The Washington Post is reporting that Chrysler executives turned down a cheap government loan and opted to use more expensive private financing rather than accept the new limits on executive pay.  This seems, to say the least, extremely odd.  After all, the Chrysler executives are already at considerable risk of having no pay at all. Why make that outcome more likely?  It's not very probable that their golden parachutes will survive bankruptcy intact.

The only possible logic I can see is that they were worried that the limits would make Fiat skittish about a deal.  Which doesn't seem crazy--the US government is getting less and less friendly towards companies that take its money.  (As perhaps it should.)  But then, there's also simple stupidity and greed, which should never be ruled out as a possible explanation.

On the other hand, this has the feel of a targeted administration leak.  It's pretty clear that the administration is frustrated by having to negotiate with unwilling partners, and the restrictions imposed on Congress are making them even more unwilling.  The leak advances the narrative they've constructed of greedy executives standing in the way of Worthwhile American Initiatives.  So it's worth taking this fairly explosive accusation with a grain of salt.

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