I’ve been over this a lot, but with Richard Mourdock challenging Richard Lugar, I keep seeing references to Mourdock’s quixotic decision to challenge the Chrysler bankruptcy decision as something other than ill-conceived, so I’ll mention the central point once again. There was no path to Mourdock’s challenge that resulted in Indiana getting more money.
As we might recall, Chrysler was dying on the vine. There was nobody willing to step in and pay much money for the company, so they filed bankruptcy. As part of the bankruptcy, a third-party was willing to step in and pay more money for the company than it would get through liquidation. That third-party in this case was the United States of America.
What really seemed to piss off Mourdock and his supporters is that the third party was willing to give the unions something. But, let me repeat, secured creditors got more under this deal than they would have under any other offer on the table or liquidation. Seems that, what Mourdock’s complaint boiled down to in essence, is that he wished the third-party’s offer gave secured creditors more. But there was never any showing that an outside purchaser had any obligation to pay secured creditors more than they would get from liquidation. If some other third-party wanted to offer them a better deal, they could do so, but there wasn’t any such entity.
That’s getting at the substance of Mourdock’s complaint; pretending that he had any right to drive this particular litigation. Procedurally, he was out of line. Indiana’s share of the debt was tiny, and it had agreed to let the majority holders of secured debt run the show. In that sense, it was doomed bringing the litigation in the first place, even if the state had had a plausible claim.
Then there is the fact that Mourdock had purchased Chrysler shares at distressed prices in the first place; those discounted prices reflected the risk inherent in the transaction.
And, there is the impact on Indiana’s manufacturing sector. The U.S. participation in Chrysler’s restructuring allowed Hoosiers to keep their jobs instead of suffering the fall out from liquidation.
And, I’ve been hearing that Gov. Daniels is spouting some nonsense about how Mourdock’s Chrysler litigation produced some kind of momentous Supreme Court decision. It wasn’t momentous, but a fairly routine Munsingwear order.