Maybe its time for Chryslers employees to buy the company.
Think about it: Cerberus is negotiating to purchase Daimlers 20-percent share of Chrysler LLC. Supposedly that will make it easier for Cerberus to package and sell the whole shebang. But it isnt at all clear who might acquire it.
Several potential buyers -- Magna, General Motors, Nissan-Renault -- surfaced before Cerberus snapped up Chrysler. None of those companies seem like plausible bidders today -- not even Nissans Carlos Ghosn, who negotiated a deal to let Chrysler supply him with pickups.
My modest recommendation: Let Chryslers employees buy the company. Organize an ESOP -- an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. As part of its turnaround, Chrysler will have to demand further sacrifices from its employees. Theyll make those sacrifices if they can expect commensurate rewards.
Heck, you could even market Chrysler as the Peoples Automaker. Give a customer ten shares of stock with the sale of each new car or truck.
If Wall Street gets bailed out by taxpayers, Main Street will be crowded with populists. You're trying to sell those people a car.
So whose side would you want to be on?