Sucks to be Cerberus

Harry Hamlin faces down Cerberus in Clash of the Titans

Harry Hamlin faces down Cerberus in Clash of the Titans

Oopsies!

Steven Feinberg:  Oh my gosh, honey, are you awake?

Mrs. Feinberg:  Yes, what is it, Dear?  You sounded like you were having a nightmare…

Steven Feinberg:  Yeah, it was weird…I dreamt that my private equity firm owned both GMAC and Chrysler!  It was horrible!

Mrs. Feinberg:  Well…umm…ok, go back to sleep, hon.  Everything will be ok.

Like the mythological three-headed dog its named after, Cerberus Capital Management now finds itself at the Gates of Hell, though not in the role of guardian….its more like a resident these days.

From the New York Times:
Private investment firm, Cerberus Capital Management, bought Chrysler in the summer of 2007. Back then, Mr. Feinberg was hailed as a hero — the Wall Street financier who just might save the American car industry. Instead, he lost billions for his investors and co-investors. And last week it became clear that he would lose Chrysler’s auto operations, as well.

But owning Chrysler wasn’t enough for the voracious plutocrats at Cerb…they also just HAD to own the General Motors Acceptance Corp, aka GMAC, aka Pacific Ocean-sized puddle of toxic debt sludge.

But Mr. Feinberg did not go quietly. He also discussed additional federal money to help his other wayward investments in Detroit: GMAC and Chrysler Financial.

Yeah, but doesn’t Cerberus employ all these rainmakers and politicos who could move mountains to somehow find a way to get the taxpayers “sharing” the losses?

Cerberus, many agree, was like so many private equity firms that overreached during the late boom in corporate buyouts. But the firm also seems to have miscalculated in Washington. Mr. Feinberg employs a Who’s Who of Washington insiders, among them John W. Snow, the former Treasury secretary, and Dan Quayle, a former vice president. Cerberus has lobbied aggressively in recent months to shape the government’s rescue of the auto industry, to little avail.

Wow, Dan Quayle!  Was Kato Kaelin busy?

I’m sorry to hear about your ill-timed, showboat purchases of these automaker assets, Mr. Feinberg, but I regret to inform you that I don’t have the slightest interest in watching my elected officials steer a penny of my taxes toward making you and your investors whole on either Chrysler or GMAC.

Good day, sir.  I SAID GOOD DAY SIR!

(yes that was a Willy Wonka reference)

Full Story:  Cerberus Tries to Salvage (NYT)