Here's my distillation of the state-of-play:
- Chrysler owes the government $4 billion.
- Chrysler owes other creditors secured debt of $7 billion. Most of this debt is held by four banks: Citi, Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman.
- In order to receive an addtional $6 billion loan from the government, Chrysler must - prior to April 30 - do the following: (1) reach an agreement with its creditors to reduce its debts and (2) merge with Fiat.
- At a meeting on April 2, the government (led by auto task force head Steven Rattner) asked the four banks to accept $0.15 on the dollar for their secured debt.
- According to S&P, the secured loans would be worth $0.30 to $0.50 on the dollar if Chrysler goes into bankruptcy and its assets are liquidated. But, in a liquidation, the government would probably not recover any of its $4 billion.
- The banks balked at the $0.15 on the dollar proposal and are developing a counterproposal.
It seems as though Chrysler might become the sacrificial lamb of the US auto industry, although maybe public pressure will compel the four banks to agree to an "unfair" (!) deal.