We're Buying G.M.

General Motors, having long prided itself on being “America’s” brand, can now make the boast literally: In a bid to avoid bankruptcy, the carmaker revealed a debt-for-equity restructuring proposal yesterday where US taxpayers would take a majority shareholding in the company. The New York Times observes, “ For all the uncertainty swirling around General Motors, the troubled automaker said Monday that one thing was clear: it must become drastically smaller if it hopes to remain a viable company, regardless of whether it has to file for bankruptcy.” GM is trying to convince the Obama administration that it is willing to take the harsh measures necessary for survival. “By the time it is finished, G.M. expects to have only 38,000 union workers and 34 factories left in the United States, compared with 395,000 workers in more than 150 plants at its peak employment in 1970.”