It looks very much as if the Detroit Big Three are going to get the $36bn in loan guarantees they say they need from the US government to stay in business. The conditions attached are certain to be numerous and arduous, and are certain to include lots of government intervention in future management decisions.

One near-certainty is that Ford (Volvo) and GM (Saab) will be ‘encouraged’ to get rid of the Swedish car marques they own as soon as possible, to simplify the rescue procedures for the parent groups and ensure that US loan funds are directed to US activities. The German government made the same stipulation when it began recently began discussing the case for providing rescue loans funds for Opel.