Emphasis on ‘may:’ the Washington Free Beacon article is not actually claiming that NY judge Robert Gerber will reverse his approval of the sale; merely that Judge Gerber may do so. Basically, what happened was that – as part of the original bailout/bankruptcy agreement – GM dumped its existing debt and liabilities into a garbage company (‘Old GM’) while creating a new, liability-free company going forward (‘new GM’). If any of this sounds familiar, it may be because it was precisely this situation that allowed New GM to stop paying for mercury reclamation from old cars. The liability for that was handed off to Old GM, which spent two years in lawsuits with various states over this before settling – a settlement that had no effect on New GM whatsoever. Which is why the company set up the split in the first place, of course.
The problem is that Gerber – who approved the original sale – isn’t actually very happy about any of that:
“When I approved the sale agreement and entered the sale approval order I mistakenly thought that I was merely saving GM, the supply chain, and about a million jobs. It never once occurred to me, and nobody bothered to disclose, that amongst all of the assigned contracts was this lock-up agreement, if indeed it was assigned at all,” Gerber said in July.
“The judge has made it very clear that he is greatly dissatisfied with the process,” one analyst told the Washington Free Beacon in October. “He’s basically implying that GM hid it from him and that reopening the sale is a possibility.”
Put a gun to my head and I’d guess that Gerber will be understandably unwilling to pretty much push a reset button that’s this large; so much so that he’ll find a way not to. Which is a statement that will undoubtedly annoy at least some of the people reading this, but then again nobody reading this actually has the ability to blow up the American auto industry. Gerber kind of does at this moment, and if that doesn’t make him kind of thoughtful and careful then we kind of need to get him out of that judgeship anyway…
PS: Via… sorry, I forget. Somebody on Twitter.