China may be the buyer of last resort for automakers

Ford (F) needs money and is almost certainly willing to sell Volvo to add cash to its balance sheet. A Chinese car company may be willing to oblige. According toThe Times, "Geely Automotive, a Chinese car manufacturer, has appointed NM Rothschild to advise on a possible bid for loss-making Volvo."

China is one of the few places with potential buyers of Western auto company assets. The central government can make capital available since China has built up a tremendous balance sheet of its own after having years of trade surpluses.