Futures Fall on Fears of Auto Bankruptcies

US stock index futures indicated a sharply lower open Monday as recovery plans from General Motors and Chrysler were rejected by the Obama administration’s autos task force.

Both auto-makers could now face bankruptcy as hopes of a government hand-out diminished, but GM and Chrysler do have one last chance to convince the task force that their plans are viable.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner was forced out of the ailing firm on Sunday, at the request of former investment banker Steve Rattner, who headed the auto panel.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner revealed Sunday that the government still has a $135-billion pot earmarked for bank bailouts from the original $700 billion TARP money, but wouldn’t confirm whether it will need to ask Congress for more.

Banking stocks were struggling ahead of the open with Bank of America falling more than 11 percent and Citigroup slumping more than 7 percent.

Meanwhile the European banking sector suffered more body blows as Switzerland’s UBSwas expected to announce further writedowns and job cuts and Spain’s Caja Castilla la Manchawas forced to tap the country’s first government bail out.

The largely negative start to the week will weigh on world leaders as they head to the G20 meeting in London. The meeting targets restoring growth to the global economy by the end of 2010, the Financial Times reported quoting a draft communiqué.

On the economic front, the National Association of Realtors will release its annual survey on second homebuyers at 10 am New York time and Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke will speak on bank lending at Charlotte, North Carolina at 11:30 am.