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The Success of the Detroit Bailout

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As G.M.’s healthy profit makes clear, it’s been a striking policy success that Republicans in Congress were wrong about.

For a strikingly non-prescient column, your moment of Bobo from 2009. The giveaway is the bit about “educated buyers.” But, in fact, as I knew from having to research the purchase of a car for the first time in 2009, people who believed that GM (or Ford) were not making competitive cars were pretty much the opposite of educated (particularly when you remember that the decision to replace the Cobalt with the vastly superior Cruze had already been made.) Anybody who actually did up-to-date consumer research rather than relying on lazy received wisdom could have foreseen that the bailout would work for GM. The quality product was already there or on the way; it needed the capital to shut down redundant product lines and dealers. As Cohn says, Chrysler (where the stereotypes about American car quality were still largely applicable) is a tougher case, but bailing out one but not the other was almost certainly not viable.

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