Saab Automobile appears to be going down. The Swedish automaker was abandoned by its beleaguered parent company, General Motors, prompting the Swedish managers to petition the Swedish government for a bailout. In 2009, the Scandinavian government said “No.” GM then sold Saab to a Dutch manufacturer, which hit a cash crunch in this year’s first quarter.
Lots of people with fond memories of the pre-GM Saab thought that the Dutch outfit had a great idea: Revive Saab by reintroducing a 1940s look, the famous Saab 92.
But the financing fell through, sending Saab begging, again, to the Swedish government, with promises of radical restructuring.
A western Swedish district court again ruled, “No.”
This is not good for the people of Trollhattan, where Saab’s main plants reside. They will be hard hit, as in any disaster.
What is interesting is that, though many folks of Trollhattan have repeated the old social democrat line about how they are “people” who somehow deserve their incomes and such, the government refused to go along with the old bailout model.
One could argue that the oft-idolized Swedish nationalization/capitalization/marketing solution was the model for America’s 2008 and 2009 bailouts. The method looks less popular, these days, in its home country.
We’re living in tough times, getting tougher. Still, at some point we’ve got to bite the bullet and resist trying to “fix” failed businesses by government.
Governments fail often enough, themselves, without moonlighting this extra job.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.