Sergio Marchionne of Fiat and Chrysler has got himself into a fine mess with one appearance in San Francisco on Friday in which he managed to scandalise two governments simultaneously.
One of his sallies was foolish as well as offensive. Describing the finance offered by the US and Canadian governments to keep Chrysler afloat with taxpayer money as “shyster” loans was an absurd comment (for which Mr Marchionne has apologised).
To state the obvious, Chrysler would have collapsed in 2009 without those loans and no-one else apart from the US government was willing to make them. I still question whether it was a good idea at all.
The fact that it charged interest on behalf of taxpayers was the least it could do, and Mr Marchionne, who as I previously noted enjoys being the centre of attention, was silly to bite the hands that fed him. Read more