In the new issue of the New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell reviews Steven Rattner's book on the auto industry bailout/takeover, and writes, "there is no question that the auto bailout represents one of the signature accomplishments both of his career and of the Obama Administration. In August, G.M. posted its second quarterly profit in a row, its best result in three years. Chrysler, for its part, is now safely in the hands of Fiat, at least for the time being."
In addition to being strangely positive about the auto bailout, the piece is strangely positive about GM CEO Rick Wagoner: "especially given the mess that Wagoner inherited when he took over, in 2000—and the inherent difficulty of running a company that had to pay pension and medical benefits to half a million retirees—he accomplished a tremendous amount during his eight-year tenure. He cut the workforce from three hundred and ninety thousand to two hundred and seventeen thousand." Yeah, and if he had managed to sell even fewer cars, he might have made the tremendous accomplishment of cutting the workforce all the way to zero.