GMAC’s Christmas present
The Fed donned the red suit on Christmas eve for GMAC, giving the troubled auto finance company the nod to become a bank holding company.
The speedy approval should not come as a surprise, given that GMAC lends to consumers and GM depends on the finance company to sell cars — factors that could make its survival seen as key to fixing the economy.
The new status gives the company access to government lending programs and should allow it to continue financing loans for GM cars.
“In light of the unusual and exigent circumstances affecting the financial markets … the board has determined that emergency conditions exist that justify expeditious action on this proposal,” the Fed said in a statement.
The bank holidng status will come at a cost to GMAC’s majority owner Cerberus and minority owner GM: Both must cut their stakes in the company to comply with regulations that prevent many kinds of companies from owning too big a share of a bank.
DEALS OF THE DAY
** Nissin Foods Holdings, Japan’s top instant noodle maker, said it would buy a one-third stake in Russia’s largest instant noodle group Angleside Ltd for about $296 million, making a foray into the fast-growing market.
(Photo credit: Cheryl Ravelo, Reuters)