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Didn't listen to the stockholders...

...Who was saying quietly at first, then louder, 'don't leave that much cash in the bank" ... because it makes Chrysler/Jeep a perfect hostile takeover target.

"Don't worry," said the managers. "All that cash makes us look better to Wall Street. We don't need to go outside for money.'

The number was in the Billions (30 BBN. in cash, if memory serves, a stupendous amount of free capital to leave laying around.) Daimler saw the cash found a lender and the jig was up.

The first act of the Germans: was to transfer that balance back to the homeland and put it on the Daimler balance sheet, which fixed a lot of their problems overnight.

Bereft of capital for product development, Chrysler went on a cheapening binge - not unknown in the business, sorry to say - that gutted their reputation in all but truck and Jeep. Bob Eaton, the pliable puppet installed by the board to stunt Bob Lutz's career walked away with a gold watch.

Everyone else got the shaft.

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