President Bush and the Congressional democrats have reached an agreement to send $14 million in emergency loans to the struggling auto manufacturers by next week. In exchange for these loans, the automakers must undergo strict government oversight supervised by the so-called "Car Czar." President Bush will be appointing this car czar within the executive branch but just who might this person be?
The latest names floating around for this position include:
Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman and now an economic adviser to President-elect Barack Obama, has been suggested to be a good choice by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., saying that she favors the car czar to have a banking background. Volcker met with congressional Democrats on Tuesday to talk about the auto industry and the stimulus package. Volcker was asked if he'd be interested in becoming the car czar, he joked: "I'm looking for new jobs."
Speaker Pelosi, however, does not favor Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, for the position. But others do disagree with her. Dennis Virag, president of Automotive Consulting Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan said "Someone like a Jack Welch who understands both operational and macroeconomics may be good."
Another contender for the position is Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer who oversaw the 9/11 victims' compensation fund. While some did criticize Feinberg over his management of the compensation fund, others applauded the way he handled the complex project. Many reports have been indicating he is the front-runner for the car czar position.
Tho other top choice is Lee Iacocca, the Former Chairman and CEO of Chrysler and Former President of Ford Motor Company. He's knows the ins and outs of running an automobile company. He also known for turning Chrysler around the last time in needed a bailout. Iacocca released a statement Tuesday favoring to keep the Big Three CEO's as CEO's "The companies may not be perfect but the guys who are running them now are the only ones with the experience and the in-depth knowledge and understanding of how the car business really works. They're by far the best shot we have for success. I say give them their marching orders and then let them march. They're the right people to get the job done."
What kind of power will the car czar have?
The car czar not only will make sure every promise of the agreement is met but he or she ( no female has been mentioned but they could pull a John McCain) will have veto power over company plans, the ability to cut off the loans and to force the companies into bankruptcy.