The clock continues to run down on the US auto industry as the administration struggles with details of the loans it has promised to GM and Chrysler. Both firms say they do not have enough cash to operate more than a few weeks. Chrysler will shut down all production for a month on Friday and GM has halted work on the factory that will build the engine for its new electric car.

President Bush said on Wednesday that any form of bankruptcy would seriously harm the economy but he does not want to throw good money after bad. The President is weighing the many options tied to the loans and says he will decide soon.