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An employee walks past new cars at a General Motors parking lot in Shenyang, Liaoning province August 1, 2012.
An employee walks past new cars at a General Motors parking lot in Shenyang, Liaoning province August 1, 2012.
(Sheng Li/Reuters)

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Detroit’s rebirth offers lessons for beleaguered Wall Street

Wall Street could learn a thing or two from Detroit about getting the business back on the road. Both needed government aid in 2008. But it is the automakers that have restructured and become decently profitable in straitened times. Motown’s chiefs can more easily justify big paydays, too.

Uncle Sam attached more strings to bailing out General Motors and Chrysler than it did to the likes of Bank of America and Citigroup. The two Motown manufacturers had to slash dealerships and brands and cut factory worker pay to the same levels as foreign rivals. Ford took similar measures, too.