Reclusive Cerberus Capital Management CEO Stephen A. Feinberg found himself in an uncomfortable position on Thursday.
Representatives from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler and the UAW met Thursday with Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and other members of the Senate Banking committee including committee chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.
With the future of Chrysler, owned by Cerberus, on the line, Feinberg apparently wanted to deal with details of what might have become the compromise Senate bill to lend GM and Chrysler $14 billion. The compromise ultimately failed, and the Senate did not pass the bill.
According to one attendee, Feinberg’s “people” were pre-occupied with keeping the hedge fund chief away from photographers and reporters staked out in the hall outside the Senate Foreign Relations committee work room, which was the available venue for the meetings.
Chrysler is facing bankruptcy by the end of the year. The firm has also been singled out again and again by members of Congress for asking for tax-payer assistance at the same time the hedge fund is sitting on billions it is unwilling to invest more money in the automaker. “Chrysler is toast,” Sen. Bob Corker has said. The widely held expectation is that Chrysler will be stripped down in the coming months with assets either consolidated with GM or sold to multiple automakers.
Feinberg avoids the media like Howard Hughes and up-to-date pictures are hard to come by. “I think there will be a few shots that surface unless he buys out the photographers,” said the attendee.