Ford Bailout Doublethink

Two reports found on Yahoo! Finance a few minutes ago made my head spin.

The first is from AP, dated Tuesday December 2, 11:02 am ET (emphasis added):

Stocks rise on reassuring comments from Ford CEO
…Calming words came from Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who said his company has enough cash to make it through 2009 and may not need government help.”

The second is from Reuters, dated Tuesday December 2, 11:47 am ET (emphasis added):

Big Three automaker plans hit congressional desks

Ford Motor Co became the first to release its plan, which asks for $9 billion of loans, cancels global executive bonuses and all U.S. bonuses for 2009, proposes to cut dealers and initiates plans for electric cars.

The automakers’ stocks jumped following the Ford plan, which calls for the company’s North American auto business to achieve pretax break-even or profitability in 2011.

“The Ford news has given the market a lift as it indicates that the automaker within two years will be back to profitability. People are … expecting the stocks to continue their upward trend on hopes of a bailout plan,” said William Lefkowitz, options strategist at brokerage firm vFinance Investments in New York.”

So what happened in the 45 minutes between 11:02 am and 11:47 am to change “may not need government help” to asking for “$9 billion” from the government? Or were we not supposed to notice?

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