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Obama Motors to Diversify?

U.S. Aims For Balance As GM’s Owner

Washington Post: Officials Say Administration Will Focus On Repairing Companies, Not Overseeing All Decisions

The owner of a car company can decide how many cars to make, to paint red, and to send to Maryland dealerships. The Obama administration, which plans to buy about 70 percent of General Motors, insists it does not want to be that kind of owner.

Senior officials say they are focused solely on forcing critical financial repairs at GM and other companies in which the government plans to take large ownership stakes. They do not want to get dragged into the weeds of daily decision-making.

But it’s not easy to keep hands in pockets. In pursuing its financial goals, the administration has become involved in decisions such as how many cars GM and Chrysler should make, how much money auto financier GMAC should lend and which business units Citigroup should sell. The government also increasingly has chosen to install its own directors on the companies’ boards, establishing an influence that could last for years.

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