Style over substance: The making of an American bailout

Back when the bailout of American car makers was still nominally justified, Bush decreed that a so-called Car Czar should be appointed to restructure the industry.

Skip forward a few months. The glaring need for bad businesses to survive is as real as ever. But with a new president and renewed interest in bureaucratic growth rates, the number of folks needed to overhaul this system has shot up 18-fold. And the final plan isn’t even in place yet.

The Detroit News reports that among the eight members named Friday to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and the 10 senior policy aides who will assist them in their work, two own American cars.

The Times spoke with professor Michael Cusumano of M.I.T’s Sloan School of Management who wisely noted, “There’s good reason to wonder why the government would be any better at doing this than the management at the companies.”