Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne apologizes for ‘shyster loans’ comments


Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne today apologized for using the term ‘shyster loans’ at an car industry conference Friday to describe the government loans that kept Chrysler afloat last year.

“I used a term in reference to the interest rate being charged on our government loans that has raised concern. I regret the remark which I consider inappropriate,” Marchionne said in his statement today.

Wkipedia defines the word ‘Shyster’ as a “slang word for someone who acts in a disreputable, unethical, or unscrupulous way, especially in the practice of law, politics and used car sales.”

According to the Detroit News, “At a industry event here, Marchionne three times referred to the “shyster” loans that the U.S. and Canadian governments made to save Chrysler in 2009. “I want to pay back the shyster loans,” Marchionne said Friday. “When we did this deal back in 2009, we couldn’t have borrowed a buck from a 7-Eleven store. The banking system was shut.”

Chrysler borrowed $12 billion dollars from the U.S. government as part of the U.S. auto industry bailout. Chrysler paid about 1.2 billion in interest last year to the Fed, and without that loan repayment the company would have been profitable according to Marchionne.

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