Obama, the Senate, and China ... All Eying the Big 3
"President-Elect Barack Obama's transition team is exploring a swift, prepackaged bankruptcy for automakers as a possible solution to the industry's financial crisis, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Obama's team has already contacted at least one bankruptcy- law firm to say that Daniel Tarullo, a professor at Georgetown University's law school who heads Obama's economic policy working group, would call to discuss the workings of a so-called prepack, according to this person.
Since the election, Team Obama has become "trial balloon central" (if they were genuinely serious about firing the leaker, Rahm Emanuel would hit the Chief Of Staff revolving door post-haste). They have been strategically using the media to test public opinion, but in this case I'd imagine they also did so with the intent to force the unions, bond holders and other stakeholders in the Big 3 into a more pliant negotiating position.