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Overhaul: An Insider's Account of the Obama Administration's Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry   [OVERHAUL] [Paperback] Unknown Binding – October 31, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Mariner Books. (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008NS68I4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Steve Rattner has three gifts -- and the blind spots to prove it.

First, he writes well and, it would appear, quickly. This book was an extended summer project -- it cannot have been much more. His account is detailed, with names, dates, participants, settings, conversations all reconstructed with a journalist's ear for conversation and detail. It helps that before going to Wall St., Rattner was a reporter for the New York Times. The journalistic blind spot is that the book reads like a long newspaper article. Rattner does not reflect on the moral hazard of his enterprise, on what states or other governments should learn, or on what governments should do to stay out of the business of restructuring failing companies.

Second, Rattner is a solid financier. He knows his way around a balance sheet and understands the enormous complexity of a bankruptcy conducted under tough conditions. He has good reason to be proud of his work: the huge, desperate, hail-Mary pass that was the federal government decision to intervene and restructure the US Auto industry looks like it will actually work. As of the publication of this book, it appears that Chrysler will pay back its loans and that GM will go public and repay the public most or even all of its investment. If the Obama administration succeeds in saving two million+ jobs and getting the taxpayer's money back, that is a hell of an accomplishment. The banking blind spot is that Rattner carved an incredible hole in the US securities landscape. If holders of preferred debt can be forced to give up their claims on assets and accept a junior position to unsecured creditors (as they were in this, the largest of all bankruptcies), why will they lend money again?
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By amr88 on January 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is ok. Nothing great but not horrible.

He wasted a lot of ink using details that don't matter. Such as who was setting where and what clothes they wore. Also he seems childish taking cheap shots at various people.

On page 277 he is talking about some of Chrysler's improvments and metnions the Dodge STRATUS which is not even produced anymore. Maybe he meant the Avenger, which would be correct, but I wonder if he even knew this.

He appears arrogant but what else would you expect from someone with his background?

I recommend this book though. I plan on reading the other books regarding the industry so it will be interesting to compare to this one. I don't believe everything he wrote in the book but most is probably valid.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a solid book written by, Steven Rattner, a career Democrat. As a conservative, I'm always on the lookout for bias in sources but I found Rattner's account of the events of the GM, Chrysler, and Ford bailouts to be fair. He admits his bias up front which is fine with me. This was especially evident in his impartial treatment of Senator Corker. Personally, I don't have a lot of experience with the Big Three or the world of finance so I am not in a position to assess the author's authenticity as a historian. I found his story persuasive and honest. Overhaul is not an indictment of the Obama Administration. It provides some interesting insight concerning Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama, and Larry Summers. Admittedly, some of the quotes they would not want to get in general circulation but Rattner's text has no "gotcha" in it. Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was good but not great. It flowed quickly and was entertaining. I also found it educational as most of the inside baseball that occurred was previously unknown to me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rattner, as one might expect from a former reporter, writes well and keeps the reader's interest. Through his eyes you get a glimpse of work in the Government at a high level and see that many individuals are hard working and self sacrificing and labor under tough working conditions. Team auto had to wade through many decisions in short order and after reading this book, one has to wonder if all the right decisions were made. To my eye, it really is too early to make good judgements about all of this. Rattner, of course, thinks that they have, but it took years to create the auto problems in this country and the US buyer may be reluctant to return and purchase such an expensive item from so weak an organization that just may not be around to service it. And resale value has yet to be determined. These issues are are dicussed in detail in the book, especially with respect the usual forms of bankruptcy but good cars are built by many these days and one wonders how all of this will work out.

In many ways, this type of book will probably become required reading in business schools around the country. What happens when companies get too cocky, give too many concessions to labor in good times, are partially government regulated and where the product is no longer cutting edge. Yes cars have a lot of new technology in them but they have been around for a hundred years and others have mastered the art of making them as you would expect.

I'm sure that working with these powerful people would produce a powerful high, especially when in the Oval office. Many years ago on a Whitehouse tour I was in the Oval Office and even with only typical citizens present I could feel the power. The book helped me relive this experience somewhat as Rattner talks about the decisions and people there trying the get "facetime" with the president. I only hope that Rattner is right, they made the correct decisions in rapid time.
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