Carlos Ghosn was the Obama administration's first choice to run a post-bankruptcy General Motors, says an upcoming tell-all memoir by Steven Rattner, who steered the government's $85 billion bailout of GM and Chrysler. Copies leaked prior to the Oct. 14 publication included these details:
-- Ghosn declined the GM job because he "felt considerable loyalty" to Renault and Nissan.
-- Obama was alarmed by the decision to allow Rick Wagoner to collect $7.1 million of the $22.1 million he was owed in pension benefits. "I could see the president's jaw muscles tighten," Rattner says. Obama reluctantly agreed to the payment.
-- The government unsuccessfully pressed Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to put up money for a 20 percent stake and management control of Chrysler.
-- Negotiations preceding the Chrysler-Fiat link weren't always rosy. Marchionne, says Rattner, butted heads with UAW President Ron Gettelfinger over benefit cuts. And in one exchange with Chrysler execs, Marchionne barked: "Do you think I am **&*%*# stupid?"