President Barack Obama seized the wheel of the failing U.S. auto industry and in an extraordinary move, forced the departure of Rick Wagoner as CEO of General Motors.
Implicit in Obama's remarks was that the government holds the ability to pull the plug on that company.
Meanwhile, Obama also rejected GM’s current restructuring plans and is promising only to fund GM operations for the next 60 days. The carmaker had been hoping for up to a $16 billion in additional loans.
The President said General Motors did not propose changes that were sweeping enough to justify further large federal bailouts, and demanded "painful concessions" from creditors, unions and others as their price for survival.
The White House has also raised the possibility of a controlled bankruptcy to help GM "restructure quickly and emerge stronger" —uttering the term that industry and union officials have warned repeatedly could lead to the collapse of an entire domestic industry.
And at the same time, eager to reassure consumers, Obama announced the federal government would immediately begin backing the warranties that new car buyers receive -- a step designed to signal that it is safe to purchase U.S.-made autos and trucks despite the distress of the industry.
And that leads to our Fast Money Reader Poll. Do you think forcing out Rick Wagoner as GM's CEO was a smart move?
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CNBC.com with wires