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Oct 21, 2009 9:46 AM by Associated Press

Auto task force shocked by state of GM, Chrysler

The former head of the federal auto task force says the shockingly poor financial management of General Motors and Chrysler weakened their case for a government bailout, but his team feared letting the automakers collapse would deal a devastating blow to the economy.

Steven Rattner writes in a piece posted on Fortune's Web site Wednesday that he was alarmed by the automakers' "stunningly poor management" and says GM had "perhaps the weakest finance
operation" his team had ever seen at a major company.

Rattner was critical of GM's management and board of directors and described the administration's decision to ask GM chief executive Rick Wagoner to resign. Rattner says Wagoner supported the decision to have Fritz Henderson run the company.

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