When Obama auto task force chief Steven Rattner called then-CEO Richard Wagoner in to tell him it was time to pack his bags, some GM board members were "furious."
"I want out," Bloomberg quotes one GM director as saying. "When they made the decision to fire Wagoner without talking to the board, that did it. We had a conversation with Rattner. I told him it's our responsibility to pick the CEO."
The notion that the United States government shouldn't step into the management decisions of failing companies it takes a majority ownership stake in is flawed. As GM's single-largest shareholder, the United States government has a responsibility to shake things up when taxpayer money is on the line -- just as an activist hedge fund manager will put pressure on management when it believes shareholder value is in danger.
One of the nice side effects of this bankruptcy filing is that the company's board of directors will be sent packing.