U.S. to GM CEO: Take a hike


Before Congress finally bails out the Big Three automakers, GM CEO Rick Wagoner may bail.

Actually, that’s not correct. Wagoner is about to be thrown out of the car.

Wait, that’s not exactly right, either. It’s not his fellow passengers from Detroit who are pushing him out, it’s people on the outside dragging him from the stalled vehicle.

As the Wall Street Journal reports in “Outside Pressure Grows for GM to Oust Wagoner”:

General Motors Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner is coming under increasing pressure from outside the company to resign as part of any broad bailout of the auto maker by the federal government.

On Sunday, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), a supporter of emergency loans for Detroit, suggested Mr. Wagoner should go if the government follows through and provides billions of dollars to help the auto giant restructure and return to profitability.

“I think you’ve got to consider new leadership,” the senator said on the CBS talk show Face The Nation. A Dodd aide said later the senator’s demand for change would not be a “condition written into the” rescue package coming together on Capitol Hill, and draft legislation prepared by top Democrats doesn’t make that explicit requirement. But Mr. Dodd’s displeasure was clear. “If you’re going to restructure, you’ve got to bring in a new team to do this,” he said. “I think [Mr. Wagoner] has to move on.”

Meanwhile, one of the country’s biggest media corpses, the Tribune Co., is about to file for bankruptcy.

Moving on …


Agence France Presse: ‘Pakistan arrests 15 over Mumbai attacks’

N.Y. Daily News: ‘Puppies save three-year-old boy lost in freezing Virginia woods’

Wall Street Journal: ‘Prime Mumbai Terror Suspect Arrested in Pakistani Raid’

Houston Chronicle: ‘Barbara Walters rounds up the most fascinating people’

Atlantic: ‘Behind Mumbai’

… It is clearly possible that the terror rampage had its origins outside India, aimed as they were at international rather than Hindu targets. But in a least one sense it doesn’t matter. For the attacks will aggravate a growing fault line between Hindus and Muslims within India itself.

India is home to 154 million Muslims, the third largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan. Tolerable inter-communal relations are the sine qua non of Indian stability and ascendancy. India has more to lose from extremist Islam than arguably any other country in the world.

New Yorker: ‘Risk Factors’ (George Packer)

A legacy of the Bush Administration is that America can no longer sweep in and impose a solution on a crisis. The answers for Pakistan lie largely in its own hands …

Wall Street Journal: ‘Outside Pressure Grows for GM to Oust Wagoner’


Wall Street Journal: ‘Thain Spars With Board Over Bonus at Merrill’

Merrill Lynch & Co. chief John Thain has suggested to directors that he get a 2008 bonus of as much as $10 million, but the battered securities firm’s compensation committee is resisting his request, according to people familiar with the situation. …

The difference of opinion between Mr. Thain and directors who hired him just a year ago is part of the bigger debate about compensation practices at Wall Street firms. Many blame Wall Street for fueling the credit crisis that dragged the U.S. economy into recession, and the giant paychecks that are routine at many Wall Street firms have received deepening criticism as the government extends aid to banks and securities firms.

Financial Times (U.K.): ‘Video gaming defies retail gloom’

The video game industry appears to be alone in bucking a retail recession as consumers turn to fitness workouts, musical jam sessions and fantasy worlds to take their minds off the credit crunch.

Microsoft has reported November as its biggest sales month in Europe for the Xbox 360 console – sales rose 124 per cent on a year ago. In the US it announced its best Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, with sales up 25 per cent on the year.

US industry sales are up 25 per cent so far this year, according to the NPD research firm. Game sales in October rose 35 per cent on 2007’s total. The rises are in spite of a strong 2007.

McClatchy: ‘How Obama will govern: Strong team will test his skills’

Washington Post: ‘Democrats Working on New Plan for Auto Aid’

Legislation would give automakers at least $15B in emergency loans early next week; Dodd says GM chairman Richard Wagoner “has to move on.”

McClatchy: ‘Mystery phone call put Pakistan and India on the brink of war’

N.Y. Daily News: ‘Veterans praise President-elect Barack Obama’s decision to hire Eric Shinseki’

McClatchy: ‘Closing Guantanamo a minefield of critical steps’

McClatchy: ‘Obama criticizes Bush response to housing foreclosures’

Washington Post: ‘Tribune May File for Bankruptcy’

Media giant Tribune Co., saddled with billions in debt since it became a privately held company last year, has hired bankruptcy advisers, according to its flagship newspaper, the Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago-based company owns a coast-to-coast empire with television stations and newspapers in most of the nation’s largest cities. Its holdings include the Los Angeles Times; cable television super-station WGN in Chicago; the Baltimore Sun; and WDCW-50 in Washington, the CW affiliate. The company even owns the Chicago Cubs.