Automakers face skeptical senators on aid plan
By KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writer Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer 27 mins ago
WASHINGTON " U.S. automakers drew fresh skepticism from lawmakers Thursday in a rocky confrontation over their pleas for an expanded $34 billion rescue package they say they need to survive. Congressional analysts said one bailout plan under consideration would fall short of what the carmakers want.
With time on the current Congress running out, opposition to the bailout appeared to be as strong as last week " before Detroit's Big Three auto chiefs returned to Capitol Hill with more detailed plans on how they would spend the money.
Several lawmakers in both parties are pressing the automakers to consider a so-called "pre-packaged" bankruptcy in which they would negotiate with creditors in advance and downsize, then file for Chapter 11 protection in hopes of emerging quickly as stronger companies. The Big Three have publicly shunned the notion, saying it would kill sales by destroying customers' confidence " but executives have indicated in recent days that it might ultimately be necessary.
The executives all agreed in Thursday's hearing that a multibillion-dollar bailout deal would include a supervisory government board that could order major restructuring of the companies if deemed necessary for survival " similar to the results in many reorganizing efforts under bankruptcy law.
AT&T cuts 12,000 jobs
By Ritsuko Ando Ritsuko Ando " Thu Dec 4, 2:12 pm ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) " Top U.S. phone company AT&T Inc said it will eliminate 12,000 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce, in a fresh wave of cuts to cope with an economic downturn that has exacerbated a decline in traditional phone sales.
Joining a raft of companies slashing costs to survive a slump in spending, AT&T said on Thursday it will cut the jobs over the remainder of 2008 and 2009, and take a charge of about $600 million in this year's fourth quarter for severance.
The carrier also plans to cut its 2009 capital spending from this year's levels, though spending plans have not been finalized. AT&T said it would provide details in late January.
The cuts come as phone companies struggle with declining land line sales, as more consumers switch to wireless or alternative, cheaper services offered by cable and Internet companies. AT&T cited "economic pressures, a changing business mix and a more streamlined organizational structure."
Foofie, Our auto industry should be allowed to go bankrupt. Why would the auto industry be needed to make tanks for future wars? Why should taxpayers bail out car makers because they didn't manage their companies correctly? Why should taxpayers pay for auto workers payroll and benefits when so many in this country are also losing their jobs, and never had the same pay or benefit? What makes auto more important than other industries in this country? Aren't the people working in the computer industry or AT&T just as important? The majority (61%) do not want our government to bailout the car companies, and I agree with them.
They continued to build gas-guzzlers while foreign car makers made smaller, better quality, and more fuel efficient cars. Poor management is no excuse for failure, and taxpayer bailouts.
The world’s priciest private jets are -
Airbus A380 - $300 million-plus
Unnamed Middle Eastern Head of State (Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud?)
New York-based jet-interior expert Edése Doret is doing the interiors for $100 million
Boeing 747-8 - $270 million-$280 million
Four people (subjet to FAA’s non commerical approval)
Boeing 767 - $118 million-$165 million
Chelsea football club owner Roman Abromavich and Google founders Larry Page and Serge Brin.
Boeing Business Jet 3 (also 737-900ER) - $68 million
8 Ordered already
Bombardier BD-700 Global Express- $45 million
Embraer Lineage 1000 - $40.95 million
Gulfstream G550 - $36 million
London-based billionaire Lakshmi Mittal
Dassault Falcon 900 - $33 million-plus
Billionaire Sergio Mantegazza, president of Swiss tour company Globus & Cosmos, is a confirmed Falcon owner.
White House: Constructive auto talks with Congress
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Associated Press Writer " 1 hr 37 mins ago
AP " A new Toyota Tundra truck for sale sits on a lot which was formerly a Ford dealership which has closed …
WASHINGTON " Facing massive job losses, the White House and congressional Democrats are negotiating a deal to provide about $15 billion in loans to prevent Detroit's weakened auto industry from collapsing.
The White House said it was in "constructive discussions" with lawmakers in both parties to dole out the assistance as House and Senate staff aides worked through the weekend drafting bailout legislation that is expected to come to a vote next week.