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This little piggie wants $3 billion more

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 12, 2009 10:16 AM

I’m shocked, shocked. Failing auto maker Chrysler needs more of our money to stay afloat. And they need it now. On top of that, Chrysler Financial is negotiating a separate request for its own massive cash infusion a la the GMAC deal.

And on top of that, the automakers are still grubbing for $25 billion from the Energy Department.

Oink, oink, oink:

Chrysler LLC is seeking $3 billion in additional government aid and its finance arm is in advanced talks with the U.S. Treasury to obtain a multi-billion cash infusion that could be finalized by Friday, officials said.

Chrysler is the only one among Detroit’s Big Three automakers seeking immediate additional aid. General Motors Corp. said it had no plans to seek more aid beyond the $13.4 billion the U.S. Treasury Department is loaning it from the $700 billion Wall Street rescue fund, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP…

The Bush administration is working to complete action on financing help for Chrysler Financial LLC before it leaves office on Jan. 20. A government official involved in the talks said it would be less than the $6 billion package GMAC LLC received.

“We’re very hopeful that (with) continued support from the Treasury and access to the TARP funds for Chrysler Financial that we’ll be able to provide additional retail support,” Nardelli said. “Our hope is we would get that resolved within a week or so.”

Chrysler Financial’s request is separate from Chrysler’s request for $3 billion, Chrysler spokeswoman Shawn Morgan said.

Nardelli declined to say how much Chrysler Financial was seeking but said he hoped “it would provide the kind of support for us in a similar fashion that GMAC was able to provide to GM.”

After receiving its TARP money, GMAC announced new financing deals for customers and dropped its credit requirement for loans from a score of 700 to 621.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner called the government’s decision to aid GMAC “a huge plus.” GM owns 49 percent of the finance company. Cerberus Capital Management LP, also Chrysler majority owner, holds the other 51 percent. “We are going to see some very significant changes in GMAC’s ability to fund both wholesale and retail (lending),” Wagoner said. Those loans will be “on a more cost competitive basis. … Frankly, over time it’s going to be a strategic advantage for us.”

Neel Kashkari, the assistant Treasury secretary who heads the TARP program, last week explained why it was important for the government help GMAC. “The finance companies serve as the lifeblood of the automakers,” he said. “We knew that our program would need to address the short-term needs of the auto finance companies as well.”

Detroit’s automakers also are seeking loans from a $25 billion Energy Department retooling program to help modernize factories to build more fuel-efficient models.

If it’s Monday, it’s time to play Squealing for Dollars.

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Categories: Chrysler