The sale of bankrupt car-maker Chrysler to a group led by Italy’s Fiat has been put on hold.
The temporary blocking of the deal by the US Supreme Court serves as a warning to the American government that what was supposed to be a quick fix could prove more difficult. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced the move without indicating how long the delay might be. The court is considering an appeal by the state Treasurer of Indiana, whose job it is to protect pension plans that could suffer if the sale goes ahead. He says the deal is unlawful as it rewards unsecured creditors ahead of secured creditors, such as his pension funds. The government is keen for the sale to go through and officials warn Chrysler faces liquidation if the sale collapses. The case is seen as a test run ahead of the similar but much larger bankruptcy of General Motors.