GM's bankruptcy filing Monday was widely expected but nonetheless has been accompanied by a lot of hand-wringing over the "end of an era."
Clearly there's much to be concerned about, not the least of which being:
- GM's $173 billion of debt vs. $82.3 billion of assets -- as revealed in Monday's bankruptcy filing.
- More job losses as GM closes dealers, closes or idles 12 plants, and the UAW accepts more layoffs as part of its deal with the government and the automaker.
- The perils of government ownership: With the Uncle Sam now the majority owner of GM, the opportunity for political mischief - such as the pressure on GM to sell its Opel unit to Magna - and just plain old bureaucratic inefficiency could stifle any attempt to revive the automaker.
But what if GM's bankruptcy really is a new beginning? As Henry and I discuss in the accompanying video with Jon Najarian of OptionMonster.com, Chrysler's "quick rinse" bankruptcy and even rising oil prices provide an opportunity to think optimistically about the future for U.S. automakers.