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Fiat: A Mediterranean Mate For Chrysler

As a parent, do you care about the boys your daughter dates? Does the President of the United States care about the boys his daughters date? No, not his biological daughters, who (currently) are too young. But rather his latest, adopted, "daughter,"an automaker named Chrysler.

Chrysler wants to "marry" an Italian named Fiat.  So being analysts that we are, let's do a background check on the prospective bridegroom. Fiat used to be a ne'er do well, not exactly mate material. In recent years, however, it has started making money, pulling itself up by the bootstraps. OK, Maybe this is turnaround material. It's made a lot of that money mucking around in our (American) "backyard." It even had a joint venture with our "older daughter," General Motors by name, that worked out a lot better for Fiat than for General, who forked over $2 billion in a 2005 break up. Don't call it a divorce. Hmm sounds like the kind of "husband" who might put the wife (and kids) to work to make money for HIM.

There's more. It's not quite PC to say this, but bloodlines do matter. Fiat, and its executives have ties with the Italian government that go all the way back to BENITO MUSSOLINI. Things haven't changed much since then. Italy is chock-full of state firms, the way Britain used to be, with the important difference that there was no Margaret Thatcher, ever. No governess to keep the kids from running wild. A parent is expected to know these things. Except a President who believes that they speak "Austrian" in Austria.

There's one more piece of folk wisdom that might have a bearing on this. It has been said that a marriage made in heaven was that of an American man and an Italian woman (each was trained to serve the other). On the other hand, a marriage made in hell involved an Italian man and an American woman (each expects to be served). Who is the "man" and who is the "woman" in this match? The answer to this question will tell a lot about the marriage itself.