December 8, 2008 / 5:38 PM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX-US auto bailout terms similar to bank bailout

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The proposed $15 billion bailout for the ailing U.S. auto industry would have terms similar to the $700 billion rescue package approved by the Congress in October for Wall Street, but with tougher oversight, according to sources close to the negotiations.

* Talks to finalize the “Auto Industry Restructuring Act” are primarily between congressional Democrats and the White House with Republican lawmakers generally withholding comment until they see the details in writing.

* The measure would provide loans for the Detroit Three automakers, and have an inspector general, known as a “car czar,” or possibly a seven-member board, to oversee the bailout.

* Terms of the loan are similar to the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program for Wall Street. The loans would be for seven years — at 5 percent interest for five years, and 9 percent the final two years.

* Funds would be available on Dec. 15.

* General Motors (GM.N), Chrysler [CBS.UL] and Ford (F.N) would be in default on the loans if they don’t submit comprehensive restructuring plans by March 31, 2009.

* Companies would be required to issue notification of any transaction over $25 million.

* In exchange for bailout funds, the government would be given dividends and its loan would have some type of priority over unsecured creditors.

* Dividends to other shareholders would be prohibited and there would be restrictions on executive compensation.

* The General Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, would have broad access to information about the companies.

* In January, the proposed car czar would develop broader, general restructuring goals for the companies. The car czar would also seek to facilitate a restructuring agreement.

* In February, after Barack Obama is sworn in as U.S. president, his choice of car czar would be given an opportunity to review the companies’ records to determine if they are making progress and, if not, to call the loans.

* The final bill language may include a provision to prohibit the automakers from using any of the loans to fight efforts to force them to reduce pollution levels.

* A provision to prohibit one person from serving as both chairman and chief executive of an automaker. The chairman would have to come from outside the company to provide fresh oversight and prevent a CEO from merely answering to him or herself. (Reporting by Rachelle Younglai, Thomas Ferraro and Richard Cowan; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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