Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dear Mr. Eastwood

Dear Mr. Eastwood,                                                   (originally posted  2/8/2012)

With all due respect, for Chrysler’s bond-holders it is not “Half-Time in America”.   No, for those unlucky victims of President Obama’s bailout, it is actually “game over”.
Let me tell you a story worthy of a Hollywood script:

One week before my father-in-law died at 88, he confided in me that a chunk of his life’s savings had been wiped-out when Chrysler’s secured bondholders were bypassed in Obama’s bailout.  Unlike you, Robert W. Scisco Sr. did not play a tough guy in the movies.  Instead, he actually fought real Nazis in North Africa, up through Italy, eventually earning a Purple Heart in France.  This was not a man prone to showing fear, yet at the time he told me about his Chrysler bonds, he seemed afraid - afraid of his own government!   

You see, President Obama did not follow the normal bankruptcy route when he imposed the Chrysler bailout on us.  Instead, he decided to bypass the secured bondholders, who were first in-line, wiping them out, and delivered the company unencumbered to Fiat, the US Government, and the UAW.  This was an unprecedented redistribution from secured creditors to the President's supporters.   Unlike you, Bob Scisco understood this, and was wise enough to envision the full implications for him, his heirs, and the future of economic liberty in the country he had fought to defend.
For Chrysler’s bondholders like my father-in-law, Obama’s bailout was a knife in the back.  Within a week of him telling me this, with fear in his eyes, he was gone.

Regards,  Ronald Reich

(This was in response to Clint Eastwood's Chrysler ad during the last Superbowl.  I am reprinting it on the eve of his appearance at the GOP convention with minor edits.  PS My father in law was relatively healthy and died unexpectedly during a routine medical test under anesthesia.)