CNNMoney.com – General Motors and Chrysler LLC have about a week or less before they find out if they’ll get the additional help they need from taxpayers, creditors and unions to avoid bankruptcy.
What they already know is that any assistance they receive won’t be given happily.
The two companies face a March 31 deadline to win concessions from bondholders and unions in order to prove to the Treasury Department that they can be viable in the long term. Without such a finding, the government can recall the $13.4 billion it has already lent to GM (GM, Fortune 500) and the $4 billion it loaned to Chrysler.
Few expect Treasury to take such a drastic step. Still, it’s clear that the automakers need more than the loans they already have received. Chrysler is on record as saying it needs as much as $5 billion in additional funds by March 31 to avoid being forced into bankruptcy.