Marchionne apologizes for calling $12 billion bailout ‘shyster loans’

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk with Sergio Marchionne

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne issued an apology over the weekend for describing the $12 billion his company received from the government in the form of a bailout, as ‘shyster loans’. Marchionne has been outspoken about the fact that his company has paid more than $1.2 billion in interest last year on its bailout funds, and that it would have turned a nice profit save for that expense.

“I want to pay back the shyster loans,” Marchionne said Friday. “When we did this deal back in 2009, we couldn’t have borrowed a buck from a 7-Eleven store. The banking system was shut.”

“The loans to Chrysler were made at or below market rates and in full agreement with Fiat. At that time, the U.S. government was the only entity prepared to lend,” former car czar Steve Rattner said in an e-mail Saturday. “No one would be happier than members of Team Auto if Chrysler chose to refinance the government out.”

“I used a term in reference to the interest rate being charged on our government loans that has raised concern. I regret the remark which I consider inappropriate,” Marchionne said in his statement.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Detroit News