pushed Chrysler into bankruptcy in the first place, get less than they were initially offered by the Obama administration.

I do wonder what that means for the prospects of a GM bankruptcy. On the one hand, would-be holdouts are unlikely to make the same mistake twice. But on the other hand, there are so many more of them that the collective-action problems of getting a successful restructuring done out of bankruptcy are pretty much insurmountable. I think the best-case scenario for GM, just as with Chrysler, is a quick bankruptcy with little fractiousness from bondholders. The chances of avoiding bankruptcy outright seem slim indeed: the bigger risk is that bankruptcy will drag on to the point at which GM can no longer emerge from it as a going concern.

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